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Chevrolet adds a new trim level to the Camaro for 2015. The track ready Z28 trim transforms the Camaro from a powerful muscle car into a true sports car. Numerous modifications have been made to the Camaro chassis ensuring that the Z28 handles and stops as well as it goes. A new high performance naturally aspirated engine from the old Corvette Z06 powers the Z28 and being a focused performance machine, the only transmission available is a 6-speed manual. The Z28 trim slots in above the more powerful, but less focused ZL1 at the top of the Camaro hierarchy.
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro comes in a wide range of models designed to cover uses ranging from stylish open-air cruising to track-ready high-performance driving. The 2015 Camaro is available in Coupe or soft-top Convertible models. Camaro Coupes can be had at any trim level while Convertibles are only offered in LT and up trims. This year there are four available engines in the lineup: a 323-hp 3.6L V6, a 426-hp 6.2L V8, a 505-hp 7.0L V8 and a monster 580-hp 6.2L supercharged V8. All engines can be had mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, while the V6 and both 6.2L V8s can be had with a 6-speed automatic.
V6-powered Camaro models reach 60 mph in around 6 seconds while SS models take around 4.5 seconds. Fuel economy ratings are actually quite impressive for the Camaro, considering its performance potential, with V6 models estimated at 19 mpg city, 30 highway and SS models achieving 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway.
There are several different suspension packages available in the Camaro. LS and LT models get the FE2 calibration; SS Coupe models come with a high-performance FE4 suspension. A 1LE package, which includes the most aggressive suspension setup, is optional on SS Camaros fitted with a manual transmission. The Camaro's rack-and-pinion steering system provides quick response for tight corners but is relaxed enough for highway cruising.
SS models get a competitive/sport mode for the stability control system, allowing more wheel slip for the track; also included with the SS in manual-gearbox versions is a Performance Launch Control system that helps launch the car from a start in the quickest possible way. SS Coupes, in addition to getting the FE4 high-performance suspension, get retuned dampers, bigger stabilizer bars and 20-inch wheels and performance tires. Huge 21-inch wheels are offered as a dealer-installed accessory.
The ZL1 Camaro launched in 2012 and is the most powerful Camaro sold. Costing roughly $20,000 more than a Camaro SS, the ZL1 is a serious performance car. For the money, it comes with an extra 154-hp over a Camaro SS from its 6.2L supercharged V8 good for 580 horses. The ZL1 doesn't stop at a massive engine though; the cockpit is loaded with luxury features and comes standard with heated leather seating surfaces. The suspension has also been beefed up to deal with the extra horsepower and many of the body panels have been modified to give the car a much meaner look on the street.
New for 2015 is the Camaro Z28. Weighing 300lbs less than the ZL1, the Z28 features ultra-sticky tires, aggressive, track-optimized suspension, a 7.0L 505-hp V8 engine and numerous external bits aimed at maximizing downforce. Despite making less horsepower than the ZL1, the Z28 actually has the biggest engine available in a Camaro and should be faster around most race tracks than the ZL1 as well, thanks to its superior handling.
Power accessories, cruise control, a tilt/telescopically adjustable steering wheel, rear-window defrost, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and a good 6-speaker sound system with steering-wheel controls are all standard. LT models upgrade to painted aluminum 18-inch wheels, fog lamps and sport bucket seats, while SS models get the V8, upgraded suspension and Brembo high-performance brakes.
All Camaro models get the suite of OnStar roadside assistance and crash-safety notification system, including six months of the Directions and Connections services, with Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Stolen Vehicle Assistance. A host of appearance extras are available, but of interest to those who intend to use their Camaro as a daily driver is the Rear Vision Package, which also brings a rearview camera system and auto-dimming rearview mirror.