Just shy of a week after the big reveal of the Camaro ZL1 1LE we have another surprise on our hands. By the look of it, this could just be a refreshed version of the current generation, but we believe it just could be the much-anticipated Z/28.
Now for the pessimists out there that do not believe this, and wonder on what do we base our presumption, well let me tell you. One key reason is the sheer fact that it is just too early for the mid-cycle refresh. If you recall the Camaro just received a full redesign from the ground up nearly a year ago, so the all-new model isn’t going to be here for another few years. The second fact is that the test vehicle you see here wears just a bit too much camo for a styling update, don’t you think?
If you put your eyes to work real hard, maybe you could see that there are some details on these pictures which indicate that the Chevy is trying to hide some performance parts. Up front, there is a front bumper with a very prominent splitter, and the hood has a flap in it that could be either hiding a window or maybe an extractor vent. Either way, this sort of improved aero abilities are (and so far have been) a natural addition to the track-focused Z/28 model.
One more thing backs this all up, and that is the fact that at the ZL1 1LE launch event Al Oppenheiser, Camaro engineer confirmed that Chevy hadn’t ruled out the possibility of the Z/28 model. Now, if the skeptics have had a good glance at the photos they might argue that the absence of the ZL1 1LE-like rear wing is very strange, but we can tell you that it is probably true and that there is a huge possibility that the prototype is testing the powertrain instead of aerodynamics.
Oppenheiser, at that 1LE reveal, also emphasized the fact that the last Chevy Z/28 had one key and distinct characteristic and that was its naturally aspirated engine. That makes us believe that the next model might hold on to the naturally aspirated V8 powerplant, which very well might be the GM’s double-overhead-cam V8 named LT5 which is still in the works, by the way.
Just like the push-rod V8, this one could have a 6.2-liter displacement, but it would definitely produce more than the current LT1’s 455 HP. We managed to come across a Car and Driver post that implies that the next Z/28 could bring the DOHC power with a displacement of 5.5 L, a flat-plane crankshaft, and aluminum construction.
No matter which engine ends up in the next Z/28, we will not have the opportunity to drive it for another year or two, especially if they go with the DOHC one. Why? Well as it always been, this will firstly end up in the Corvette, the ZR1 model most likely. After that, it will be tried and tested in the next Camaro and last but not the least the Z/28 will have a go at it. But it is OK, we are patient, especially when something like the Camaro Z/28 is in question.