HSV confirms Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Australia, with manual option

Muscle car fans will be excited to hear HSV is introducing the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 performance variant in Australia, bringing the crazy LT4 engine over to our shores for the first time. The introduction of the ZL1 comes as HSV announces a refreshed 2019 range, which includes some tweaks across the board.

Highlight changes for the MY2019 range include the introduction of a six-speed manual option for the 2SS (and ZL1), featuring rev-matching and launch control functionality, while the auto is now a 10-speed unit (up from eight) equipped with launch control, line-lock and lift-foot gear hold technology. Power remains the same for the 6.2-litre V8, churning out 339kW.

Some updates have also been made to the styling, with a new front end incorporating Chevrolet’s latest grille layout, new LED headlights, and a new bonnet complete with heat-extraction venting. There’s also fresh five-spoke alloy wheels, and a new rear end with LED taillights. Other highlights include Chevrolet’s latest Infotainment 3 media system, a rear camera mirror, head-up display, and forward collision alert.

The biggest news is of course the ZL1. This is the track-ready beast that has been on sale in the US for some time. It’s powered by a 6.2-litre supercharged ‘LT4’ V8 engine that belts out 485kW. HSV says “in the vicinity of 480kW and 860Nm” for Australian-spec. HSV is offering both a six-speed manual or 10-speed auto for this variant as well.

Across the tarmac, the ZL1 does 0-60mph (97km/h) in just 3.5 seconds, and covers the quarter mile in just 11.4 seconds. This is insanely quick for a four-seat production car.

Being such a quick beast, the rest of the car is enhanced to cope. For example, braking performance is supplied by Brembo brakes with six-piston mononblock calipers on the front, while an electronic limited-slip differential ensures optimum traction. There’s also magnetic ride control dampers to maximise handling.

The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro range will go on sale from the following prices (excluding on-road costs). Local re-production – including right-hand drive conversion – of the new 10-speed auto range is scheduled to start in April, with the manual kicking off in May.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS manual: $86,990
2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 manual: $159,990
10-speed auto: $2200

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.