Is The New 5th Generation Camaro Z/28 Really Worth $75,000?

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Since 1967, the moniker of Z/28 has made us feel something. A slight tingling going down the back of your spine, the anticipation of wind rushing at your face, the sound of that small block V8 thundering down the highway. Forget the 1980s IROC-Z, the new Z/28 is back and represents 1960s retro done right. The only catch is that this mountain of muscle costs a modest $75,000 compared to its arch nemesis, the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca with a $49,990 price tag. The question from all of our Camaro faithful is: “Is this car really worth the price?” We’re gonna give you all the facts first and then you can decided for yourself. You, the customer, is the one who has to make the monthly payments after all…

Z/28’s Performance is Legendary

Simply the name Z/28 elicits a whole range of emotions for people, even if you aren’t a gear head. The newest incarnation of this American Icon has been designed to lay down lightning fast laps on a road course. It was developed at the Nürburgring, Road Atlanta, Road America, Virginia International Raceway, and the GM Milford road course. From the fires of these racing forges, comes a Camaro with a port-injected 7.0-liter, naturally aspirated 505 horsepower, LS7 V8 from the previous generation Corvette Z06, with 481 pound-feet of torque. The LS7 in the Z/28 is fortified with new pistons and titanium connecting rods whose bearing inserts are now spray-coated for improved durability. It has a cold-air intake, revised exhaust headers, and a repackaged dry-sump oiling system.

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This car oozes power and sex appeal wrapped up in a package that hits 0-60 MPH in 4.4 seconds and a quarter mile in 12.7 seconds, at which point you’ll hit 116 MPH. It is only offered with a six-speed manual transmission (serious inquiries only) with a 7,000 RPM redline, and a 3.91:1 final drive ratio in 6th gear.  This car also comes standard with a cold air intake,  revised exhausted headers, and a repackaged dry-sump oiling system. The brakes are cross drilled, carbon-ceramic disc Brembos clamped together with 6 piston front calipers and 4 piston calipers on the rear. From 70 MPH, these top-of-the-line brakes can halt the Z/28 in 155 feet. As Car and Driver so elegantly put it: “Chevy’s Camaro Z/28 is a Boss 302 fighter raised on growth hormones and testosterone.”

World-Class Track Dominance

If all of these statistics sound incredible, that’s only on paper. Where the Z/28 really shines is out on the track, with you behind the wheel. The Z/28 comes equipped with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires that are basically street-legal racing tires. These tires are so sticky that during development testing, they stuck to the pavement better than the wheel rims and would slip around the wheels. This issue has since been remedied. The front tires are the same as the rear tires, which removes the Camaro’s tendency for understeer and the rubber has been sized up to 305/30 and mounted on lighter 19 inch aluminum wheels.

When warm, these Trofeo R tires can stick to the track like wads of chewing gum and in long, mid-speed corners, the Z/28 is perfectly capable of pulling 1.06 g’s of lateral force while staying stuck to the road, even in cold and damp track conditions. When pushed to the limits on a track, the Z/28 remains neutral and responsive to the driver, while a Torsen-type limited-slip differential can expertly deliver power on the corner’s exit.

It’s Got a Ride Smoother Than Silk

The Z/28 does not have any kind of magnetic ride control like in the ZL1, nor does it have any electronic components either. The spool-valve dampers in this car are also not driver-adjustable, nor are they adaptable to road conditions. Instead the spool-valve’s merit lies in tailor-shaped internal ports that improve the precision and effective range available to engineers as they tune the shocks. Each wheel also has its own data sensor that feeds data to the five-mode Performance Traction Management system that determins when to straighten the car with the brakes, reduce torque, or feed power to the rear wheels. The Z/28 even has a “fly mode”. While, no you cannot actually achieve liftoff in the Z/28, it will hold engine torque constant when the car goes airborne, rather than cut fuel like a typical Chevy.

The Light Heavyweight of the Camaro World

Now we get to real tricks of the Z/28’s trade, and that is weight management. The engineering team made great strides in making this the lightest weighing car in the Camaro lineup. The gold bow tie logo on the front grille has been removed, and in its place, a hollowed-out “flow tie” has been installed, which allows more air to flow into the engine bay at a rate of 88 cubic feet per minute. The Z/28 also removed everything from the car that wasn’t required by law or didn’t make this bad boy go faster. The result is only one speaker (required by law), no air conditioning, redesigned rear seats, no trunk trim or floor mats, and no emergency tire inflation kit (except in Rhode Island and New Hampshire). The rear windshield was even slimmed down by .01 inches to reduce weight by .9 pounds. The final weigh in for this fighter jet on wheels is 3,862 pounds. While it is not exactly light, it is still 35 pounds lighter than an SS 1LE, and over 300 pounds lighter than a ZL1.

Lightning in a Chevy

The final testament to the engineering prowess of the new Z/28 in the 5th Generation’s lineup, is its performance in the Car and Driver Lighting Lap of 2014. The $75,000 Camaro Z/28, after it was all said and done, finished fifth place within one tenth of a second behind the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, outpacing even the Corvette Stingray Z06. The only things faster? The Porche 918 Sypder, Nissan GT-R Nismo, SRT Viper TA, and the aforementioned Ferrari.

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So back to our original question: “Is the New 5th Generation Camaro Z/28 Really Worth $75,000?” Given all the statistics, and the fact that the only cars that can beat it cost $100,000 and upwards, our professional opinion is yes. Yes the Z/28 is really worth every penny of the $75,000 sticker price. Even better is that we have some new Z/28 Camaros on our lot at Finnegan Chevy Buick GMC in Rosenberg! Even if $75,000 is a bit out of your price range, that’s OK! We have plenty of ZL1, SS, RS, and base model LS Camaros, both automatic and stick shift! Come on by today and get a Camaro for everyone in the family!

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