Chevrolet‘s Camaro ZL1 doesn’t bring anything new to the table for the 2022 model year, and in fact, it remains almost identical to the original redesigned model from 2017, yet it is still one of the most capable track-ready muscle cars currently on sale.
At a starting price of $63.795, the range-topping Camaro ZL1 offers a perfectly balanced combo of power and driving dynamics that grant it supreme poise on the road, and most competitors – even those with heftier price tags, would have a hard time holding their own against it.
The folks over at Chevrolet decided not to fix what isn’t broken, and even though sales figures for the regular Camaro have been dropping steeply for the past couple of years, the ZL1 version is still healthily seen as one of the best options for muscle enthusiasts with a taste for the track. Here’s why the 2022 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is so unique.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s Power Plant Is Insane
You don’t have to stare at the Camaro ZL1’s matte black hood for long to notice a large bulging engine block. That’s the top of a supercharged 6.2-liter engine that’s capable of producing a maximum output of 650 horsepower and, quite satisfyingly, the same exact amount of torque at 650 pound-feet.
Transmission options come in the form of a crispy six-speed manual or a fast 10-speed automatic, both of which send power to the rear axle as the ZL1 blasts from 0-60 mph in around 3.4 seconds.
Additionally, the Camaro’s supercharged V8 doesn’t just push out great performance, it also sounds godly and provides enough kick throughout the entire rev range, making for one of the most enjoyable muscle car rides out there.
The 2022 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Handles Amazingly
Unlike most traditional muscle cars, which are better suited for the drag strip and straight-line speed, the Camaro ZL1 actually feels more at home on the track thanks to Chevrolet’s immaculate chassis tuning.
Steering is already sharp and precise on the base-level Camaro, but the ZL1 package takes handling to a whole new level, aided by adaptive dampers that reconfigure based on the selected driving mode. Grip and balance are also top-notch, allowing the vehicle to handle sharp corners at high speeds seamlessly.
The 1LE Package Makes The Camaro ZL1 A Full-On Beast
For those who might still remain unsatisfied with the Camaro ZL1’s respectable performance, Chevrolet offers an upgraded track-focused 1LE performance package that grants the car even more superpowers. 1LE Camaro’s boast a manually adjustable front suspension and upgraded spool-valve dampers for increased handling, along with wider wheels and mega-grippy tires. The 1LE package also offers exterior upgrades, such as a satin hood and other unique design elements.
It should also be noted that the 1LE upgrade does produce a significant impact on the driving comfort of the Camaro, making it far less tolerable for everyday use due to greatly stiffer suspension. Opting for this package is only a good idea for those that plan to take their Camaro to their track on a regular basis, where its heightened prowess is truly notable.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Looks Mean
From the outside, the ZL1 package does a fine job making the Camaro look like a fear-inducing track-ready monster. Ahead of its bulging hood, you’ll find sleek headlights above a massive blacked-out grill, with large air intakes and canards to the side, finished off by a lengthy front splitter. The side-view is by far the tamest, featuring 19-inch blacked-out aluminum rims along with black mirror caps and side skirts. Finally, there’s the gigantic triple-spoked wing in the rear, mounted above a dual taillight setup and a quadruple exhaust outlet.
Inside, the ZL1 Camaro presents a modern cabin, albeit with relatively cheap materials that should be expected of a vehicle at its price point. There’s an easy-to-use infotainment touchscreen in the center as well as a digital driver’s display in between the gauges, and the overall layout is comfortable and easy to figure out. Standard options come in the form of adjustable and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and also a heated steering wheel. Outward visibility is definitely a drawback, hindered by thick A-pillars and small windows, and storage space is severely limited inside the cabin, those are our only complaints about the Camaro’s overall decent interior layout.
Overall, the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is still one of the best trackable muscle cars available, and it stands alone on the podium in terms of performance per dollar, bringing a truckload of top-notch hardware to the masses at a dangerously tempting price.