When the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 hits showrooms later this year, it’ll be the automaker’s first car to get the new ten-speed automatic, a transmission Chevy claims is so dialed in that it shifts faster than Porsche’s outstanding PDK dual-clutch gearbox.
Chevy previously claimed its new ten-speed was a quick shifter during our ride-along in a Camaro ZL1 prototype earlier this year. Now Chevy has numbers to back it up. Based on Chevy’s own testing, the 2017 Camaro ZL1’s automatic shifts from 1st to 2nd gear 36 percent quicker than the Porsche PDK. The automaker claims the 2-3 upshift is 27 percent quicker, while the shift from 3rd to 4th is 26 percent quicker. Those differences may very well be imperceptible from behind the wheel, but every millisecond counts when you’re launching off the line.
The transmission, co-developed with Ford, is packed with six clutches and a closely spaced gear spread. Chevy also claims the ten-speed isn’t much bigger than the eight-speed auto (used in the Camaro SS) despite the additional two gears and clutch.
With its quick-shifting gearbox and its 640-hp supercharged LT4 V-8, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 automatic should have no issues running to 60 mph in the low three-second range. And for those who prefer to row their own gears, the ZL1 will still be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox.