The Z-28 Returns

by Michael Zak, AOL Autos

2014 Z-28
2014 Z-28

Chevrolet has unveiled a new Camaro complete with an old and storied moniker: Z/28.

The news took a run-of-the-mill announcement on the Camaro’s mid-life facelift and made it something exciting. GM handed out earplugs at the unveiling — a sign that some serious engine noise was about to occur.

The Z/28 was last made in 2002, and is a racetrack-ready Camaro. The automaker wanted to make it exceptional, so they removed the regular Camaro engine and replaced it with the engine that lives in the C6 Corvette — a small-block 7.0 liter V8. That engine produces “at least 500 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque,” Chevy says.

Even if it’s not as powerful as the current 580-horsepower ZL1 Camaro, Chevy made some other distinctive tweaks to make the Z/28 awesome: It’s 300 pounds lighter than the ZL1, making it a full three seconds faster per lap on the race track.

The new car got some styling tweaks, which are aesthetic and improve aerodynamics, as well as some solid interior features. Recaro racing seats are standard, as is the ZL1’s flat-bottomed steering wheel. The whole interior is finished in a matte-metallic finish called “Octane.”

The Z/28 Camaro was first introduced back in 1966. Although the base Camaro was designed to provide adrenaline-pumping power, the Z/28 took it a step further. Using a special high-compression 302-cubic-inch V8, the gnarly engine, which was mated to a much more aggressive suspension, produced 290 horsepower and made for a truly white-knuckle ride.

The Z/28, along with the recently redesigned C7 Corvette, is evidence that General Motors is undergoing a full-on muscle renaissance. As the company gradually comes out from the under the watchful eye of the U.S. government and taxpayer base who have been clamoring for more fuel-efficient vehicles, the American automaker returns to offering a classic desire of the American car consumer: pure, unadulterated power.