“Track inspired” is a common marketing theme when it comes to performance cars. Just about every manufacturer claims Nurburgring development laps, and many performance cars have been converted to race cars and featured in racing series around the globe in an effort to convey performance.
But don’t be misled, “track inspired” is one thing, track ready from the factory is a rare thing. Take it from us – we’ve spent many years and a modest college fund on BMW ///M cars to make them actually track-capable.
The truth is, there are only a handful of (affordable) street legal cars in the world that can be driven off of the showroom floor straight to a HPDE/track day.
But the GT350R isn’t the first of its kind in this era. Just a few years back the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 occupied much the same space.
In 2014 the Camaro Z/28 won Motor Trend’s coveted “Best Driver’s Car” award, and the sales momentum looked bound to continue.
And then Chevy produced 2500 of the Z/28’s in 2015, and supply exceeded demand. The evidence of that overstock remains on dealer lots today where dozens of barely used, and unused Camaro Z/28’s remain parked, awaiting suitors.
MSRP on the 2015 Camaro Z/28 was (is) $72,305, but nowadays you can pick up one with negligible mileage and full warranty in the $5X,000 range.
Chevy marketed the Z/28 as not just track ready, but as a full-fledged track car. The Z/28’s components support the characterization:
+ 505 horsepower V8
+ 6 speed manual
+ Behemoth Brembo carbon-ceramic anchors
+ Multimatic DSSV dampers
+ Recaro bucket seats
+ Functional downforce
+ Limited slip differential
+ Track-capable cooling
+ Weight reduction of 300 lbs. as compared to the standard Camaro (yes, okay, it’s still no lightweight)
+ Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R track tires as standard equipment
+ Optional air conditioning
+ One stereo speaker, in the entire car...
Our own on track encounters with the Z/28 – most memorably at Sebring – have always concluded predictably. The damn thing defies physics. It’s just blisteringly fast, without exception, everywhere.
If you’re looking for a bonafide street legal track car, nothing really comes close at the Z/28’s current price. Add in a factory warranty along with Chevy’s full expectation that you’ll take it to the track, and it becomes an attractive proposition for any track enthusiast.
Physics, curb weight, and common sense be damned. We want one.
And skip to 59 minute mark in the video below to learn why the Z/28 earned the Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car title in 2014.