2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: 580HP and Magnetic Ride Control

The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 RWD muscle car will soon be offered on the North American market sporting a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8 small block engine as well as an adjustable MRC (Magnetic Ride Control) suspension.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

First introduced in 2002 when GM presented its 2002 Cadillac Seville STS mid-size luxury car, the valve-less adaptive suspension system has gradually found its way to a great number of GM’s performance and luxury models, those including the legendary Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac CTS-V and Escalade and even the Australian Holden HSV Commodore.

Capable of adjusting the vehicles’ damping system to changing road conditions 1000 times per second (at a speed of 180 kilometers per hour the system will change its firmness once about every 50 millimeters or less than two inches of travel,) the MRC seems to be one of the most advanced solutions for a sports car manufacturer as well as a driver who wants his baby to grip to the road as firm as possible.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (rear view)

Originally produced by Delphi Corporation and now sold by Beijing West Industries Group of China, MRC uses synthetic fuild with metal particles suspended in it instead of normal oil. When the onboard computer calculates that the stiffness of the system has to be changed, it applies magnetic field to it that aligns the particles into a certain order, thus increasing or decreasing the flow resistance of the fluid and making suspension either stiffer or softer.

Since the concept was first presented, the MRC was adopted by such brands as the German Audi and the Italian Ferrari. Even the new Range Rover Evoque crossover SUV uses the same system. That says something, right?

However, for some unknown reasons General Motors didn’t dare to introduce the same system for their popular Chevrolet Camaro range that, too, shares the Zeta platform with the aforementioned HSV Commodore.

Well, it looks like very soon Camaro’s fans (and prospective buyers) will actually see the first muscle car equipped with this gorgeous system.

According to GM’s official press release, the American brand will soon start selling the new 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sports car.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (side view)

The system will let you choose five different suspension modes depending on the combination of comfort and grip that you seek at the moment.

Besides the MRC, the souped-up version of the retro-styled muscle car will also receive a roaring 6.2-liter LSA V8 supercharged small block engine.

Equipped with a 1.9-liter Roots-style blower with low-restriction air filter, a higher-performance intercooler, and an electric power steering system, which consumes less engine power than hydraulic-steering systems, the new vehicle is said to be the most powerful production Camaro in the whole history of the brand.

Just to give you an impression how powerful the car is, consider that it delivers more raw power than the 2011 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG or the 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Superleggera Coupe! According to Mr. Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, the new car also offers “a better power-to-weight ratio than a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.” Well, isn’t that impressive?

At this time, the official specs say that the engine will be mated to either a six-speed manual Tremec TR-6060 “MG9” transmission that features 30 percent more torque capacity than in the current Camaro SS, or a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission that comes equipped with strengthened input gearset with two additional pinion gears, additional clutch plate, and a strengthened output shaft and gearset.

The transmissions will also offer you three driving modes: “Drive,” (starts from the second gear and is optimized for the best fuel efficiency,) “Sport” (starts from the first gear and offers more aggressive driving,) and “Manual.”

There is still no information on the vehicle’s availability and pricing, but, trust me, the car won’t be cheap.

Photos: GM / Chevrolet
See also: SEMA 2009: 2010 Hennessey HPE700 LS9 Camaro