Camaro ZL1 in the wind tunnel [video]
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is built with one and only purpose – speed. The car is engineered to be fast on straight line as well as in the corners, too. Despite the opinion that the American cars can't turn, Camaro ZL1 goes round the Nurburgring faster than most Porsches and BMWs. The key is not only the magnificent engine, but the aerodynamics, too.
"The Camaro ZL1 lapped the Nürburgring in an incredible 7:41.27 seconds, which would not have been possible without work of our aerodynamics team," commented Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer.
"The design of the ZL1 creates downforce like a race car, harnessing air pressure to press the tires against the track for extra grip and control at high speeds.", he added.
All exterior elements are carefully tested for maximum downforce. There are unique front fascia, hood, front splitter, front tire deflectors, belly pans, rocker panels and rear spoiler. And now the numbers – ZL1 generates 65 pounds of downforce at an equivalent 150 mph (241 km/h) - compared to 200 pounds of lift in a Camaro SS - which was offset by an increase of only 40 counts of additional aerodynamic drag.
Camaro ZL1 is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine with 588PS (432 kW) and 754Nm (556 lb-ft) of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearbox is available as an option.
Check out the seven elements contribute to the downforce of the ZL1, below!
Seven elements contribute to the downforce of the ZL1:
1. Front fascia - The front fascia channels air for engine and brake cooling. The lower opening is larger than in a Camaro SS, providing greater airflow to the engine's intercooler heat exchanger. Even the grille "fins" were shaped for optimal airflow. The corners of the front fascia, too, were reshaped to minimize lift, while the brake-cooling ducts in the outer corners of the lower grille opening provide a direct, high-flow path to the brake rotors. Cooling the brakes helps extend their life, particularly n the race track.
2. Hood - The ZL1's hood has a vented, carbon fiber insert, contributing to both engine cooling and aerodynamic downforce. With traditional sealed hoods, air trapped in the engine bay creates lift at the front axle. With the ZL1, the specially shaped vents draw air up through the engine bay - allowing a significant volume of air flow while keeping the front tires firmly connected to the pavement.
3. Front splitter - Instead of a traditional front air dam, the ZL1 incorporates a racing-style splitter to help create downforce. Unlike some competitors' vehicles that come with an add-on splitter, the ZL1's does not have to be installed at the track - it is installed at the factory, and is designed with enough ground clearance for all driving conditions.
4. Front tire deflectors - The deflectors push airflow around the rotating wheels and tires more efficiently, reducing lift and drag. And by using deflectors in place of a traditional air dam, the downforce is less sensitive to pitch changes, making the ZL1 feel more stable at high speeds.
5. Belly pans - The ZL1 has two of them: one beneath the engine cradle and one at the rear of the engine assembly, just in front of the transmission. Both extend the width of the chassis out to the wheelhouse opening, to minimize airflow turbulence under the car. NACA-style ducts are incorporated into the rear belly pan for transmission cooling.
6. Rocker panels - Although subtle in appearance, the carefully shaped rocker panels help reduce lift and drag, while also contributing to stability during high cross winds. They also provide stone protection with the ZL1's wider tires.
7. Rear spoiler - One of the most dramatic aero enhancements comes with the ZL1's rear spoiler, which contributes approximately 150 pounds of down force at the cost of only 1 count of drag. It is taller and wider than the Camaro SS spoiler and incorporates the center high-mounted stop lamp.
Source: Worldcarfans via Youtube