ANOTHER nail has been hammered into the V8-powered Commodore’s coffin.
Teams which ran Chevrolet sponsored cars in the premier Cup Series will now run a shell based off the 2017 Camaro ZL1.
In road-going trim, the ZL1 has a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 sending 484kW and 881Nm to the rear wheels, and will sprint to 60mph (97km/h) in 3.5-seconds.
The NASCAR Cup Series car will have a 5.86-litre (358ci) fuel-injected naturally-aspirated pushrod V8 that’s paired to a 4-speed manual transmission. Power is officially stated at 541kW, but is rumoured to be closer to 671kW. The body is a sheet-metal template over a space-frame chassis.
If you are searching for anything from the road car in the race car, you’ll be looking for a while – even the headlights are painted on.
The announcement brings an end to four years of the Chevy SS racing in the most popular motorsport in the world.
The SS won on its debut at the 2013 Dayton 500 with Jimmie Johnson at the wheel. Johnson later went on to win two championships with the rebadged Commodore (‘13/’16). Kevin Harvick won his first championship with an SS in 2014.
The ZL1 body in the Cup Series completes the Camaro’s family tree in NASCAR, with the regular SS Camaro being raced in the second-tier series.
“Chevrolet, Camaro, and ZL1 are all synonymous with winning, both on and off the track,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of GM Global Product Development.
“We are thrilled to run the Camaro in NASCAR next year, with the time-honoured and track-tested ZL1 badge, and we’re just as excited for our drivers, teams, fans, and customers.”
The new Camaro ZL1 will make its competitive NASCAR Cup Series debut at Daytona next February.
“The new Camaro ZL1 is a great-looking race car with a lot of heritage behind it, which will make it a big hit with fans,” said seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.
“And as someone who’s enjoyed the ZL1 on the street, I’m really looking forward to getting this new race car on the track.”