Like many automakers, GM has made a habit of bringing its latest and greatest performance cars to Germany’s famed Nurburgring race track to calibrate the suspension, braking, and of course the engine. Sometimes these tests don’t turn out so well, as we saw last week when the rumored Camaro Z/28 prototype hit the wall hard in one of the ‘Ring’s notoriously tight corners.
But the Z/28 wasn’t the only high-performance Camaro to make the trek from Detroit to Germany, as GM also brought along a prototype for the supercharged 2017 Camaro ZL1, and boy does it sound good.
We already knew some pretty important facts about the new Camaro ZL1, including that it will borrow a 640-horsepower version of the LT4 from the Corvette Z06. Buyers will have the option of a six-speed manual if they want to shift for themselves, but GM is pushing the new 10-speed automatic as a better option, as it can upshift even faster than Porsche’s vaunted dual-clutch transmission. If we had to guess, both the red and blue ZL1s that GM brought to the ‘Ring were fitted with the new automatic, likely in an effort to dial it in before the ZL1 goes on sale.
Since the ZL1 has already been officially announced as well, it raided the ‘Ring without any camouflage, giving us an unimpeded view of how it will look once it hits dealerships this fall. While it won’t offer as much horsepower as the Challenger Hellcat, the new ZL1 should provide a supercharged boost to middling Camaro sales. The upcoming Z/28 also gives Bowtie fans something more track-centric to look forward to, though it has yet to be officially announced.