Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 replaces SS as NASCAR racer


When speaking to Automotive News, General Motors vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss, acknowledged that comparable Mustangs and Challengers generally carry a lower base price than the Chevy, and the Camaro's large price jump to upgrade to the V8 engine.

"At the end of the day, because of the quest for very close competition and the need to have templated bodies in that series, we felt that by forcing the Camaro into the Nationwide templates that we were compromising the body lines of an iconic vehicle".

Chevy will field Camaro ZL1 race cars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starting in 2018, meaning the pony vehicle will be the only stock racer the American automaker fields across all series.

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With the next season of NASCAR comes the arrival of its NASCAR Camaro ZL1. The Camaro ZL1 will replace the current SS model that has been used since NASCAR Cup cars moved to the Gen-6 design specification in 2013. The ZL1 will join the Camaro SS, which has been Chevrolet's entry in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2013.

"I think we've got opportunities at the very low end of the Camaro range and some remix of some of the V8 options on it so we don't force people to buy all the options with a V8, just to get a V8", Reuss said. Those COPO F-body Camaros became legends on the street and drag strip and today are sought-after by collectors.

More than 40 years later, Chevrolet reintroduced the ZL1 as the ultimate performance Camaro, developed to offer track-capable performance straight off the showroom floor. The 2018 Camaro ZL1 is powered by a 650-horsepower supercharged engine featuring a similar 90-degree V-8 configuration as the Cup racing engines. Various teams that run with Chevrolet in the Cup series were also in attendance, including representatives from Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing, JTG Daugherty Racing, Germain Racing, and Leavine Family Racing. In the time span, the Chevy SS has been to victory lane 70 times. Hendrick purchased VIN 001 at a Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction for $250,000, with all proceeds benefiting the United Way.