2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 “ELITE” Edition
So, here we are then: the fastest Tier 2 muscle in the game. Now, I want to make it plain. I’m not being paid by EA to say any of this. I’m not sucking up to them for any reasons whatsoever. This is clearly my opinion of this car, and I’ve been swayed by many online today to say “Oh this car is horrible. It’s been ruined. Don’t do a good review on it.” But, does Jeremy Clarkson do a good review on every Mercedes-Benz AMG car that comes out? No. Just recently, he said the C63 AMG Black was mad, uncomfortable, and a bit useless on public roads, but he still loved it. The same thing applies here.
Now, the last ELITE that came out, the CCX ELITE, that I thought was fantastic because it was designed for ELITE drivers in mind, so if you’re under level 50, inexperienced, and are driving with this car around, you probably wonder why you’re losing streak is increasing. It’s the fastest car in the game so far with race tuned top speed of 223 MPH. It was designed out of the box of the regular EA “copy-and-paste” phase, because let’s face it: the cars that you see in the game now (911 GT3 RS, MR2, Jaguar XKR), they’ve just been copied and pasted from previous or future NFS games and placed here in this one, with minor changes only to benefit gameplay and FPS. The ELITES, however, is EA stepping out of the boundaries, producing something they’ve made, something they’ve collaborated on, a product of their own instead of a product they copied from the real thing. That’s why I liked the CCX ELITE so much, and is also why I like this car so much. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, don’t worry. I go to a Liberal Arts college and talk about this everyday.
Anyway, the ZL1 ELITE steps out of the boundaries, like Lancia did with their cars. EA thought, “Why not make the Camaro ZL1 a dragster, but make it grippy and insanely fast at the same time?” This is their idea come to life. I don’t know how much horsepower this dragster has, but it’s definitely more than 580. It also sounds ballistic as if it were going to kill you at eyesight. Designed by Mike Hayes and built by V.Ray, the geniuses behind the ELITE CCX, his thing is unique with drag in mind with the wheelie bar, roll cage, Drag Racing rims and tires, a nitrous canister with the Camaro logo on it, a driver sporting a fancy helmet, an iconic NFS Badge/Seal of approval on the back, and one massive monstrous hood. There are also loads of decals on the windows signifying that this was made for blowing past rivals in straight lines, and it does. The top speed of this thing without nitrous is 201 MPH. Adding nitrous to the equation comes to 222 MPH. Be warned though. Since it’s a drag racing car that nitrous is quite powerful. Then there’s cornering, always the worst part of any Camaro or dragster even. These cars were meant to go in straight lines, however, the ZL1 was designed with independent suspension and magnetic ride control from the Cadillac CTS-V, which was brilliant. Thus making it a bit faster round the Nurburgring than the Corvette ZR1. In NFS The Run, however, it’s still a heavy, drifty muscle car, and that sort of got on my nerves. Not in NFS World though. In NFS World, they put the drag stuff on, but left the independent suspension and magnetic ride control on as well. So, it handles quite well around the corners, not as good as a Miura or a Exige, but their grip kings. The Camaro is all about speed, and it has loads of that. But, I’m still surprised though. A dragster as big and Hot Wheels like as this can steer round corners as well, even better than the GT40 or the El Camino SS.
So, grip wise, it’s quite menacing. Speed wise, quite menacing as well. Compared to the M3 Sport Evolution, it’s a dead heat battle between the two. So, in conclusion, should you buy this car? It depends on if you’re good enough for it, if you like it, and if you’re a true car enthusiast. I for one will buy it and keep it in my garage forever. I do have one request to make for EA. Although this is a brilliant looking thing, it would be nice to see the regular ZL1 Camaro enter the game somewhere in the near future. Why? When I first saw it the day it was revealed in Detroit of last year, I loved it. Even if it’s a Tier 2 and can’t go mano-a-mano with the Super Snake, I’ll still treat it with ultimate respect as the fastest and most powerful production Camaro ever built. Knowing ELITE cars, it’ll take about…let’s see…*doing maths in my head…1 year for the ZL1 regular to come out, but I don’t mind waiting that long. Why? The ZL1 dragster will fill me with enough Camaro brilliance to last me for more than two years. And as for looks, I think it looks well done. Have any of you customized a Camaro Concept in NFS ProStreet for drag purposes? It sort of looks exactly like this, except it’s more concept than production. Also, people just don’t get drag racing in the USA. No, it doesn’t involve taking a Skyline R34, tuning it up, putting neons on it, and racing in a straight line across the street. Drag is a bit like NASCAR: very boring, but loaded with secrets that we Formula One boffins don’t understand. Still, it’s more complicated than you think. That’s how I feel about this car. Everyone’s prejudging it wrong. They don’t see what this car can really do.