As most of us who grew up after the [original] Golden Age of muscle cars can attest, we were often quite jealous of the optional performance packages and interesting features found in many of those vehicles. Shift-on-the-fly ram air induction in GTOs, the availability of 4.56 gear ratios in Z/28s, and nicknames such as “Scat Pack” and “Drag Pack” on Brand X models had us wishing we were born some 20-30 years earlier.
Our generation was relegated, in most cases, to sticker performance cars (i.e., cars that had the curb appeal but not much else) or the occasional oddball turbocharged V6 performance vehicle. That hasn’t changed until the last ten years or so, where we’re starting to see the rebirth of factory drag racing packages like the COPO Camaro, and high-performing GT machines like the CTS-V and ZL1 Camaro.
The latter has reemerged after a two-year hiatus with more power, less weight and more features. Among which, is the built-in line-lock that allows you to lock the brakes on the front wheels, while in a burnout. This can be used in the burnout box on the dragstrip, or at the stoplight in Smalltown, USA.
Of course this was available through the aftermarket as far back as the ’60s, maybe even a little earlier, but it is the first time a major manufacturer had installed one in a road-going production vehicle since ever. Almost by itself, it makes the $62,000 MSRP of the 2017 ZL1 worth it, but we’ll of course take the 7-speed manual transmission, supercharged 650 hp LT4 powerplant, magnetic suspension and everything that goes along with that car.
In a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Brad Paisley stopped by the shop to take a gander at the new ZL1, and with little coaxing, Jay convinced Brad to hop behind the wheel and light the tires behind a local parking lot. After a brief moment of embarrassment, Brad hit it out of the park. Enjoy!
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.