2014 CHEVROLET CAMARO Z28 – THEY GOT IT RIGHT!
Of course, the Z28 monicker has a long, rich history. Chevrolet made first use of the name (all “Z”s in Chevy parlance refer to the father of Chevy performance, Zora Arkus-Duntov) in 1967. At the time, they had the Camaro SS at the top of the horsepower heap with its 375-horse 396 big block. But when they wanted to go racing in the Trans Am Series, they ditched the heavy big block for a 290-horse 302 small block. It was exactly the right thing to do and the Camaro Z28 became the stuff of racing legend. Fast forward to 2014. Chevrolet did it again. The top horsepower Camaro was the ZL1 with its supercharged 6.2 making a ridiculous 580 horsepower. Great for drag racing, but a bit of a handful on a twisty track. So, Chevrolet dropped in a naturally-aspirated 7.0-liter small block, the LS7 capable of 505 horsepower. Then they worked on chassis balance and in the end, turned the 2014 Camaro Z28 into one of the best track cars in the world, bar none!
2014 CHEVROLET CAMARO Z28 ENGINE
The LS7 was originally designed for and introduced in the Corvette Z06, and is essentially an LS-series small block that has been bored and stroked out to a big block-sized 7.0 liters (that’s 427 cubic inches!). Not easily accomplished, and a special block was designed for the job. The bore centers are the same as they were when the small block started out at 265 cubes, ‘way back in 1955, so they pressed in thin-wall steel cylinder liners to give them the space they needed, along with the added strength. Then they stuffed this very special aluminum block with all manner of state-of-the-art go-fast magic. The big forged steel crank (with 101.6″ stroke) rested in forged steel main bearing caps. Titanium connecting rods were selected for their light weight and high strength. Forged aluminum pistons gave it an 11.0:1 compression ratio, fed by a high-lift cam and CNC-ported racing heads. Intake valves were made of titanium and the exhaust valves were sodium-filled. Free-breathing intake and tri-Y headers, along with added cooling and lubrication completed the package. It was fast, quick, torquey, rev-happy, extremely drivable on the street, and totally reliable, all at the same time. What wonderful times we live in!