No. 889
March 22, 2017

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Table


FEBRUARY 22, 2017

(Chevrolet images)
Chevrolet has completed top-speed testing of the new Camaro ZL1 Coupe (with 10-speed automatic) on the High Speed Oval at Germany’s Automotive Testing Papenburg GmBH proving ground. Compensating for wind speed, the top speed is the average achieved from running the ZL1 in both directions on the 7.6-mile (12.3 km) loop — 202.3 mph in one direction and 193.3 mph in the other direction. The result? The Camaro ZL1 Coupe has a top speed of 198 mph (318 km/h).
Papenburg’s high-speed oval features 2.5-mile (4 km) straights and 1.3-mile (2.15 km) turns with 49.7-degree banking on the top lane. The steep banking allowed Chevrolet test drivers to run the ZL1 flat out around the track without lifting off the throttle in the turns. The Papenburg testing was conducted on the ZL1’s production Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires with pressure set at 44 psi, the recommended setting for extended high-speed driving.

The car’s only deviations from stock were mandatory safety equipment and data logging equipment. Special aero features on the ZL1 Camaro include a stanchion rear spoiler that offers an advantageous lift/drag ratio compared to a blade-style rear spoiler, and a patent-pending auxiliary transmission oil cooler cover that reduces front-end lift with no drag penalty. The front-to-rear aero balance was also fine-tuned for high-speed stability. “The ZL1 was developed with high-speed performance in mind, incorporating a balanced aerodynamic package that reduces lift without significantly affecting drag,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “After testing the car in standard settings, which produced the 198-mph average, we set the front and rear camber adjustments to 0 degrees and the tire pressures to the maximum allowable sidewall pressure, and saw the ZL1 average over 200 mph. This test caps an impressive list of performance stats for the Camaro ZL1, which was designed to excel at everything,” continued Oppenheiser. “It’s the most capable — and fastest — Camaro ever.”

The rest of the story? The supercharged, 650HP LT4 V8-powered Camaro ZL1 Coupe tested with the available 10-speed automatic transmission goes 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds; 11.4 seconds @ 127 mph in the quarter mile; delivers 1.02g max cornering and 60-0 mph braking in 107 feet (35 meters). Additional features include: Magnetic Ride Control; Electronic limited-slip differential (coupe only); 20-inch forged aluminum wheels; Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 summer-only tires, 285/30ZR20 (front) and 305/30ZR20 (rear); Brembo brakes with six-piston Monobloc front calipers and two-piece rotors. The 2017 Camaro ZL1 starts at $63,435 for a coupe with the manual transmission (price includes $995 destination and $1,300 gas guzzler tax) and $65,830 for a coupe with the 10-speed automatic (price includes $995 destination and $2,100 gas guzzler tax). 

Nissan has named Margot Robbie as its new electric vehicle ambassador. To hype it, Nissan PR minions staged a "race" with two of its radical, three-seat, all-electric BladeGlider sports car prototypes around the world-famous Monaco Grand Prix circuit, at midnight. That is all.

(VW images)
Already a competent and capable electric vehicle, the 2017 VW e-Golf gets an upgraded electric motor (134HP, 214 lb.-ft of torque) and increased battery capacity (
35.8 kWh) to give it an EPA-estimated range of 125 miles, which is a 50 percent increase over the previous model year. The 7.2 kW on-board charger is now standard on both SE and SEL Premium trims, which enables the battery to be charged in less than six hours at a 240V charging station. When equipped with DC Fast Charging (optional on SE, standard on SEL Premium), the battery can be charged to 80 percent within an hour at a DC fast charging station. The 2017 e-Golf goes zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds and its top speed increases to 93 mph. The 2017 e-Golf goes on sale this spring.

(EuroSport Tuning)
EuroSport Tuning is offering a free GTI poster download that illustrates the evolution of VW's famous hot hatch. Created in a minimalist style, the poster combines the GTI's unmistakable profile with specs about each generation. Cool.

(Mercedes-Benz images)
Editor-In-Chief's Note: When you sell expensive limited-production cars, you produce expensive, limited-production, even more exclusive special editions to extract even more serious coin from intenders/buyers; that's just the way of the automotive world. Mercedes-AMG is no different. In the midst of its "50 Years of Driving Performance" anniversary, Mercedes-AMG is offering the new AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50. They are offering other "exclusive" models, but we're only going to bother with this one. The AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 is limited to just 500 cars worldwide – with 50 coming to the U.S. If you see one, which is unlikely, you can recognize it by its special designo Graphite Grey Magno paint. Black chrome accents are applied to the side skirt trim, front splitter, trim strips in the air intakes of the Panamericana grille, fins on the side air outlets in the front fenders, on the rear diffuser and tailpipe trim elements. The cross-spoke AMG forged wheels share the black chrome elements found on the exterior. There are all kinds of interior enhancements as well. Whatevs. All you really need to know is that the hand-crafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo puts out 550HP and 502 lb-ft of torque. And it accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Top speed? 196 mph. How much? Price information wasn't provided. -PMD

(Ford images)
In case your standard Ford GT isn't quite enough, the manufacturer is offering this limited-edition Ford GT Competition Series. The track-oriented Ford GT removes weight higher in the vehicle and shifts the center of gravity closer to the track for even better road-holding, and to maximize its 647HP engine. “The Ford GT has racing in its blood,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development, and chief technical officer. “The Competition Series was developed with the most hardcore track enthusiasts in mind, providing a tailored set of lightweight features and unique livery to match.” The details? The innovative, lightweight Perspex® acrylic engine hatch cover with manual latch and carbon fiber prop rod reduces weight near the roof and shifts the balance of weight lower in the car, as does the bulkhead Gorilla Glass® behind the driver, which is about half as thick – and lighter – as on standard models. All performance features from the standard production car remain, including the FIA-certified steel roll cage and active aerodynamic system, but nonessential items to performance – including air conditioning, radio and speakers, stowage bins and cupholders – are eliminated. Options such as performance-enhancing carbon fiber wheels, titanium lug nuts and exhaust are standard on the Competition Series. The limited-edition Ford GT also features unique gloss carbon fiber stripe, mirror caps and A-pillars, as well as exposed carbon fiber lower body trim in matching gloss finish. The Competition Series also maintains the lightweight interior and keeps the same driver-centric elements of other models, including the F1-styled steering wheel with key functional controls. Ebony Alcantara® suede is used on the seats, instrument panel and headliner. Exposed carbon fiber accentuates the console, registers and door sills. Anodized red paddle shifters and instrument panel badge bring accent color to the cabin, while a unique center console plate and steering wheel fascia account for the deleted infotainment controls and screen. The Competition Series is offered in six Ford GT colors – Shadow Black, Frozen White, Ingot Silver, Liquid Blue, Liquid Grey and Triple Yellow – and is available in North America for all announced production years. The car will headline Ford’s large display – alongside its broader lineup – outside Turn One at the Daytona 500 this weekend.