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2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28: Designed for Downforce

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When it comes to keeping its tail on the track, the 2014 Camaro Z/28 manages airflow like few other production vehicles, generating downforce like a race car to press the tires against the track for high-speed stability and greater cornering capability.

Numerous modifications were made to the exterior, compared to the Camaro SS, with new and revised content developed to improve aerodynamics, powertrain cooling and brake-system cooling. They help the Z/28 produce 440 pounds more downforce at 150 mph, relative to the SS, which generates slight lift at that speed.2014-chevrolet-camaro-z-28-photo-510008-s-1280x782

In fact, the aerodynamically optimized design helped the Camaro Z/28 log a lap on Germany’s legendary Nürburgring road course that was four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1’s, and beat published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.

“Most production cars are designed with some lift at speed in order to slip through the air for greater fuel economy, but the all-new Camaro Z/28’s track-oriented purpose dictated an entirely different take on airflow management,” said Tom Froling, lead development engineer – aerodynamics. “Its carefully tailored aerodynamics package generates downforce for greater handling stability at speed, and the grilles are optimized to meet stringent cooling flow and brake-cooling requirements.”

The new Camaro Z/28 is the fastest factory-produced Camaro ever on a track, with improved speed coming from three areas:

  • Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of 1.08 g in cornering acceleration, due to comprehensive chassis revisions
  • Increased stopping power: The Z/28 features Brembo carbon ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration, and consistent brake feel, lap after lap
  • Reduced curb weight: The naturally aspirated Z/28 weighs 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1, with changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass.

“It’s a track-proven, uncompromising collection of hardware that generates the Z/28’s power and channels it to the ground, but it’s the way the Z/28 manages airflow that truly helps it stick to the track to make it fast and stable at speed,” said Froling. “None of the car’s unique exterior elements is without a performance-enhancing purpose. In fact, it shares several racing-inspired aero features from various Camaro and Corvette race cars.”

Computational fluid dynamics, reduced-scale rolling wind-tunnel testing, full-scale clay models and full-size prototypes were tested in several wind tunnels, including General Motors’ wind tunnel in Warren, Mich., resulting in five primary contributors to the Z/28’s aero supremacy:

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  1. Front splitter
  2. Rear spoiler with ‘wickerbill’
  3. Hood extractor vent
  4. Rockers, wheel house extensions and front tire deflectors
  5. Belly pan

Additionally, the Z/28’s unique front fascia plays an important role in airflow management. It is based on the Camaro SS, but the fog lamps, air dam and the upper-base grille are replaced with covers for deleted fog lamps (to reduce weight), an air duct support bracket, an airflow-optimized upper grille for enhanced cooling and a modified fascia lower inlet that incorporates provisions for the brake cooling ducts. They funnel air from the splitter/lower grille through the ducts to the brake rotors and calipers.

The 2014 Camaro Z/28 arrives in dealerships next spring, ready for the 2014 racing season.

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This entry was posted on November 26, 2013 by in Chevrolet and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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