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2017 Camaro ZL1 To Start At $62k – $1k Less Than Shelby GT350R

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Update: A previous version of this article quoted a 640-horsepower peak output for the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The most recent figure available is, in fact, 650 horsepower; the article has been changed to reflect this.

The Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang represents the absolute high watermark of what the Blue Oval’s 52-year-old pony car is capable of today. Its flat-plane-crank, 5.2-liter Voodoo V8 – a powerplant shared with its GT350 sibling – produces 526 horsepower without any sort of forced induction, and when paired with a set of magnetorheological dampers, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and lightweight carbon-fiber wheels, the results are spectacular.

Alas, Chevrolet has the Shelby GT350R Mustang in its sights with one of its forthcoming, high-performance Camaro variants: the ZL1.

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Pricing was announced today for the 2017 Camaro ZL1, and the new, supercharged GM pony car will undercut the price of the Shelby GT350R – only just. According to our sister site GM Authority, the ZL1 will be offered with a base suggested retail price of $62,135 (the convertible, at $69,135, will cost substantially more than Ford’s superpony). With that, you get the supercharged, 650-horsepower LT4 V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, an updated Magnetic Ride suspension system, an electronic limited-slip differential, and more.

The Ford Authority Take

Historically, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has always been more about straight-line speed than on-track performance, per se; the forthcoming Camaro variant might end up appealing to a somewhat different subset of buyers than those interested in the track-focused Shelby GT350R Mustang. Regardless, with an astonishing 650 horsepower on tap, the ZL1 could conceivably cut into the Shelby’s sales to an extent.

We’ll be hoping for the best.

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Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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2 Comments

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  1. A few notes for your article:
    1. The ZL1 is not a direct competitor to the GT350R, although they both sit atop their respective companies pony car thrones, because of the track-specific nature of the 350R.
    2. The GT350 ,at best, is a comparison, but in no way a rival to the ZL1.
    3. Official horsepower was released with official pricing so 640 should read 650.
    4. The forthcoming variant builds on the success and the purpose of the previous model. While you may be correct in saying that there is a different subset of buyers for the ZL1 as opposed to the GT350R, it’s not because of the track performance. The ZL1 is designed to perform superbly on the street, strip, and track. It will more than likely outperform the GT350R in all categories. Where they differ is their value to the PURISTS. A high-revving, naturally aspirated. manual V8 on a track will always find itself on home turf next to the visiting supercharged,10-Spd Auto with an e-lsd. If Chevy offers a Z/28 variant in the upcoming years, then we will truly have a spectacle of TRACK cars to compare.

  2. Joshua,
    Good catch with regard to the ZL1’s quoted peak power output. That figure of 640 HP was based on older reports.

    I didn’t mean to imply with my comments that the ZL1 won’t go around a corner, nor even that it won’t post faster lap times than the GT350R. Personally, I feel that the Shelby GT500 is really the closest thing to a direct competitor in the Ford stable, but of course, there hasn’t been one of those in several years.

    It will be a wonderful day indeed if (when?) a new Z/28 is launched. =)

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