The 2022 Chevy Camaro ZL1 isn’t the most powerful muscle car, but when it comes to driver involvement and value for the performance, it’s unbeatable. The bow-tie boys stuff a 650-hp supercharged V-8 between the ZL1’s fenders and offer a satisfying manual transmission or a snappy 10-speed automatic. Sure, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 packs a 760-hp V-8 and its own incredible track capabilities, but it doesn’t offer a stick-shift or a convertible body style. Plus, unlocking the Shelby’s full potential costs considerably more than the Camaro’s transformative 1LE package. While a ZL1 1LE has the hardware and tuning to slay some six-figure cars around a racetrack, its ride will be too harsh for anyone who isn’t a glutton for punishment. And, as with every Camaro, the ZL1’s outward visibility is compromised and the interior materials are unimpressive. Still, the 2022 Camaro ZL1 makes its driver feel like a king and lords over its fiercest rivals.
What’s New for 2022?
For 2022, Chevy doesn’t make any notable alterations to the Camaro ZL1. The nameplate’s mightiest model still features a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, an automatic or manual transmission, and can be had in coupe or convertible body styles.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While the coupe with the standard manual transmission is our ZL1 of choice, the optional $7500 1LE Extreme Track Performance package is transformative and tempting. Still, it makes the ZL1 hard to live with as every-day vehicle because the upgraded suspension is very stiff. Instead, we’d stick with the standard ZL1 and add the performance data and video recorder for capturing the days we’re brave enough to bring this 650-hp hellion to the racetrack.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Camaro’s supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 is a well-behaved and tractable beast that makes power all over the rev range and leaves black streaks all over the road. As you’d expect, when stirred up, it leaves the sound of thunder echoing in its wake. Whether paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission or the available 10-speed automatic, the supercharged small-block V-8 lays down stupidly incredible performance figures. The fast-shifting automatic results in quicker acceleration times than the stick, but either way, this Chevy is a demon at the drag strip. Already a satisfying handler with quick and communicative steering, a balanced rear-drive chassis, and a surprisingly supple ride, the Camaro is elevated to new heights by the ZL1 gear. Its adaptive dampers change their stiffness based on the selected drive mode, but even the hardcore modes don’t ruin the car’s decent, if firm, ride. Want more? Grab the 1LE track package—available only on the coupe—which vaults the ZL1 into near-supercar territory. Its wider and stickier tires, manually adjustable front suspension, and exclusive spool-valve dampers help chew up racetracks and spit out happy drivers. The ZL1 stops from 70 mph in 143 feet, and the ZL1’s brake pedal operates with a firmness befitting a performance car.
Marc UrbanoCar and Driver
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The words “Camaro ZL1” and “fuel efficient” shouldn’t be used together in a sentence unless the phrase “is not” separates them. With the automatic transmission, it’s rated at 13 mpg city and 21 highway. With the manual, those numbers change to 14 and 20, respectively. Surprisingly, the Camaro beats the Shelby GT500 in fuel efficiency, as the latter manages 12 mpg city and 18 highway. The manual-equipped ZL1 1LE we ran on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, returned a measly 17 mpg. For more information about the Camaro’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Turns out 650 horsepower and a ZL1 badge do nothing to erase the current-generation Camaro’s woeful outward visibility. It suffers the same thick roof pillars and high windowsills as other Camaros. Still, every ZL1 is well equipped out of the box and offers few options. Standard equipment includes power-adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control. When it comes to the ZL1, performance and style take precedence over less sexy matters such as cupholder counts and cargo space. There is very little interior stash space for small items, an almost tacit admission on Chevrolet’s part that the Camaro comfortably seats only two human beings. Behind the useless rear seats is a nearly as useless shallow trunk with an oddly shaped opening.
Michael SimariCar and Driver
Infotainment and Connectivity
Chevrolet’s touchscreen infotainment system is among the industry’s easier-to-use units, with clear menus, large on-screen buttons, and popular features. It includes a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The ZL1 offers as standard nearly everything available on normal Camaros, including a Bose audio system, wireless phone charging, and a head-up display.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The killer Chevy does offer a handful of driver-assistance technology. However, if you select either the convertible body style or the optional performance data recorder on the coupe, you’ll have to make do without forward-collision alert. For more information about the Camaro’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Standard forward-collision warning (coupe only)
- Standard rear parking sensors
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The ZL1’s coverage is fairly typical for the industry, but Chevrolet offers buyers a complimentary scheduled maintenance visit within the first year of ownership.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
PRICE AS TESTED
$75,985 (base price: $72,195)
supercharged and intercooled pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
376 cu in, 6162 cc
650 hp @ 6400 rpm
650 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.4-in vented disc/14.4-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar 3R, F: 305/30R-19 (98Y) TPC, R: 325/30R-19 (101Y) TPC
Wheelbase: 110.7 in
Length: 188.3 in
Width: 74.7 in
Height: 52.0 in
Passenger volume: 83 cu ft
Trunk volume: 9 cu ft
Curb weight: 3886 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 3.4 sec
100 mph: 7.4 sec
150 mph: 19.2 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 3.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 1.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.1 sec
¼-mile: 11.5 sec @ 124 mph
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 190 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 137 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 268 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.17 g
Observed: 14 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 16/13/21 mpg
More Features and Specs