Chevrolet has announced the Camaro ZL1 as the new race car for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The Camaro ZL1 will make its competition debut next February during Daytona Speedweeks, which begins the 2018 NASCAR season. It will join the Camaro SS, which has been Chevrolet’s entry in the NASCAR series since 2013.
“Chevrolet, Camaro, and ZL1 are all synonymous with winning, both on and off the track,” says Mark Reuss, executive vice president of GM global product development. “We are thrilled to run Camaro in NASCAR next year, with the time-honored and track-tested ZL1 badge, and we’re just as excited for our drivers, teams, fans, and customers.”
The 2018 Camaro ZL1 is powered by a 650-horsepower supercharged engine featuring a similar 90-degree V-8 configuration as the cup racing engines. To optimize aerodynamic performance and maintain the ZL1’s design character, Chevrolet engineers used computational fluid dynamics analysis and reduced-scale and full-scale wind tunnel testing.
“The new Camaro ZL1 is a great looking race car with a lot of heritage behind it, which will make it a big hit with fans,” says Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion and driver of #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. “And as someone who’s enjoyed the ZL1 on the street, I’m really looking forward to getting this new race car on the track.”
The name for the Camaro ZL1 was originally given to the 1960s Chevrolet-developed all-aluminum racing engine that was used in road racing. In 1969, dealers used Chevrolet’s special order system to get the ZL1 engine installed in 69 regular production Camaros. Chevrolet reintroduced the ZL1 more than 40 years later as the ultimate performance Camaro, developed to offer track-capable performance.
The new Camaro ZL1 race car follows the Chevrolet SS, which won 70 cup series races and contributed to Chevrolet earning a record 39 NASCAR manufacturer titles, including 13 consecutive titles from 2003-2015. Chevrolet drivers have also set a record with 30 cup championships.