Chevrolet Camaro Z28 | Rise & Drive

The Z/28 has a special reputation. We found a special morning to test it…

Not long after the millennium, GM killed the Camaro. The termination had been a long time coming. The fourth generation model was a pony car in more ways than one, and uncompetitive in its domestic market. Chevrolet returned to the drawing board, and didn’t come away from it for four years. Happily, when they did, it was with a home run. You don’t need to know anything about muscle cars to know that the fifth generation Camaro was terrific – visually speaking, it was uniquely American and uncannily well proportioned.

Buyers heartily agreed, and from 2010 its manufacturer shifted over 80,000 examples a year. As is traditional for the US market, umpteen special edition versions were to follow – but Chevrolet waited until 2013 to attempt a Z/28. That’s because the badge enjoys the hallowed status thanks to its motorsport heritage and the manufacturer had genuine ambitions for its track-based focus. The engineers diligently removed mass from the Camaro’s decidedly hefty frame, and weaponised the remainder with a hand-built 7.0-litre LS7 V8 capable of revving to 7,000rpm.

The dry-sumped engine was shared with the Corvette Z06, but the Z/28 enjoyed an identity all of its own – one unmistakably muscle car in tradition. That makes it almost impossible to dislike, even when hemmed in by narrow UK roads. Or that’s the theory at any rate. We dispatched Dan P to South Wales to test it. And while the rest of the country slumbered, this is what the lucky so-and-so learnt…

 

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