Lately, Camaro-related news has been full of doom and gloom where sales are concerned. Chevrolet’s muscle car isn’t selling well compared to its competitors, even with used prices on the rise. And rumors claim the Camaro may be replaced with an electric sedan that could even be badged as a Cadillac. However, another Cadillac may end up helping the Camaro, specifically the Camaro ZL1. And that Cadillac is the new CT5-V Blackwing.
A Z/28 isn’t happening, but the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a go for 2023
Although aftermarket tuners like Hennessey are still enjoying the Camaro, as mentioned above, it’s in a sales slump. It’s gotten to the point that Chevrolet has started removing trims, such as the non-V8 1LE models. And while a Camaro Z/28 was in the works—with a flat-plane-crank V8—it’s officially been canceled.
However, Chevrolet hasn’t canceled the other high-performance Camaro trim, the ZL1. Unlike the naturally-aspirated Z/28, the Camaro ZL1 has a supercharged V8. And in track-focused ZL1 1LE form, it’s arguably the best-handling muscle car you can buy today. Plus, although some brake-pad-pollution-related issues temporarily stopped sales in several states, both ZL1s are still roaring along today.
And it appears that Chevrolet will keep offering the Camaro ZL1 models until the current-gen muscle car bows out. Recently, some photos surfaced on Instagram that showed what appeared to be a camouflaged Camaro near the Nürburgring, MotorTrend reports. That Camaro is likely a ZL1 or ZL1 1LE, MT says.
But why the camouflage? It might have something to do with the other news MT recently received.
The 2023 Camaro ZL1 could get some go-faster parts from the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
According to a confidential General Motors source, the 2023 Camaro ZL1 is getting a few upgrades courtesy of the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. Or rather, “Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing-inspired goodies,” MotorTrend says.
Officially, GM hasn’t confirmed anything about the source’s alleged information, Autoblog notes. However, Autoblog also says that giving the ZL1 and ZL1 1LE some Blackwing parts “makes logical sense.”
Not only are these models their respective base cars’ highest-performing trims, but they also ride on the same platform. Like the last-gen CTS-V, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro are built on the Alpha platform. Plus, both the CT5-V Blackwing and the Camaro ZL1 feature LT4 supercharged 6.2-liter V8s and magnetorheological ‘MagneRide’ dampers. Though it’s worth noting the Blackwing’s versions of both are upgraded compared to what the ZL1 offers.
However, if the GM source’s information is accurate, those same upgrades could be coming to the 2023 Camaro ZL1. So, instead of 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, the 2023 ZL1’s V8 could make up to 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque. And rather than using third-gen MagneRide dampers, the muscle car would use the fourth-gen versions. Plus, unlike the current ZL1 and ZL1 1LE, the 2023 model could get optional Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.
When will it be available?
Seeing as GM hasn’t officially confirmed these 2023 Camaro ZL1 rumors, it’s difficult to tell when the hypothetical car will hit dealers. It’s also hard to gauge how much a ZL1 with CT5-V Blackwing parts could cost. For comparison, the 2022 ZL1 starts at $61,495 before taxes and additional fees.
But while it won’t be the same as a new Z/28, giving the ZL1 a Blackwing touch makes some thematic sense. After all, the current-gen Camaro is on its way out, the same as Cadillac’s non-electric performance cars. So, this could be a way to let the Camaro fly high and fast one last time.
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