Welcome to a new segment I’m calling Time in Time. On the rare occasion when I get my hands on a press car, I’ll write as much as I can about it in the amount of hours I had it in minutes (that doesn’t make sense, really …moving on). As in this case were I had the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for 48 hours, I’m giving myself 48 minutes to let my creative juices flow forth with my thoughts on the car.
[Editor’s Note: Josh was given this car for 48 hours so he could shoot static b-roll footage for our video review. Along the way he discovered Internet porn, which is why this piece is about five months late.]
I stole the ZL1 from Jeff’s garage. This was over 4th of July while he was off “being a good father and husband” or some lame shit. Easily the best time to have it. In my 48 hours with the ZL1, ,I bought illegal fireworks and got in three street races with my dad in the passenger seat. This made my mom cry while also questioning what she did to deserve a son as dreadful as me. To be fair, I’m the worst.
Now all those things sound interesting and may or may not be true but I feel this should be more about the Camaro.
The power was obvious from the get go. It’s kind of hard to hide 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. That’s not to say it was impossible to drive or alarming. I did, however, find myself cruising down the 55 Freeway late at night looking down at the speedometer wondering how well I’d in prison for this felony I’m committing.
The answer is poorly. I would do very poorly.
Sorry. I found internet porn again. BRB.
The ZL1 rides rough even with the magnetic ride control. My back was sore after these glorious two days. To be fair, I’m on the taller side at 6’4”. Thus the “C” shape my back was forced to take in the Recaros is more than likely the cause. Having to duck to see out of the short windshield didn’t help the matter. The seats did feel great though with respect to the bolstering, cushions, and materials used. Everything you touch feels great. The interior is an Alcantara sarcophagus.
The brakes are steel but they still squeal when cold. Once the 14.6-inch front rotors warm up they’re great. Brake pedal pressure is little on the heavy side but I feel in a vehicle like this it’s preferred. Never once felt an ounce of fade on some quick backroads. The steering gave excellent feedback and was quicker than I expected. It wasn’t until I dropped the car back off with Jeff on the 5th, and got back into my Volkswagen Alltrack did I realize how heavy it actually was.
Doing an accidental J-Turn out of Jeff’s driveway had my body flailing around and reminded me how much room I had in my VW, or, how much room I didn’t have in the Camaro. The interior of that car is tightly packed. Jeff and I took a trip up to Lake Arrowhead’s SkyPark a few days before my stint in the car. It wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable during the trip, but my lower back was fried once the day was over.
The exterior looks good… if you’re into this sort of car. It looks exactly how your think a top end model (minus the ZL1 Performance Pack) of a V6 rental car platform would be. Carbon fiber hood cowl, front and rear splitters, side skirts, chunky fitment on the tires, 285/30R20 front and 305/30R20 rear Goodyear Eagle F1’s (which besides not having enough tread on them to do burnouts, were awesome), and ZL1 badges all over the place.
I’m not saying it’s bad looking but I’m also not sure I could daily drive one. I got weird looks left and right. In all fairness, if I saw a human-shaped Daddy Long Legs Spider crawl out of a Camaro I’d have a stank face going on too.
The supercharged LT4 V8 engine is backed up by the ten-speed automatic, which I have nothing bad to say about. Apparently it upshifts faster the Porsche PDK. That’s certainly a cool stat to have in marketing material. It never shifted too hard or skipped a beat of any kind when I had the car. The exhaust sounds like Valhalla’s heavenly horns no matter which mode you place the exhaust.
My final thoughts here are pretty simple. For a base price of $60k, it’s the steal of the decade. Still, I wouldn’t buy it. I can’t see out of the damn thing. You should be able to see out a car when you drive it. Otherwise, it’s pretty damn awesome.
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