Car News

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has 640 hp and a 10-speed transmission

Chevrolet has announced the addition of the latest Camaro ZL1 to sixth-generation pony car's lineup, powered by a 640-hp V8 that can be matched to Chevy's first 10-speed automatic transmission.

The bowtie brand says the ZL1 was designed "to challenge the most advanced sports coupes in the world" with what it calls "unprecedented levels of technology, refinement, track capability, and straight-line acceleration."

An LT4 V8 cranks out that aforementioned 640 hp and a matching 640 lb-ft of torque. Surprisingly, Chevrolet doesn't talk acceleration times, but does mention all kinds of other numbers, like 15.35-inch front brake rotors that get clamped by six-piston calipers; 20-inch forged aluminum wheels; 11 powertrain heat exchangers; and an optional 10-speed automatic transmission with calibrations and software unique to the ZL1. That's notable because General Motors says that transmission will be available in eight vehicles by the end of 2018.

The ZL1 also benefits from the Camaro's lighter body, weighing 91 kg less than the last-generation ZL1, while boasting an additional 60 hp and 80 lb-ft.

All ZL1 models get GM's magnetic ride control suspension, performance-oriented traction management, launch control, drive mode selector, and an electronic limited slip differential.

Depending on your perspective, the six-speed manual that comes standard sounds either like something from the stone age, or the perfect gearbox for this car. Either way, it gets some useful tech, too, like rev-matched downshifting.

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 goes on sale in late 2016.