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Video Review: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Jeff Glucker December 13, 2012 Chevrolet Reviews, Featured, Reviews, Video Reviews 22 Comments

I don’t really have much love for the Camaro. There are, of course exceptions thanks to those examples built before 1970, and the occasional aftermarket-tweaked version. Still, as the car comes from the factory it really doesn’t do much for me. There is, however, a new one… and it arrives packing a 580-horsepower surpcharged V8 engine under the hood.

Is that enough to make me change my opinion? Let’s see shall we…

[Disclaimer: Chevrolet provided the Camaro ZL1 for a week, and included a tank of gas as well. I provided an excellent butt groove in the seat for whoever drove it next. … YOU’RE WELCOME]

  • Scandinavian Flick

    "I don’t really have much love for the Camaro."

    You don't have to lie to us, Jeff. We all know how you really feel about the Camaro. We promise not to tell the other cars.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/tYbr9.jpg&quot; width="550">

    • pj134

      I feel like there should be a watermelon in his hands…

      • Scandinavian Flick

        <img src="http://i.imgur.com/GB59Z.jpg&quot; width="550">

      • danleym

        Seems like the Camaro needs a pony tail…

        • Scandinavian Flick

          Okay, I started doing that one… but I stopped, because it started getting really, really creepy looking……

          For the record; I also tried a mullet. That was… ummm… *shudder*

          • danleym

            Fair enough. I'm not sure I'd actually want to see that either.

  • Van_Sarockin

    The Camaro Fun ZL1! Sounds pretty good to me.

  • I woud not have expected to have a relevant comment here, but I got stuck with a Camaro convertible as my rental to get from Palm Springs International Airport to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for last weekend's LeMons race.

    My review: The front passenger seat is okay for a few days of camping.

    • How's your hand doing?

      • The triquetrum is broken but does not appear to require surgery. I'll be in a wrist brace for the next four weeks, followed by another set of x-rays and reevaluation. As an addendum to my review, a Camaro with an automatic can be driven reasonably well with one's left forearm in a splint. A right-hand drive MG with a manual, less so (but still possible).

  • Good to hear. I saw you wearing the splint around the pits but didn't know it was you. I would have said hi otherwise.

    • Thanks! It occurred to me after I got there that we didn't really think through how we might meet. Still, I'm hoping to get my 96 to a California race next season, so perhaps next time. At least I got to drive the Super Snipe on Saturday before injuring myself.

  • You know, Jeff, you can change gear pretty well…. for an American…

    Nice review, and pretty fair, too, by the looks of things. Certainly the noise of the thing is terrific, although I'd love to hear if it has a scream at the top end or, even, being an LS, whether it actually has a top end.

    Unfortunately, one thing that has happened to me is that I get increasingly bored watching fast, faster, fastest versions of cars being trotted out one after the other. 580hp sounds a terrific idea, but it's veering pretty heavily towards one-upmanship / small-penis territory. I mean, we all need 580hp, for sure, but nobody needs 580hp.

    How about a 323hp (sufficient for most…) LFX engined machine with a manual 'box, nice, weighty controls, sensible tyres so you can feel what's going on up front, and a comprehensive weight-loss program (junk everything except the a/c and bluetooth, fit crank windows etc) with the emphasis on making the power you do have accessible and easy to put down to the blacktop?

    You said yourself that the ZL1 is the first Camaro you've had fun in. Such a shame it took 580hp to make it possible.

    • I agree with everything you've said.

      Especially the gear changing part.

  • Jack has the gold jacket thing, you have the Mr Rogers Sweater.

    • That's not even my old guy sweater… I could've worn a black cardigan.

      • I think I'll just be shirtless in all of my on-camera appearances…going for that Iggy Pop sinewy look.



    Am I the only one who doesn't really care for music in videos that make it hard to hear the engine and/or the reviewer? Great review, nice car. Needs less music

  • Corvette_Poncho

    How is there a camaro review where people aren't complaining about being able to see out the back? (yes, I think it's a stupid complaint that everyone blows out of proportion. Yes, I own a new camaro). That thing looks like a ton of fun and I like some of the new pieces they've added like strut tower brace and ground effects.

    • JayP2112

      Ugh- what's the SS package that has the ZL1 bits? I can't find it on the googles.
      EDIT: SS 1LE package.

      This is pretty much how I'd built my Mustang. Take offs from Shelbys, Boss', whatever else I can find on CL/ebay.