2012 Camaro ZL1 New Model Features and Service Guide


The Camaro ZL1 will be equipped with a 6.2-liter sixth-generation Eaton supercharged V8 engine (LSA) that is rated at 580 horsepower and 556 lb.-ft of torque and is available with the standard six-speed manual (MG9) or Hydra-Matic® 6L90 automatic transmission. This engine features an intercooled supercharger system and premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads. It also features hypereutectic pistons with forged connecting rods, piston cooling oil squirters, standard oil cooler and deep sump oil pan.

Note: ZL1 performance parts have a break-in period. For the first 2,414 km (1,500miles) avoid full-throttle starts and abrupt stops, do not exceed 4,000 engine rpm, avoid driving at any one constant speed, and do not drive above 129 km/h (80mph). Following these break-in period guidelines will result in better performance in the long run.


TREMEC (TR6060) 6-Speed Manual

The standard transmission for ZL1 comes in the form of the latest TREMEC (TR6060) 6-speed manual with a revised short-throw shifter. The new shifter has a more aggressive motion ratio and incorporates a revised shift knob.

Hydra-Matic® 6L90 6-Speed Automatic

The optional automatic transmission version of the ZL1 is a fully integrated powertrain offering that is unique to the segment. Included on the 6L90 are a strengthened input gearset with two additional pinion gears and a strengthened output gearset.

Dual Mode Exhaust

The dual-mode exhaust of ZL1 provides refined tuning (optimal N&V characteristics) at low engine speeds and a low-restriction exhaust (enabling peak horsepower performance) at high engine speeds in one exhaust system. It utilizes a vacuum system similar to Corvette, coupled with twin valves located at the exhaust tailpipes.

High Performance Fuel System

The fuel pump and tank have been modified to maximize the amount of fuel available during high performance maneuvers and access the fuel sloshed over the tank center during high G cornering when low fuel conditions exist. Please note: Premium fuel is required.

Rear Differential Cooler

The rear differential cooler is a truly unique design, with a concept found in no other sports car today. It can reduce the temperature by over 37°C (100°F), and maintains cool, stable performance throughout the most aggressive racetrack sessions.

Note: Regularly scheduled maintenance and fluid changes are still recommended. For ZL1 track/competitive driving, replace the axle fluid every 6 hours.




Magnetic Ride Control™ (MRC)

The Camaro ZL1 will feature the third-generation of Magnetic Ride Control (MRC). MRC employs valveless damping and Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluid technology. The new dual-coil design enables faster response, with damping levels now adjusted up to 1,000 times per second – about one adjustment per inch of vehicle travel at 96 km/h (60mph) – making the system exceptionally responsive to changing driving and road conditions.

There are three settings for MRC in the ZL1: Tour, Sport and Track.

Performance Track Management (PTM)

Exclusive to GM and first introduced on the Corvette ZR1, PTM is a feature that tailors the performance of ZL1 to match the driver’s skills and driving conditions. This advanced system

integrates Magnetic Ride Control, launch control, Traction Control and stability control. Five PTM performance levels or modes are available:

  • Mode 1 – Traction Control set for wet conditions, with stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour
  • Mode 2 – Traction Control set for dry conditions, with stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour
  • Mode 3 – Traction Control set on Sport 1, with stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport
  • Mode 4 – Traction Control set on Sport 2, with stability control off and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport
  • Mode 5 – Traction Control set on Race, with stability control off and Magnetic Ride Control set on Track


ZL1 is equipped with a significantly larger, extremely robust Brembo brake system with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers and ventilated two piece front and one-piece rear rotors.


Due to the floating design of the brake rotor, the front brake rotor cannot be refinished. If the front brake rotor is found to be at or below the minimum specification, it must be replaced.


The Goodyear Eagle® F1 Supercar® Generation 2 (G:2) tires have been developed and optimized specifically for the ZL1 to yield outstanding handling while maintaining requisite street-tire performance for wet handling, tread wear, noise, mass and rolling resistance.

Tires Size: 285/35ZR20 summer (front) and 305/35ZR20 summer (rear)

  • ZL1 Camaro summer-only tires tend to wear faster and are more susceptible to damage from road hazards or curb impact than standard profile tires.
  • It is not recommended to use the high-performance summer tires when temperatures drop to approximately 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) or below.
  • It is recommended these tires be stored indoors at temperatures above 20 degrees F (-7 degrees C) when not in use.
  • The ZL1 tires should not be rotated. They are corner specific by design.
  • These tires are unique in their wear patterns. The outside shoulder may appear worn as compared to other tires.


ZL1 offers two 20-inch wheel options. Both designs are 20×10-inch front and 20×11-inch rear sizes. The standard 10-spoke wheel is forged aluminum with a black low-gloss clearcoat. The 20-inch forged aluminum 5-spoke optional wheels have a bead blasted and polished face with high gloss clearcoat.

Either wheel has larger tires mounted to them that contain a special rim protector. The rim protector, built into each tire, puts rubber over the aluminum of the outer rim for protection when parking.


Electronically Assisted Steering (EAS)

Electrically Assisted Steering is an innovative power-assist system connection between the ZL1 steering system and the engine. The assist power is applied directly to the rack with a belt drive and a ball nut mechanism. This design allows for lower inertia, lower friction and more direct steering feel, as well as superior response.



Aluminum Hood with Carbon Fiber “Mohawk” Extractors

This functional hood air extractor is engineered out of carbon fiber for strength, durability and low mass.

Note: The black painted carbon fiber “mohawk” requires unique care when cleaning. The

optional exposed carbon fiber weave version can be waxed like the rest of the surface of the car.

Lighting – The Full Package

ZL1 integrates the “full exterior lighting package” with fog lamps, separate Daytime Running Lamps and HID headlamps with halo rings.

Front Fascia

The front fascia has a large lower “splitter” to reduce front lift and forces air through the larger

lower grille. The larger openings, splitter and hood extractor all combine for a significant increase in cooling capacity for the powertrain.

Note: The ground clearance of ZL1 is lower compared to the Camaro SS and similar to a Corvette Z06. Drivers must use caution when approaching curbs to avoid damage.


Underbody Belly Pan

The ZL1 underbody incorporates a belly pan that helps reduce front lift. The shape was enhanced to draw air upward into the underbody area. This highly energized air provides extra cooling for underbody components affected by the additional exhaust thermal energy of the high-powered LSA engine.


The underbody belly pan will need to be removed before performing service work, including oil and filter changes.




Front seats incorporate suede microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front head restraints.

Note: The suede microfiber inserts require unique care when cleaning.


Unique IP and Door Inserts

Microfiber is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel insert. The IP and door inserts are backpainted in Carbon Flash Metallic.


Steering Wheel

The flat-bottom steering wheel of ZL1 provides room for heel/toe operation and makes getting in and out of the car easier. The rim section has also been thickened and tuned to give the driver a more connected feel. Steering wheel paddle shifting will make automatic transmission shifts quick and convenient.


Head-Up Display

Head-Up Display is a transparent display that presents ZL1 data without requiring drivers to look away from their usual viewpoints. The dots at the top are “shift lights” staged with increasing engine speed. The lower section is a lateral g (cornering force) measurement that holds the peak value in a corner so you can look at it when you heading down the straightaway to the next corner. The gear indicator is only on in the automatic TAP mode.


Quality Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI)

Please be sure to review the PDI and CSDS forms published for this vehicle. There are several special inspections items highlighted for this vehicle vs. others. Additionally the CSDS form has important customer education pieces that we have learned during our Captured Test Fleet process. Report any product issues via Field Product Report. Refer to the latest version of Corporate Bulletin 02-00-89-002 titled “Information for Dealers on How to Submit a Field Product Report.” Canadian dealers should refer to the latest version of Corporate Bulletin Number 10-00-89-006.

Install front bumper outer valance panels.

Remove the spring spacers from the front suspension and place them in the glove box for the customer. If the car is to be on a trailer for any reason, the spacers need to be placed back in the front springs to obtain ground clearance.

Note: Initially, the ZL1 Camaro front spring spacers will be black. In near future, they will be made yellow for easier visibility.

  • Hand wash the car. Due to the larger width wheels, most car wash tracks will not accommodate the wider wheels.
  • Do NOT apply wax or polish to the flat black portion of the hood or extractors. Applying wax or polish to this portion of the hood will result in a cloudy haze to the finish.
  • Premium Fuel Only.
GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a “do-it-yourselfer”. They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on  whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.