The ZL1’s complete rear axle system, including 9.9 inch differential with HD limited slip in a cast-iron housing, stronger driveshaft, and stronger asymmetrical half-shafts.
Track Pack – PN 23123398 (V6) 23123397 (SS)
27mm solid front stabilizer bar/28mm solid rear, retuned front struts, monotube rear shocks, stiffer toe links.
Strut Tower Brace – PN 22756880
PCV Valve – PN 12653073
Ensures oil separation and drain-back during high load cornering.
Brake Kit for Camaro V6 – PN 23120542
Front and rear rotors and calipers plus master cylinder and installation hardware to upgrade to SS spec brakes.
If you were going to build yourself the ultimate 5th Gen Camaro, what would it look like? Would you just go into your local dealer and plunk down an order for the supercharged ZL1? Would you be waiting for next year’s release of the track-missile Z/28? Or are your aspirations a bit more practical, and instead, you long for an SS with the 1LE package? Perhaps you’re even drawn to the economy and relative affordability of the V6 RS?
While for many Chevy enthusiasts, one of the off-the-shelf variations on the Camaro will be a pretty good fit for your particular budget, interests, and hunger for performance, what if you could mix-and-match instead, selecting the particular components that made the most sense for you and combining them into one car?
Back in the day, that was commonplace – ordering up a first gen Camaro was more or less a free-for-all, with buyers checking off RPO boxes at will, making for some interesting and rare combinations for collectors to fret over today.
But the reality of modern production requirements mean that today’s cars are available with far fewer possible combinations of performance options than in days past. While that keeps production costs and logistics under control, it meant that if you don’t fit neatly into an RS, SS, 1LE, ZR1, or Z/28 “slot,” you had to turn to the aftermarket to put things just the way you wanted them on your Camaro.
Or, at least it did, until now. Realizing that out of the $31 billion automotive aftermarket, nearly a third of those annual sales were going to performance parts, Chevrolet Performance took a hard look at what they’d already built for the Camaro line as a whole, and began putting together component packages that let owners upgrade some or all of their cars to meet their own personal needs, while using factory parts.
Not Just Factory Parts – Factory Spec
Lest you think that this is just some shopping trip through the GM parts bin, with things thrown together and fingers crossed, know this – for their “street spec” component kits, the engineers at Chevy Performance have been careful to make sure they’ve stayed within the factory calibration envelope.
What does that mean, exactly? Well, we’re sure you’re aware of the role antilock brakes, electronic stability control, traction management, and suspension and brake calibration play in the current Camaro’s performance capabilities.
By testing each package, and in some cases making subtle changes compared to the original production part, Chevy Performance has made sure that an owner who upgrades their Camaro SS with 1LE and ZL1 components, for instance, won’t put their car “off the map” when the electronic driving aids are called into action.
Part number 19300535 combines CNC-ported LS3 heads sporting 276cc intake runners and 2.165/1.590-inch valves with a 211/230 degree, 0.558/0.558 lift, 121 degree LSA camshaft from the LS7 to make an additional 40 horsepower. Best of all, Chevy Performance is working on 50-state legality when combined with their tune.
To demonstrate what that means in practical terms, we got the opportunity to drive both stock and modified Camaros on the infield road course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and at The Strip, to see for ourselves how these upgrades raised the limits of the cars but kept them well-mannered when taken to those limits. The traction management and stability control systems were left active on purpose, and we were encouraged to try to get them riled up, with hard cornering, rapid slaloms, and stomp-and-hold ABS braking.
What we found out is that Chevy Performance has done exactly what they set out to do – they’ve produced a range of upgrades for the Camaro that take the best of factory parts, certify them for use with any car in the 5th gen range, and offer them direct to the public. In many cases, these parts preserve the factory new-car warranty when installed by an authorized GM dealer, and depending on the buyer, can even be included in new-car financing when installed at the time of your Camaro’s purchase.
Among the Camaros, Chevy Performance also had a brace of snarling Sonics in both stock and modified trim. They're rolling out performance packages for these fun little buzz bombs, including upgraded brake packages engineered from scratch specifically for the Sonic.
It’s a lot like the RPO “golden days,” and in some ways it’s better – while you might not get a build sheet showing some super-rare combination that will be a lottery ticket at the 2050 Barrett-Jackson Megacity One auction, you have the peace of mind knowing that engineers far better informed than any of us have vetted the components and approved them for the severe duty they’ll endure at the hands of enthusiasts.
ZL1 brakes on a V6 Camaro? Might sound odd, but the combination will straight-up detach your retinas when you stand on the brake pedal…