I thought all of you would find this interesting.
CHC: Speaking again of power-to-weight ratio as sort of that all-mighty watermark of performance, are there any other ways that Chevrolet could see shaving weight from the Z/28 in the future models?
AO: “Absolutely, as I mentioned, our goal was 100 pounds and have already exceeded that. We’re approximately a year away from bringing it into production, so we’re not done yet. We are always looking for lightweight materials. To give you reference in terms of lap time, you would have to remove 250 pounds to get another second on the track and have to weigh that against another tenth of a G in lateral acceleration. I can get that same second on the track. So you have to weigh where you are going to get your lap time down and these P-ZERO Trafeo R tires are capable of a 1.05 g-max sustained lateral acceleration and we’ve already seen decel’s of 1.5 g, so we’re getting better lap times in other ways. But the 100 pounds definitely helps the lap time. We took significant chunks out as opposed to an ounce here and there, helping us on the track.”
CHC: One last question. We thought it was interesting that instead of going with the magnetic ride such as on, say the ZL-1, you went with not only a dual adjustable shock but a true racing style four-way adjustable shock. Is this technology you chose again specifically for the Z/28 or was it that you really wanted to differentiate the two cars?
AO: “We definitely picked this specifically for this application. Multimatic is the company we’re working with. They are well known for their ability to set up dampers for racing vehicles and we felt that the limitations of the mono-tubes that we’ve got in our 1-LE and, of course, the MR, while it’s awesome on the ZL-1, we didn’t feel it belonged in a Z/28 so we did go with the adjustable dampers that are in the Z-28. They’re truly, again, trying to stay with the heritage of the car. They are track designed specifically for the Z-28.”
Bonus: Do you think that soon after the production launch of the new Z-28 we will see parts and pieces of this car making its way onto scratch built cars, or in some way a program that might mimic in some way the COPO program?
AO: “That’s a great question. We’ve had that debate all the way up through GM President Mark Reuss on whether or not we want to see clones driving around on the streets, and we’ve made the decision that since offering performance parts helps sell Camaros, we’ve got a great performance parts team now under Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell, who is growing that very dynamic industry. “You will see Z/28 performance parts available for other Camaros and you know specifically as far as suspension, drift, and so on, you’re going to see those parts. Some of the parts are kind of integrated into the body but we definitely plan on allowing customers to have the opportunity to get ahold of some Z/28 parts for their car.”
Thanks again to Al Oppenheiser for his time with Chevy Hardcore. This has been another segment of “Five Questions.” Stay tuned for more!