My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; ...
  1. #1
    garfin's Avatar
    garfin is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    I was very privileged this past weekend to spend part of Thursday and Friday at Spring Mountain Resort and Country Club in Pahrump, Nevada driving the new Camaro ZL1 and Corvette ZR1 on their 1.5 mi. Radical Track, courtesy of GM and the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School.

    I know there have been a few threads on this board questioning/speculating about comparisons between our V and the ZL1, so I thought I’d take a few moments and offer up my thoughts and impressions…

    The car is an absolute blast to drive! I actually felt more at home in the ZL1 and enjoyed driving it more than the ZR1! Certainly, I felt the shifter in the ZL1 had a more positive, direct feel.
    I was able to easily induce understeer going into turns, but that was as a result of my trying to see how far I could push it on entry before the nannies cut in. Not as much understeer as I thought, however... It was hard for me to induce oversteer on exit or entry - simply because I only got up to position 4 on the PTM and the computer still would not allow me to kick the ass end out on exit! Position 4 does allow for more of a "punch" though, when you boot it! I didn't get to 5 or turn everything off. (what for?!?)

    Depending on the PTM position, it is VERY difficult to get the car out of sorts, so that being what it is, allows you to explore the limits of the car in a safe and gradual manner. Kudos to GM for including this amazing feature on a car at this price point!!

    Interestingly enough, I found that it was easy to lose my focus on driving the track, since I did not have to worry about pushing the car so much that I'd put the wheels off! Not used to having that luxury! Definitely a great package!

    The cars were in use all morning with perhaps a 5-10 min break every 15-20 min. while we swapped drivers. I didn't look at any temps, but there were no issues whatsoever that came up on the DIC on any of the cars during our sessions, which lasted until about 12:30 PM. No braking issues and nothing overheated. This is a testament as to how rugged the car is.

    If I have any criticism at all, I'd like to be able to sit higher in the car while wearing a helmet – there’s a bit more headroom in our V’s and I felt that I had to compromise my driving position somewhat by sitting lower than what I would term ideal.

    As well, given the handling ability of the car, there is lots of room for improvement in the level of support provided by the seats. My right knee kept shutting off the A/C on turns. I guess I’m spoiled by our Recaros.

    Each session was a workout for me because I had to work not only at driving the car, but keeping myself in a reasonable seating position. Again, if had the Recaro seats, I'd be OK with that and the car would be easier to drive on the track.

    Otherwise, I don't feel that I was able to really explore the upper limits of what this car is capable of, simply because of the fact that given the course, we were not able to hit speeds that one could attain on higher speed courses like VIR or Mosport. The good news is, I feel there are a lot of similarities between this car and my V, which is very easy to drive at 130 -140 mph. This car certainly is a lot more “visceral” than the V and is just a ton of fun! It's like the car is saying back at ya,
    "I dare you..."
    Gotta love the exhaust note with the flappers from the ‘Vet’s exhaust!

    The capper at the end of the morning was that Ron Fellows took a few of us out individually in the ZL1 for some hot laps. That was a real eye-opener for me, as where I felt challenged trying to make the car do what I wanted, Ron was like an artist who played the car like an instrument! Experiencing what he could do with the car demonstrated the car's capabilities in a very clear light, even at the lower speeds on this track! Most impressive!

    My overall conclusion is that this is one extremely capable car – and one helluva bargain at the price, given the performance parameters! It ain’t perfect yet, (just allow the seats to hold me in place better!) but I know Chevy ain’t done yet with this one!

    Best regards,

    Elie
    Houdini, Houdini, jft69z and 1 others like this.

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  3. #2
    Trapspeed's Avatar
    Trapspeed is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by garfin View Post
    I was very privileged this past weekend to spend part of Thursday and Friday at Spring Mountain Resort and Country Club in Pahrump, Nevada driving the new Camaro ZL1 and Corvette ZR1 on their 1.5 mi. Radical Track, courtesy of GM and the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School.
    Understatement of the young month. Sounds like a great time. Awesome experience.

  4. #3
    baabootoo's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Nice write up! Did yours/this one have a sunroof also? I miss the extra helmet room with the sunroof.

  5. #4
    garfin's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    No sunroof on any of the cars that I drove. Definitely more headroom without the sunroof.

    Best regards,

    Elie

  6. #5
    JFJr's Avatar
    JFJr is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Elie, you are indeed lucky! Great to see that the ZL1 has turned out well. Has GM Performance been put back together? We can thank Ford for the competition that made this possible. Development of the ZL1 will insure that the V3 will be as big a success as the V2.

    Jud
    Jud

  7. #6
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    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Sounds like you had a decent time, haha.

  8. #7
    jft69z is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Glad to hear you had a great time. Did you stay in the condos at SM? I'll be going there in a week and a half for the 3 day ZR1 school and hear the facility is top notch. (I think they use the 2.2 mile track for that school).

  9. #8
    garfin's Avatar
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by JFJr View Post
    Elie, you are indeed lucky! Great to see that the ZL1 has turned out well. Has GM Performance been put back together? We can thank Ford for the competition that made this possible. Development of the ZL1 will insure that the V3 will be as big a success as the V2.

    Jud
    Definitely an experience of a lifetime! GM Performance was resurrected after the bailout and was front and center at Woodward in 2010 with a couple of Vs on display under the GM Performance banner. I'm getting the feeling however that the performance aspect is going to focus more on the individual division branding rather than under a general corporate banner (i.e. Chevrolet Performance as opposed to GM Performance) There's a reason why the little GM "chiclets" on the side of the cars were dropped a couple of years ago...
    '

    Quote Originally Posted by jft69z View Post
    Glad to hear you had a great time. Did you stay in the condos at SM? I'll be going there in a week and a half for the 3 day ZR1 school and hear the facility is top notch. (I think they use the 2.2 mile track for that school).
    Cool! You'll love the experience! Wish we could have had a bit more time there for sure. Just a great facility in a beautiful setting. Yes, we stayed in the condos, which are very nice. I was in Building C on the 2nd floor and my room had a balcony looking out onto the track! Pretty incredible to sit out there and watch the people who are taking the school go blasting by in the ZR1s! Gotta love that dual-mode exhaust!
    We lapped on the 1.5 mi. "Radical" track, and from what I gathered, there are 5 or 6 different configurations there. I think the 2.2 mi. course has a pretty decent straightaway as well.
    Everything is top notch there and the people are great - especially the instructors. Each car is equipped with a 2-way radio, but they will tell you not to pick it up unless there is a very good reason to do so! LOL!
    The clubhouse is great and the food is decent as well. Great hanging out after dinner around the firepit with everybody! Have fun!

    Best regards,

    Elie

  10. #9
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    kick ass would be an awesome experience

  11. #10
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by fastmf View Post
    I hate it when my knee keeps shutting off the A/C in turns while hotlapping. Maybe
    easier to just leave it off next time?
    Yes, that would be my inclination as well. However, the school requires windows to be closed when lapping and after all, it was well into the 80's that day... and under the circumstances, the instructors recommended the A/C be turned on.

    Best regards,

    Elie

  12. #11
    boycer11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    So of the ZL1, ZR1, and ctsv, which is your favorite? I was leaning towads a ctsv first because I am in midwest but liked the idea a a ZR1 and a beater for bad weather. I also need something that fits golf clubs and the trunk opening on the ZL1 sure is small.

  13. #12
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by boycer11 View Post
    So of the ZL1, ZR1, and ctsv, which is your favorite? I was leaning towads a ctsv first because I am in midwest but liked the idea a a ZR1 and a beater for bad weather. I also need something that fits golf clubs and the trunk opening on the ZL1 sure is small.
    You can get a couple of golf bags into the ZL1, even though the opening looks small. The back seat also folds down...

    For me, the CTS-V still is my fav, simply because of its versatility, plus its combination of comfort, luxury and performance. I'm happy to drive it on an everyday basis. If you're looking for more of a "hardcore" sports car though, the V may be too sedate. The Chevys are definitely more visceral and offer greater sensory input. On the other hand, the V works the best of the 3 as a daily driver. No problems in the winter either with the right tires. I'd rather have 1 really great car and drive it all year round. I've spent my share of time owning more hardcore vehicles and keeping a beater at the same time.

    Best regards,

    Elie

  14. #13
    boycer11 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by garfin View Post
    You can get a couple of golf bags into the ZL1, even though the opening looks small. The back seat also folds down...

    For me, the CTS-V still is my fav, simply because of its versatility, plus its combination of comfort, luxury and performance. I'm happy to drive it on an everyday basis. If you're looking for more of a "hardcore" sports car though, the V may be too sedate. The Chevys are definitely more visceral and offer greater sensory input. On the other hand, the V works the best of the 3 as a daily driver. No problems in the winter either with the right tires. I'd rather have 1 really great car and drive it all year round. I've spent my share of time owning more hardcore vehicles and keeping a beater at the same time.

    Best regards,

    Elie
    Elie, thanks for the information. I'm shocked that you could fit two golf bags back their on the ZL1, interesting. Muy wife prefers the CTSV, course I really dont need 4 seats. I will try to drive all 3 before making a decision. This weekend drove my parents corvette grand sport A6 conv, 1999 Pontiac Firehawk 334 hp, 6 sp hurst, w 373s, slp exhaust, and 08 sierra denali. GS cont looked sweet, but the fhawk and denaili sounded better and seemed to have more punch when lightly getting on the throttle. Was surprised by this, maybe the exhaust noise. course denaili has over 400hp. Corvette only had about 1000 miles, so I didnt get on it real hard. Not sure what I will get when.the time comes. .

  15. #14
    BWhite58 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Has the ZL1 been released for sale ?

  16. #15
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    Re: My Thoughts After Tracking the Camaro ZL1 - From a CTS-v Owner's Eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by BWhite58 View Post
    Has the ZL1 been released for sale ?
    First deliveries were this past week...

    Best regards,

    Elie

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