My most excellent source—Deep Burble—recently told me the sad tale of the stillborn sixth-generation Camaro Z/28 that almost was, but never will be. I just had to say something. Yes, friends, Chevrolet was all set to build a follow-up to the absolutely brilliant, Best Driver’s Car winning fifth-gen Camaro Z/28. Now it ain’t. Feeling blue? You haven’t even heard the details.
MotorTrend lifers Scott Evans, Angus Mackenzie, and I have long talked about a so-called “Engine Hall of Fame.” My first ballot all-timer has always been the mighty LS7 7.0-liter V-8 of General Motors fame. First seen in the sixth-gen Corvette Z06, the 505-hp humdinger eventually trickled its way down to the Camaro Z/28. The results were staggering. Quoting me: “But it’s not just a name-brand collection of parts, and the Z/28 is no tuner. It stands as one of absolutely the best track-focused cars in the world.” Guess what? The new one would have been even better.
Why? The naturally aspirated, flat-plane crank, 5.5-liter V-8 from the upcoming Corvette Z06 would have provided power (likely more than 600 horses, too) to the new Z/28. Let that sink in. Now, you ready to get really upset? Due to packaging reasons, there’s just no way to build a C8 with a manual transmission. The car is mid-engine, and as such, the transaxle is behind the engine, which means any shift linkage would have to pass through the engine. On a Camaro, the transmission would sit between the engine and the driven wheels, making a manual transmission not just possible but totally probable. Amazing, no? Oh yeah, not happening. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.