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2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s real world performance tested

By Andy Enright, 07 Jun 2019 News

2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s real world performance tested

Don’t try to take on AWD superhatches at the lights in HSV’s $160k supercharged Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a magnificent thing. Rear-wheel drive, supercharged V8 and 477kW/881Nm of the good stuff is a recipe we find hard to resist.

What’s more, HSV has done a fantastic job in converting the car from left- to right-hand drive. The thing is, in the real world it might not be as accessible as you’d perhaps hope.

As we illustrated in our first drive feature, Australian-market Camaro ZL1s lose their super-grippy Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres for less sticky, more road-focused Continental Conti Sport Contact 5 rubber.

Put that down to ADR requirements, but it means that all that supercharged stonk makes it very hard to get away cleanly.

We put racing ace Karl Reindler into a launch control-equipped automatic ZL1 on an empty racetrack to see if he could emulate the claimed 3.5 second 0-100km/h time.

Caveats? It was Sandown, which isn’t hugely grippy, the weather was distinctly chilly and while it had been drizzling earlier, the track had subsequently dried out.

Camaro real world performance test

After a number of runs, the very best figure the VBOX churned out was a disappointing 4.93 seconds to 100km/h.

In more amenable conditions, on a drag strip and with the optional Goodyear Eagle F1 refitted, the ZL1 will go a lot quicker.

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But on the road, in a typical customer car, that’s as quick as it’ll likely be. In other words, don’t get too confident if you pull up alongside a Mercedes-AMG A45, a Ford Focus RS or an Audi RS3 at the lights.