The 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Can Go Nearly 200 MPH

Chevy recently announced that the new 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 has a real-world top speed just shy of 200 miles per hour. The bowtie crew tested the sixth-generation ZL1 in Germany at the 7.6-mile Automotive Testing Papenburg GmBH oval, where it averaged 198 mph in both directions—202.3 mph one way and 193.3 on the reverse. That’s awfully impressive for a car that Chevy says will start around $63,400 (six-speed manual) or $65,800 (10-speed automatic), especially because they also say the ZL1 can pull 1.02 lateral G when cornering and run the quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds at 127 mph. So what kind of company does the new ZL1 keep?

The 200 mph barrier isn’t quite what it used to be; people of ample means have many options if they want to brag about owning a car capable of going more than three miles per minute. Not that anybody is really going to be topping out their car, in all likelihood, since that’s (A) dangerous and less-than-legal (words that we admit are hypocritical coming from Roadkill) and (B) usually requires specialized sections of high-speed track, like where the ZL1 was tested.

That said, we know that while Roadkill readers are probably not calling their brokers to set aside funds to “invest” in the newly announced Ferrari 812, some readers like to know there are value options for a 200 mph car—or an almost 200 mph car, as the arguing commences over the ZL1’s maximum velocity. So here are some 200 mph(-ish) options you can buy for $100,000 or less.

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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Top Speed: 198 mph
Starting Price: $63,000 (manual) to $65,000 (automatic)

The ZL1 is back and not only has it looked competent around the Nurburgring, it also just went more than 200 mph (one way) on a test track. The previous-generation ZL1 topped out at 184 mph. That gain comes in no small part from the significant power bump of GM’s supercharged LT4 V8, which makes 650 horsepower, over the previous ZL1’s 580-horsepower LSA V8.

049-Racing A Hellcat at Heminsanity 2016

2017 Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcats
Top Speed: 199 mph (Challenger) and 204 mph (Charger)
Starting price: $63,000 (Challenger) and $67,000 (Charger)

The Hellcat siblings are still a fantastic value, running 11-second quarter-mile times off the showroom floor with top speeds right at or above 200. And if you get the Charger, you can haul the kids to soccer practice while hoping for red lights at every intersection. 

2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang
2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang

2017 Ford Mustang GT350R
Top Speed: 190 mph
Starting price: $63,000

The GT350R wasn’t built for top speed, but it’s worth including because of how the Big Three have pushed each other in the current pony-car wars for the benefit of enthusiasts. Each company’s newest development has forced adaptation and improvement in the other two; while the Mustang’s numbers aren’t perhaps as impressive on their own merit, they’re important in pushing the ZL1’s performance at a competitive price. And don’t expect Ford to rest on their laurels.

2017 Cadillac CTS-V
Top Speed: 200 mph
Starting price: $86,000

The CTS-V also uses GM’s supercharged LT4 engine, although it makes “only” 640 horsepower. We’ll forgive them the extra 10 horsepower because the performance is still staggering in a crew-cab car saddled with luxurious amenities from GM’s pinnacle marque.

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Top Speed: 200 mph
Starting price: $79,000

Of course, the Corvette is on the list. Again, the Z06 is powered by GM’s 650-horsepower version of the LT4 and the extra money buys you the prestige of America’s greatest two-seat sports car. Oh, and 1.2 G of lateral acceleration.

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2017 Dodge Viper
Top Speed: 205 mph
Starting price: $93,000

It’s with a bit of resignation that we even type “Viper.” Not only have Dodge stopped taking orders for the Viper, but Elana also had to give back her loaner Viper. Sad times. Still, the non-ACR Viper was capable of 200 mph in one of the most eye-catching American designs of all time.

Of course, cubic dollars can buy you 200 mph cars that escalate in audacity, from Aston Martins in the high $100,000 range to seven-figure superduperhypercars like the Porsche 918. What kinds of 200 mph cars catch your imagination? And here’s maybe a better question: What kind of budget-build car could you make that goes 200 mph but (A) won’t kill you too much and (B) has at least some of the amenities of a new car?

Something to Say?

One thought on “The 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Can Go Nearly 200 MPH

  1. Well, if I recall correctly, at that speed the biggest issue is drag from the air, so you want a donor car that’s as aerodynamic as possible.
    Now obviously lots of sports cars are pretty slippery, but this is about budget, so what kind of normal family car could we use?
    It’s obvious isn’t it? A Prius of course! Because they’re all about fuel economy, they’re really aerodynamic, plus you have four seat, A/C, airbags and no street cred whatsoever.
    Using the calculator on this page (http://www.wallaceracing.com/Calculate%20HP%20For%20Speed.php), you’ll theoretically only need just over 100HP to get a Prius up to 200mph.
    Mind you, a Prius theoretically has more power than that already, so let’s say 200HP just to be on the safe side, sounds pretty do-able to me, when does Bonneville registration open?

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