Chevrolet fans have something to look forward to in early 2012. That is because Chevy has announced that the new top of the line model Camaro, the ZL1, will debut at dealerships during the first quarter 2012. What makes this car exciting is that it replaces the naturally aspirated LS3 found in the current SS, in favor of a more powerful, Eaton, supercharged LSA. Sure, the car will come complete with advanced magnetic suspension, huge Brembo breaks, extra gauges, large wheels, sticky Goodyear Supercar F2 tires, cool body enhancements, and even minor interior fabric tweaks to match its powerful engine, but the focus will be on the ZL1's 6.2L LSA. For example, Chevrolet describes the ZL1's suspension as having “sensors [to] calculate pitch, roll, squat, dive and yaw, instantly adjusting the suspension's magnetic fluid to form the ideal damping pressure.” That is technical and beneficial, but at its core, the ZL1 is essentially a souped up Camaro that comes supercharged from the factory. If Chevrolet keeps its promises, the LSA should produce at least 550 horsepower and 550 foot pounds of torque at the engine. The ZL1 should have no trouble doing 0-60 in under 4 seconds and a 11 second quarter mile, with that much power.
The Camaro ZL1 features an intercooled 6.2L all-aluminum V8, fitted with an Eaton supercharger. It is very similar to the engine found in the Cadillac CTS-V and Corvette ZR1. The supercharger is a hybrid roots style blower that produces loads of low end power without the drawbacks of older superchargers. For those who already own a 5th generation Camaro SS, or those who can't justify shelling out $50,000 for a new ZL1, but would love to have ZL1 like power can install a supercharger kit on their Camaro SS. Both the Edelbrock E-Force 1597 / 1598 and the Magnuson 6th generation MP2300 01-23-60-171-BL / 01-23-60-171-CH supercharger kits use the same Eaton rotor assemblies found in the advanced LSA engine. As a result, you can achieve around 500 rear wheel horsepower and 480 foot pounds of torque with either kit. A Camaro SS putting down those numbers will put it par with the new ZL1, at least when it comes to power.