CHEVROLET has pulled the covers off the most hardcore version of the Camaro yet, revealing a GT4-homologated track monster that will rub panels in one of the world’s toughest race series.
The Camaro GT4.R – based on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE production car unveiled last month – will hit the track for the first time this weekend as part of the North America-based Pirelli World Challenge production car season opener at the Grand Prix of St Petersburg in Florida.
Chevrolet said the all-new SRO GT4-homologated Camaro marked GM’s first global GT customer car, that would compete in both the World Challenge and the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
“This is an exciting time for Chevrolet Racing with the first race for the new Camaro GT4.R,” Mark Kent, Chevrolet’s director of motorsports competition, said.
“It is another great example of how Chevrolet transfers technology between our racing programs and our performance production vehicles.”
A pair of Camaro GT4.Rs will make their racing debut wearing Blackdog Speed Shop livery. Another car will make its debut wearing Stevenson Motorsports colours at May’s Continental Tire Challenge competition at Circuit of the Americas.
The road-going ZL1 1LE on which the track-honed GT4.R is based features much more aggressive aerodynamics, adjustable front dampers that can raise or lower the ride height, more grippy Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tyres wrapped around 1.5kg lighter alloy wheels, and thinner rear glass and fixed rear seats that shed another 26kg.
Under the bonnet is a 485kW/868Nm supercharged LT4 direct injection 6.2-litre V8 paired with a six-speed manual gearbox that can automatically rev-match the engine to gear changes.
Stopping power comes from six-pot two-piece calipers wrapped around the 390mm vented front rotors, and four-piston fixed calipers wrapped around the 365mm vented rears.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE isn’t a lightweight, though: it tips the scales at an eyebrow-raising 1733kg.
Chevrolet’s parent, General Motors, has tipped the next-generation Camaro will be coming to Australia as part of a global right-hand-drive development program greenlighted by the carmaker.
Aussie Mike Simcoe, who now heads up GM’s global design team, told Wheels that as the carmaker moved to consolidate the number of products it made, any new products would have to serve a worldwide audience.
“The reality is as we reduce the total number of architectures they are going to be more global,” he said.