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Unread 2016-12-19, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default The 2018 Camaro ZL1

Are you not entertained? | 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 First Drive



































  • Engine
    Supercharged 6.2L V8
  • Power
    650 HP / 650 LB-FT
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Manual or 10-Speed Automatic
  • 0-60 Time
    3.5 Sec
  • Drivetrain
    Rear-Wheel Drive
  • Curb Weight
    3887 LBS
  • Base Price
    $63,435
Barnum, Bailey, and all the Ringling Brothers combined aren't even half as entertaining as GM's supercharged LT4 small-block V8. This direct-injected, variable-timed, intercooled, all-aluminum, one-cam, 6.2-liter hyper-clown idles with an evil chortle, rips upward singing like Marvin Gaye at his "Let's Get It On" peak, then finishes way past 6000 rpm with the maniacal cackle of Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. The LT4 is rated at an astonishing 650 horsepower and until right now there've only been three ways to get it. First, in Chevrolet's two-seat Corvette Z06. Second, in Cadillac's four-door CTS-V. And, third, in a crate from GM Performance Parts. But it's this fourth way that's the best way. That's the LT4 powering the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

At a few thousand dollars less than the 707-horsepower Dodge Charger Hellcat, the ZL1 is likely the cheapest new car with a top speed beyond 200 mph. Chevrolet isn't saying anything about the maximum velocity (at least not yet), but come on. This much power? With a lot less frontal area than the broad-beamed Charger? Two bills at the top end is inevitable.

So the LT4 is a gigaton of giggles. But think of the rest of the ZL1 as the perfect engine amplifier. The chassis is almost neutral at speed, there's plenty of tire aboard to hang on through the hairiest corners, and the brakes could stop a runaway Federal budget. Plus there's enough technology aboard that a dog could hustle it through the Nürburgring in under eight minutes. Even faster if he's a mutant who has grown opposable thumbs.



It's not fair to think of the ZL1 as merely a Camaro with a hairy engine. All the front body work is new, with wider fenders to cover 285/30ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 front tires surrounding ginormous 20x10 forged-aluminum wheels. The front fascia has been redesigned so that air can feed all ten of the heat exchangers stacked behind it. And the tail contains a new electronically controlled limited-slip differential that securely turns power into thrust even during improvised aerobatics. And those rear tires are 305/30ZR20s around 20x11 wheels. Of course it's still a Camaro, but the substance is different enough to alter it into something else. Something better.

While the LT4 is the headliner, it's the new 10-speed 10R90 automatic transmission that is the ZL1's greatest technical achievement. Developed in conjunction with Ford (a cousin transmission is found in Ford's 2017 Raptor off-road truck), the 10R90 sets a new standard for transmission intelligence. It's not just that the shifts are strong and reassuring, but that the algorithm making the shifting decisions is freakishly prescient.

At Willow Springs Raceway in California's Mojave Desert, Chevrolet let loose a motley assortment of goofball journalists with ZL1s. First I drove a ZL1 fitted with the familiar Tremec TR-6060 – a version of the same T56 six-speed manual that's been installed in American performance cars since the introduction of the Dodge Viper in 1992. Along the main stretch, the ZL1 would freight train to about 134 mph before it was time to brake for the first corner. With the car and 10-speed both set in "Track" mode, I was at 142 or 143 mph as I arrived at the braking point. And then, simultaneous to when the calipers chowed down onto the discs, the 10R90 confidently blipped rapidly to the lower nominal gears. I'm not sure which gear it was in when the ZL1 hit the first corner's apex (a lot was going on and there are a lot of gears), but the exit speed out of the corner was startling. I know it was the genius transmission that set me up, but I felt like a he-stud driver anyhow.



With 650 pound-feet of peak torque at 3600 rpm and plenty of torque across the rev band, the LT4 could get along fine with an old two-speed Powerglide. But the range of cogs in the 10-speed means that the logic circuits virtually always have the ZL1 primed for corner exit rocketry. It's not perfect – climbing hills out of corners seems to fluster it a moment – but it's more perfect than I could ever hope to be on my own. I was a lot quicker emerging from corners, a lot faster on Willow's long straights, and much more confident when I let the 10-speed automatic shift for me.

Of course the 10R90 can also be shifted manually and those shifts are quick and precise too, but most drivers aren't as good at gear selection as the 10R90 is.

Also, if you insist on shifting a manual yourself, here's a good word about the TR-6060. Despite that it's now a quarter-century old, this is still a fun box to stir. It takes some heft to clobber some shifts, and the gating can make some downshifts speculative, but it's a transmission full of positive male essence. It just won't be as quick on a racetrack as the 10-speed automatic. And a lot more tiring work in everyday driving.



Another big plus for the ZL1 is the big brakes. The ventilated iron discs up front measure 15.35 inches in diameter and are clamped by Brembo six-piston calipers. Out back the vented rotors go 11.7 inches in diameter and are squeezed by four-piston calipers. At Willow Springs, where we were limited to three consecutive laps, fade never seemed to arise as a concern. The brake application itself was linear and easy to modulate, and the pedal was always firm.

The new trick embedded in the braking system is a line lock for performing epic burnouts. Well, at least 15 seconds of epic. There isn't any new hardware involved in the line lock; instead the computer operates on the standard Camaro ABS distribution block to hold the front wheels and leave the rears free to spin. There's an inscrutable, menu-driven electronic ritual to access the line lock, but it works great. It limits itself to only 15 seconds of operation, which is more than enough time to heat tires for a drag-strip run. But if you're entered in a local burnout contest, that won't be enough time to challenge for the win. It is, however, possible to perform championship-caliber burnouts using more traditional methods.

Even without the help of line lock heating the tires, GM expects the ZL1 to rip from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds or less. The quarter-mile should be consumed in about 11.7 seconds at 127 mph. Meanwhile, GM also claims it should perform a skidpad twirl good enough for 1.02 G while in steady-state cornering.



Riding on a 110.7-inch wheelbase, the Camaro ZL1 puts four inches more room between its axles than the Corvette. But that's 3.9 inches – okay, call it four again – less than the CTS-V. It's sort of a compromise, really, with the ZL1 riding more comfortably than the close-coupled Corvette, but responding more nimbly than the Cadillac sedan. Most of the chassis components, however, are shared with the Caddy, since both are built atop GM's Alpha vehicle architecture.

So up front there are MacPherson struts and in back a five-link independent system. But the truly wicked element of the suspension is GM's now-signature magnetorheological shock absorbers that use electrical current and a conductive fluid to vary damping and rebound depending on conditions and driver desires. This "Magnetic Ride" technology is almost mystifying in its ability, tunability, and general awesomeness. It works as well in this application – with various algorithms optimized for particular driving challenges – just as it does in the Corvette and several Ferraris, as well as other vehicles. Throw in a spooky Performance Traction Management (PTM) system and the result is a car that corners well, whether cruising or crushing.

Like the new L88-style hood? It's aluminum and available with a carbon-fiber center section for additional ego gratification. The front lower grille is somewhat psychedelic, but the upper grille fills a narrower slot than in other Camaros and looks better for it.



This is not a perfect car, however. The trunk is puny, some of the instrumentation is nonsensical, and the center stack screen is angled downward, making it tough for the driver to see it. The highlight of the interior is the optional Recaro front chairs that are ideally shaped for both comfort and hero work.

Beyond that, the electric power steering feels heavy and occasionally ponderous. And while overall traction is good, the front tires don't always respond with the immediacy that would result in excellent initial turn-in. And while this ZL1 is lighter than the fifth-generation Camaro, it still comes in only a few bacon strips short of two tons in overall weight. Physics can only do so much with that mass.

Prices for the new ZL1 coupe start at $63,435 including a $1,300 gas-guzzler penalty. That's not cheap, but this is the most fully realized, better performing muscle car around. A convertible model is available as well, for an extra seven grand.

The 2017 Chevrolet ZL1 is 70 horsepower more powerful than the last ZL1, and all those extra ponies want to entertain you. So be entertained.
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Unread 2017-02-24, 10:55 PM   #2
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Default The 2018 Camaro ZL1



Chevy’s ZL1 is already a total monster on the track, but now the brand is offering a 1LE performance package which could very possibly mean we all need to brace ourselves for the beastliest Camaro to ever hit the streets.

Chevrolet’s 1LE packages for the Camaro are all about making the car better in the twisties. And since the Camaro ZL1 already seems like a beast on the track, it comes as no surprise that the 1LE track package brings in some heavy-duty hardware.
The most obvious change with the 1LE package is the big one-piece carbon fiber wing and massive integrated front dive planes— additions that likely provide significant downforce benefits for maximum cornering grip. Roadshowreports that the satin black hood, mirrors and wheels are also part of the 1LE package, as is the exposed carbon fiber hood extractor.




The ZL1 1LE’s engine bay houses the same 650 horsepower, 650 lb-ft 6.2-liter LT4 V8 (mated to a six-speed manual) as the standard ZL1, but the track package does offer a number of significant mechanical changes, particularly in the suspension department.




For one, the 1LE adds standard Multimatic DSSV dampers with adjustable ride height up front. On top of that there are adjustable camber plates, an adjustable rear sway bar, and enormous Goodyear Eagle F1 tires (305 section up front and 325 out back). That’s a freaking foot wide! Each rear tire!



There’s also some weight savings to the 1LE package, as Roadshow reports that the Zl1 1LE shaves 60 pounds from the standard car thanks to a lighter rear bench, and especially thanks to the updated suspension bits.



The car tech site reports that the 1LE cuts three seconds off of GM’s 2.9-mile Milford road course lap times compared with the regular ZL1, so clearly those aero and suspension improvements are doing their job.



No word on how much the 1LE package will add to the standard ZL1's $61,140 base price, but the Camaro SS 1LE’s ZL1 package adds $6,500 to the base price, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the ZL1 1LE cost close to 70 grand.
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Unread 2017-02-25, 09:46 AM   #3
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That's a bad mofo
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Unread 2017-02-25, 11:29 AM   #4
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That's a bad mofo


I just don't know if I could write a 70K check for a Camaro, even as badass as that one may be.
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Unread 2017-02-25, 12:27 PM   #5
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I just don't know if I could write a 70K check for a Camaro, even as badass as that one may be.
No but in 2020, they will be a great track car on the used market.
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Unread 2017-02-25, 02:23 PM   #6
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I just don't know if I could write a 70K check for a Camaro, even as badass as that one may be.
I hear you, but just think, that car will fuck your face every single time you drive it.

And utterly embarrass most cars twice it's price.
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Unread 2017-02-25, 03:42 PM   #7
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And utterly embarrass most cars twice it's price.
I would still much rather have and justify those more expensive performance cars than these ultra Camaros. I get these cars are a steal of the money in terms of performance, but when you're spending $50K+ on a car, for most, there's an expectation that's it's going to be higher quality, more refined, etc. There's no hiding the fact that these are just souped up $70K Camaros based on a $25K base chassis. I'm willing to compromise some performance for the whole package rather than a one-trick pony. Sure, you could give some certain supercars a headache, but in the end, you're driving a Camaro.
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Unread 2017-02-25, 04:45 PM   #8
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I would still much rather have and justify those more expensive performance cars than these ultra Camaros. I get these cars are a steal of the money in terms of performance, but when you're spending $50K+ on a car, for most, there's an expectation that's it's going to be higher quality, more refined, etc. There's no hiding the fact that these are just souped up $70K Camaros based on a $25K base chassis. I'm willing to compromise some performance for the whole package rather than a one-trick pony. Sure, you could give some certain supercars a headache, but in the end, you're driving a Camaro.
OK, based on a $25k chasis......and still smoke anything within $50k?

LOL. OK.

You are truly a leftist elite.

Next time I'm in KC, I'd like to meet up and drag your $50k bimmer with my pos $10k vette.
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Unread 2017-02-25, 07:24 PM   #9
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I wouldn't lose an ounce of sleep if I got beat by a $2500 1983 El Camino. You can make most anything fast/quick.

I just like nicer cars, even if they may be slower. I like the whole package. One these days you'll probably come to understand that.

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Unread 2017-02-26, 02:46 AM   #10
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Huge perception difference here. Dave looks at cars first and foremost as a DD
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Unread 2017-03-01, 06:23 PM   #11
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Dave B in a nutshell:

"If it's not a BMW, it's absolute trash".





Thats one sick-ass Camaro.

Now, if the dealers don't put a $30K+ "Market adjustment" on it... it'd definitely be worth owning.

I will admit though... at the price point there's several other beasts out there that are note worthy....
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Unread 2017-03-01, 06:56 PM   #12
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I haven't been a huge fan of the new Camaro (or any recent camaro), but that thing is SPICY!

I'd still rather get an M3 though

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Unread 2017-03-05, 07:18 PM   #13
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I would still much rather have and justify those more expensive performance cars than these ultra Camaros. I get these cars are a steal of the money in terms of performance, but when you're spending $50K+ on a car, for most, there's an expectation that's it's going to be higher quality, more refined, etc. There's no hiding the fact that these are just souped up $70K Camaros based on a $25K base chassis. I'm willing to compromise some performance for the whole package rather than a one-trick pony. Sure, you could give some certain supercars a headache, but in the end, you're driving a Camaro.
And in the end, youre driving a souped up, bmw 2 series that you paid 50K for, based on a 33K base chassis, not really all that different. Not to say that the 2 series is bad by any means, theyre pretty much a spiritual successor to the e30 and e36 chassis, and a blast to drive. But to say your car is more "refined" or has more of the "whole package" than a sixth gen camaro is a symptom of ignorance. Both cars are nice, refined, and will give anyone who buys either the "whole package" theyre looking for. Ive driven examples of both and its good to see the bigger carmakers returning to building cars that are more eccentric and enthusiast based. You lose your core supporters you lose your foundation.

Itd be awesome to have one of these zl1s for a weekend, just a 2017 would suffice to be honest, but this one would be a blast..
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Unread 2017-03-06, 09:10 AM   #14
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All new car interiors suck, and I'd say the BMW plastics are no better than the camaro. We looked at a new 2 series and yeah it's an upgrade from a Subaru, but overall the car just feels cheap.
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Unread 2017-03-06, 09:15 AM   #15
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All new car interiors suck, and I'd say the BMW plastics are no better than the camaro. We looked at a new 2 series and yeah it's an upgrade from a Subaru, but overall the car just feels cheap.
Not DaveB's.
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Unread 2017-03-06, 08:53 PM   #16
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Im surprised any of us deplorables were able to recognize his obviously superior recognition of refinement and quality, without him explaining it to us first.
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Unread 2017-03-06, 09:26 PM   #17
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All new car interiors suck, and I'd say the BMW plastics are no better than the camaro. We looked at a new 2 series and yeah it's an upgrade from a Subaru, but overall the car just feels cheap.
Any interior is an upgrade from Subaru. I never thought I'd day this, but the domestic car makers have better interiors than subie. Mercedes is by far my fave interior, with audi/vw coming in second.
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Unread 2017-03-06, 10:00 PM   #18
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Im surprised any of us deplorables were able to recognize his obviously superior recognition of refinement and quality, without him explaining it to us first.
Please point out in this thread where I made any comparison of this wonder Camaro to my M235. I'll be waiting.
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Unread 2017-03-07, 09:32 AM   #19
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Not DaveB's.
I just don't see how the 2 series interior is considered nice. We have a 1 series currently and the build quality is so much better. I still don't think it has a nice interior, but it's better than the new generation.

I totally see the appeal of camaro's and mustangs, are they the nicest cars? No, but they look and drive great and the latest generations have a shit ton of features. Not to mention, how many cars can you buy for less than 40k that sound that good?
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Unread 2017-03-07, 09:35 AM   #20
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Please point out in this thread where I made any comparison of this wonder Camaro to my M235. I'll be waiting.
Quote:
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I would still much rather have and justify those more expensive performance cars than these ultra Camaros. I get these cars are a steal of the money in terms of performance, but when you're spending $50K+ on a car, for most, there's an expectation that's it's going to be higher quality, more refined, etc. There's no hiding the fact that these are just souped up $70K Camaros based on a $25K base chassis. I'm willing to compromise some performance for the whole package rather than a one-trick pony. Sure, you could give some certain supercars a headache, but in the end, you're driving a Camaro.
You don't directly state your car, however, you do state that you'd rather have something else that is a better all-around car.

The interior in this car is about 99.5% of what any similar Bimmer has. And there isn't a bimmer in their current lineup that can outperform this car.
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Unread 2017-03-07, 09:43 AM   #21
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You don't directly state your car, however, you do state that you'd rather have something else that is a better all-around car.

The interior in this car is about 99.5% of what any similar Bimmer has. And there isn't a bimmer in their current lineup that can outperform this car.

No surprise that someone like you doesn't appreciate the true value of that extra .5%.

Dave is accustomed to the finer things in life.

Ultimate driving machine, bro.
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Unread 2017-03-07, 09:49 AM   #22
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No surprise that someone like you doesn't appreciate the true value of that extra .5%.

Dave is accustomed to the finer things in life.

Ultimate driving machine, bro.
Bullshit.

I know luxury. I owned a 2005 cts-v.
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Unread 2017-03-07, 12:41 PM   #23
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You don't directly state your car, however, you do state that you'd rather have something else that is a better all-around car.

The interior in this car is about 99.5% of what any similar Bimmer has. And there isn't a bimmer in their current lineup that can outperform this car.
When I say "refinement" I'm not necessarily talking about interior quality. I'm talking about overall build quality like the feel of the car through the seat and wheel, tactility of the controls, stiffness of the chassis, the robustness of the parts when you look at their engineering design, the interior pieces, the exterior finish in terms of panel gaps, paint, etc. It's way more than just tapping your fingernails on the dashboard to assess refinement.

For my $70K, I want the performance, the quality, and refinement and I'm willing to compromise a little bit on the performance to have a nicer driving car. For my $70K, I'd be looking at slightly used, low low mileage 2014 Carrera 911S's. Those cars will do 11.8s in the low 120s (mag times) which is probably close to where the new ZL1 will be considering the last gen car that was 300lbs heavier and had 70hp less HP did lower 12s@120mph (mag times, not what some dude ran at some strip under negative DA). I could put the wonder tires from the ZL1 on the 911S and likely be within a few tenths of ZL1 lap times.

IMO, something like a 911 is timeless, elegant, and is probably one of the best daily driven track cars you can get for the money. Those are the cars I desire and lust after because they can wear multiple hats. It won't beat you up during daily driving and is surgical on the track. Most importantly, it doesn't have all the tacked American gaudiness because Porsche knows it's a waste of time and money and just looks ricey.

If we're talking strictly new cars for $70K that can compete with the ZL1, well there aren't many. If I had to choose, I'd probably go with an M2, mod the turbo, and tune it or go with a GT350 and mod it a bit.

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Unread 2017-03-07, 12:49 PM   #24
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I just don't see how the 2 series interior is considered nice. We have a 1 series currently and the build quality is so much better. I still don't think it has a nice interior, but it's better than the new generation.

I totally see the appeal of camaro's and mustangs, are they the nicest cars? No, but they look and drive great and the latest generations have a shit ton of features. Not to mention, how many cars can you buy for less than 40k that sound that good?
LOL. The 2 series interior is a step or two above that of the 1 series and is compared to that of the 3 or 4 series which is shares much of it's interior bits and chassis. The refinement, interior quality, etc. in my $47K (what I paid) M235 is not even in the same ball game as that of my wife's $35K (what we paid) 2015 Outback Limited 3.6R. For the extra $12K and barring the performance differences, the difference in quality should be expected and is there. I rent tons of cars for work including the basic stuff like loaded leather equipped Altimas and Impalas to current gen Stangs and Camaro and even stuff like Caddy ATS'. In terms of interior quality, I'd say the M235 is right around where the ATS is. The new gen Camaro is a HUGE leap from the last gen car, but it's a bit cheap in comparison most entry level luxury makes and that shouldn't be any surprise. Lastly, I fully admit that non-luxury makes have been catching up rapidly and luxury makes, especially BMW, have been dropping the ball and are caught up in their own arrogance of the "Ultimate Driving Machine" which only a specific model or two now fit that bill.
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Unread 2017-03-07, 02:27 PM   #25
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When I say "refinement" I'm not necessarily talking about interior quality. I'm talking about overall build quality like the feel of the car through the seat and wheel, tactility of the controls, stiffness of the chassis, the robustness of the parts when you look at their engineering design, the interior pieces, the exterior finish in terms of panel gaps, paint, etc. It's way more than just tapping your fingernails on the dashboard to assess refinement.

For my $70K, I want the performance, the quality, and refinement and I'm willing to compromise a little bit on the performance to have a nicer driving car. For my $70K, I'd be looking at slightly used, low low mileage 2014 Carrera 911S's. Those cars will do 11.8s in the low 120s (mag times) which is probably close to where the new ZL1 will be considering the last gen car that was 300lbs heavier and had 70hp less HP did lower 12s@120mph (mag times, not what some dude ran at some strip under negative DA). I could put the wonder tires from the ZL1 on the 911S and likely be within a few tenths of ZL1 lap times.

IMO, something like a 911 is timeless, elegant, and is probably one of the best daily driven track cars you can get for the money. Those are the cars I desire and lust after because they can wear multiple hats. It won't beat you up during daily driving and is surgical on the track. Most importantly, it doesn't have all the tacked American gaudiness because Porsche knows it's a waste of time and money and just looks ricey.

If we're talking strictly new cars for $70K that can compete with the ZL1, well there aren't many. If I had to choose, I'd probably go with an M2, mod the turbo, and tune it or go with a GT350 and mod it a bit.
Well no shit, I'm talking about new cars. For $70k, I'd buy a goddam 997tt.

And why are bringing mods up when you've already said "you can make a 83 el Camino fast."

You're a dipshit.
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