With the advent of the automobile in the early 1900’s taking shape, Chevrolet put its feet to the ground in 1911. Cars were a new thing then and quickly evolved over the next few decades, providing drivers more amenities, faster engines and better control with more durable tires, stronger brakes, etc.
Now fast forward to the late 60’s, 1968 to be exact, and more innovations were being rolled out in the form of the Camaro. The Camaro was created to rival Ford’s popular Mustang series, and decades later the Camaro’s popularity, while not to heights of being their flagship model, is still evident today. Thanks in part to quality, comfort and high-performance, the Camaro’s durability in the eyes of consumers was more than enough to stake that claim.
Take the Camaro zl1 model, for example. The zl1 is the upper echelon of not just Chevy sports cars, it’s got similar muscle and heft with Chevy’s most recognizable model, the Corvette. Whether it’s the 2012 Camaro zl1 or the 1969 version, horsepower and torque is a main reason why its got the muscle to run with the big boys. Heck, the ’69 Camaro zl1 had 430 horsepower with a complementary 450 torque. To put that in perspective, that was nearly triple the horsepower of the 1989 Honda Accord I drove in high school. And at only $ 4,000 for a new model then compared to the $ 4,500 I paid for my Honda (granted, it was used and the ’69 Camaro’s price would have been inflated to its current price today), the payoff would’ve been greater with a little more horsepower to cruise around my high school parking lot.
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Before I go into some of the current specs for the Camaro zl1, let’s back up a bit and talk about why rivalries in the automotive world are great for consumers. The constant tug-of-war and showmanship going on between Ford’s Mustang and Chevy’s Camaro is great for all of us because one-upping each other with better specs in one area means the quality of both cars are going to benefit drivers all over.
Camaro zl1 models in the early 70’s had nearly topped out their horsepower to the brinks of 700 hp, an insanely strong output that more than made mini-drag races quite the show, indeed. As the decades went on, Chevrolet engineers added a bit of luxury to the inside, refining bucket seats and making radial tires more adept at turning on a dime without sacrificing the overall handling in the process. And even though sporty cars tend to sacrifice interior capacity for heft engines, the Camaro zl1 has made strides with its spacious corridors.
Take the 2012 Camaro zl1’s specs:
Horsepower: 550+ hp (on par with the likes of the Shelby and Mustang)
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8
Interior Perks: Alloy pedal covers, heads up display, sueded seating, flat-bottom steering wheel and other sleek console features to boot.
From a historical standpoint to present day, the Camaro zl1 has more than made a name for itself in the eyes of driving enthusiasts, becoming a top performer in both overall sales for Chevy and high-performance among sports cars in general. That’s something to be proud of as both a driver and manufacturer.