Fire breathing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R is the stuff of nightmares
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It was only a few years ago that the whole 'American cars can't corner' attitude was still prevalent. The reality of course that it's far from the case.
Apart from the Dodge Challenger, which seems happy to 'settle on muscle-car roots' so to speak, the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang are arguably as good now as they've ever been. The blue oval GT350R may just about be the sweetest sounding and sweetest driving pony ever made, and the Camaro ... well, that's a world beater around the Nürburgring.
Race cars based on the fifth and sixth-generation Camaro are nothing new. In fact, there are two GT3-based SaReNi Camaros that regularly compete in New Zealand's endurance circuit. But I would make a hearty bet that the newly revealed Camaro GT4.R built by Pratt & Miller would be one of the best of the bunch to fang around a race track.
Like other GT4-spec cars (made by the likes of BMW, McLaren, Aston Martin, and others), the sinister Camaro features a revised aero package. The rear deck gains a big ol' wing, and is balanced by a deeper front spoiler and canard package at the front. Reports have said that it will set buyers back US$259,000 (NZ$358,000) — not cheap.
While most of the visuals are based around the Camaro's ZL1 road-car cousin, the engine is something different all together. They've extracted the supercharged ZL1 unit and replaced it with a naturally aspirated racing spec 6.2-litre LT1 V8. It's good for 357kW, which is a fair bit less than the ZL1 engine but remember that this is a race car made to a set of regulations — smaller power numbers are potentially indicative of a need to flatten the playing field.
Besides, the GT4.R can make up the difference elsewhere. A new differential, custom camshaft, carbon-fibre intake, Ohlins suspension, and Xtrac six-speed paddle-shift transmission help it put the power to the ground, while a Brembo brake package helps pull it all up to a stop. All 1,420kg of it.
That's not a bad weight figure at all when you consider that the normal car weighs 1,763kg. But the diet is a must, when its rivals are largely based on sports cars and borderline supercars.