The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 made a surprise appearance at today’s New York auto show, marking a triumphant return for the iconic performance nameplate.
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Dubbed “the most track-capable Camaro ever”, the new Z/28 teams the design enhancements of the updated 2014 Chevrolet Camaro (also unveiled in New York today) with a host of modifications designed to make it as quick as possible around a racetrack while still street-legal.

The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28’s 7.0-litre LS7 V8 has been adapted from the engine used in the C6 Corvette Z06 to produce an estimated 373kW of power and 637Nm of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential, the latter working to maximise traction by balancing torque distribution between the two driven wheels.

Weight saving was a major focus of the Z/28’s development, with Chevrolet’s engineering team shaving 136kg from the car over the Chevy Camaro ZL1. Gone are the tyre inflation kit, boot carpets, sound deadening materials, HID headlights and fog lights, and the air-conditioning system, while the battery has been downsized and thinner rear window glass employed. Chevrolet also sought to remove all the speakers, but was required to keep one for the seatbelt reminder chime to meet safety requirements.

Aerodynamic enhancements also play a significant role in making the Z/28 a track-focused beast. A larger front splitter, smooth underbody panels, unique wheel arches and side skirts, an aggressive rear spoiler and rear diffuser all combine to produce extra downforce, reduce lift and increase high-speed stability.

Other bespoke mechanical upgrades include spool-valve dampers with four-way adjustment, 394mm front and 390mm rear Brembo carbon ceramic brake discs, and downsized 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in 305/30ZR19 Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres, which Chevy believes are the widest front tyres of any production car.

Chevrolet says the bespoke tune of the Z/28 makes it three seconds faster per lap around its test circuit than the more powerful ZL1.

The Camaro Z/28 badge was first introduced in 1967 on a car designed to tackle the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am 2 class.

The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 will hit US dealerships in about 12 months’ time following the launch of the updated 2014 Camaro line-up later this year.