When we think pony car rivalry, the names Camaro and Mustang immediately come to mind. However, the Camaro’s game has been so strong recently, its becoming increasingly common for would-be Corvette owners to do some Bow Tie cross shopping. The last ZL1 was a tower of power and the Z/28 a dedicated, hardcore track missile. With the 2017 ZL1, both are wrapped up into one package. Just how frightened should the new Stingray be? Let’s find out….
The last generation ZL1 made 580 hp, which if we’re honest, is quite a lot for a Camaro. The $55,000 going rate might have sounded steep, until you considered that an identically priced Stingray delivered 125 fewer horsepower. With the 2017 ZL1, things have escalated. Dramatically. The supercharged 6.2L now hammers out 640 horses and an equal torque figure. That’s a solid 185 hp more than the standard ‘Vette.
In case that wasn’t quite enough, you’ll have GM’s insanely good magnetic ride control, a limited-slip diff and 200 fewer pounds to carry around. All wrapped up in a body that looks positively, no questions asked pure evil. No word yet on 0-60 times or other performance figures, but expect them to be every bit as off the leash as the rest of the car.
Which begs the question: is there a point to buying a Corvette over the ZL1? After all, even though pricing has yet to be released, it’s safe to assume it’ll be around $60k. Compared to a base Stingray, we’d have the ZL1 all day long. However, Chevy just finished pulling the covers off the Corvette Grand Sport. A car that retains the Z06’s exceptional suspension package but dials back the overkill power. It’ll run a premium over the ZL1 but only by about $10k or so. At this price point, that’s a virtual dead heat.
Camaro ZL1 vs Mustang GT350 is inevitable and will be a battle of the ages. Think Joe Lewis against Billy Conn. But ZL1 vs Grand Sport? That’s Ali and Frazier.