Before the full release of the 2017 ZL1’s specifications, many enthusiasts expected significant upgrades in aesthetics and performance. Chevrolet really hyped it up, claiming it will be ready to hit the track, drag strip, and highway straight off the showroom floor (especially if you skip the break-in period like John Hennessey does). Now that people can get behind the wheel of these monsters, these expectations are finally being met and proven.
The 2017 Camaro ZL1 delivers more factory power than any of its predecessors and the lucky tuner, John Hennessey, got to put that power to the test. Hennessey’s shop test car has a six-speed manual transmission and, like all ZL1s, holds a Supercharged 6.4-liter V8 LT4.
As many of you may know, the LT4 motor is also used in Cadillac CTS-Vs and Corvettes, two cars of which John has also has tested. He notes the ZL1’s all-over innovation, from the aggressive aesthetic design to the multiple cooling systems and open air flow into the engine bay.
The ZL1 hits its top speed in fifth gear clocking in at 173mph. We and (obviously) John Hennessey were both surprised by this, as the competitive Corvette and CTS-V both have top speeds over 200. We are sure aerodynamics and weight both play a huge role in these differences. Plus, there’s tons of aftermarket and high-speed potential for the new 2017 ZL1– there’s no doubt in our minds that it will be able to top its competitors with just a little effort.