The Z/28 is Back
Announced in New York
Larry Jewett - March 29, 2013 09:40 AM
Chevrolet made a big announcement at the 2013 New York Auto Fair. The Z/28 Camaro will return in 2014 with plenty of power.
The racing-proven LS7 7.0L V-8 powers the all-new 2014 Camaro Z/28 – the most track-focused production model in the car’s history. It’s matched with a TREMEC TR6060 six-speed manual transmission with unique gearing tailored to the LS7’s performance characteristics for optimal track performance.
The Z/28 engine is adapted from the LS7 used in the C6 Corvette Z06, which was developed in conjunction with Corvette Racing. It is rated at an estimated 500 horsepower and 470 lbs-ft of torque in the new Camaro Z/28, with a maximum engine speed of 7,100 rpm – a broad rpm range that contributes to higher power and allows the driver to hold gears longer between shifts on the track. That helps keep the engine at peak power for quicker lap times.
“The LS7 lives on in the all-new Z/28, extending a performance legacy while delivering great power density in a lightweight package to give this exciting new Camaro a great feeling of control and balance,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for small-block engines. “It introduced exotic materials and racing-influenced solutions that keep it at the forefront of high-performance technology.”
The LS7 is the most powerful naturally aspirated production engine ever from General Motors and, upon its launch in late 2005, was the first GM engine to receive SAE-certified power ratings.
“In the Camaro lineup, it complements a range of great V-8 choices, starting with the 426-horsepower LS3 in the Camaro SS and ending with the supercharged LSA rated at 580 horsepower in the Camaro ZL1,” said Rydzewski. “The LS7’s low mass and high rpm capability make it the perfect choice for the lightweight, track-capable Z/28, exemplifying all the strengths and attributes of the small-block architecture.”
Hand-assembled at GM’s Performance Build Center, in Wixom, Michigan, the LS7 shares the basic Gen IV V-8 architecture as the Camaro SS’s 6.2L LS3 engine, but it uses a unique cylinder block casting with pressed-in steel cylinder liners to accommodate the engine’s larger diameter, 104.8mm cylinder bores – with deck-plate boring and honing for optimized bore geometry. It also uses a dry-sump oiling system to ensure full lubrication during the 1.05-g cornering loads the Z/28 is capable of producing.
Internally, the LS7’s reciprocating components use racing-derived lightweight technology, including titanium connecting rods and intake valves, to boost horsepower and rpm capability – and reduce overall engine mass. The titanium connecting rods provide perhaps the most direct link from the racetrack. They weigh just 464 grams apiece, almost 30 percent less than the rods in the LS3. Besides being lightweight, which enhances high-rpm performance and rpm range, titanium makes the rods extremely durable.
The engine in the original 1967 Z/28 was a 302-cubic-inch (4.9L) small-block rated at 290 horsepower and 290 lbs-ft of torque. It was created by marrying the iron cylinder block of Chevrolet’s 327 V-8, which had 4.00-inch bores, with the crankshaft of the smaller-displacement 283 engine, which delivered a 3.00-inch stroke, creating the 302-cubic-inch displacement that accommodated the engine-size regulation for SCCA’s Trans Am class.
With its aluminum cylinder block and heads, as well as a composite intake manifold – and no heavy carburetor – the LS7 engine in the 2014 Camaro Z/28 weighs approximately 20 percent less and produces nearly 73 percent more horsepower than the 1967 302 engine.