New York Auto Show: Redesigned 2014 Camaro, Plus Z/28 Track Edition
Chevrolet has officially introduced the restyled 2014 Camaro line at the New York Auto Show, including the return of the Z/28.
This is the most significant redesign since the introduction of the fifth-generation Camaro as a concept car in 2006. The 2014 Camaro models feature a revised exterior that integrates new aerodynamic features for better cooling and increased stability at higher speeds.
“The 2014 Camaro is our opportunity to apply what we have learned listening to our customers, and our continuing development of high-performance models,” said Tom Peters, Camaro exterior design director. “We look for solutions that are both functional and beautiful so that the result is genuine Chevrolet – simple, powerful, honest, and more than expected.”
Compared to the previous model, the design represents a visual change front and rear, resulting in a wider, more lower appearance. The functional bonnet vent on the Camaro SS helps reduce heat and aerodynamic lift. Moving to the rear, the sculptural decklid, horizontal lamps and diffuser complete the revised look.
The Camaro Z/28, meanwhile, also features a full aerodynamic package designed to produce downforce at track speeds. At the front, the Z/28 features a large splitter, connected to an underbody panel that further reduces lift. In profile, the Z/28 features fender flares over the front and rear wheels, as well as extended rocker panels that contribute to aerodynamic stability. A rear spoiler and functional diffuser complete the aerodynamic package.
On the interior, to save weight, both front seats incorporate manual adjustment. The rear seats have also been modified for weight reduction. A total of 9 pounds (4 kilograms) was saved by eliminating the seat-back pass through, as well as using high-density foam in place of the rigid structure of the seat back and steel mesh of the seat bottom.
“Unlike the Ford Mustang Boss 302, we felt it was important to keep the 2+2 configuration of the Camaro Z/28 as Chevrolet already has a world-class two-seat sports car in the Corvette,” said Oppenheiser. “By modifying the construction of the rear seat, we were able to reduce the overall weight of the Z/28 while still preserving the flexibility of 2+2 seating.”
The first Camaro Z/28 was introduced in 1967, created to compete in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am 2 class. It featured a smaller, lighter, 302-cubic-inch V8, as well as quick-ratio steering and a heavy-duty suspension for track use. In keeping with its road-racing focus, the 1968 Camaro Z/28 was not available with an automatic transmission or air conditioning.
While the new Camaro Z/28 is not intended to compete in a specific race series, it is solely focused on track capability. In initial testing, the Camaro Z/28 is three seconds faster per lap than the Camaro ZL1.
Like the original, the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is offered only with a manual transmission. In a nod to modern convenience, air-conditioning is available, but only as an option.
“We set out to make the fastest road-racing Camaro possible that was still street-legal,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “While the Camaro ZL1 offers exceptional performance on the street, the drag strip, and the track, the Z/28 is entirely focused on the track performance. The Z/28 will be too track-focused for most drivers, but offers road-racers one of the most capable track cars ever offered from an automaker.”
The new 2014 Camaro line will launch later in 2013. The Camaro Z/28 is expected to be appearing at track events across the United States in spring 2014.