July 10, 1997
Due to the recent sightings in leading publications and on Detroit’s highways, there has been a certain amount of hype and controversy developed over the newly redesigned 1998 Camaro. Those who have seen it have seemingly mixed thoughts on the visual aspects of the car which sports little more changes than a completely redesigned front fascia. Many seem to like the change, their thoughts possibly fueled by what lies behind the new fascia and under the hood, the powerful LS1 engine derived Chevrolet’s flag ship, the C5 Corvette.
A New Image with More Power
Chris and I recently participated in the 18th Annual Camaro Street Nationals at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan where Chevrolet had one of their ’98 Camaro Z28s on display.
Although I myself have caught fleeting glimpses of several being tested on I-696 between Brighton and Detroit, Michigan, it is still not yet easy for the average consumer and admirer to get a close look at one. Here are some images and thoughts on the model we saw at the show:
[singlepic id=1 w=150 float=left]Here is the brand new 1998 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. The first thing we did was thoroughly check over the newly revised car from end to end. A glance from the back would make you think it was a ’97 Z28 as the rear of the car is unchanged from that year’s model. However, if you move around to the front, you will see the flush-mounted headlights, enlarged grill and relocated driving lamps.
[singlepic id=2 w=150 float=right]Let’s take a closer look. Ram-air? Unfortunately no, but the two inlets that bring fresh air into the new LS1 motor appear to be a less restrictive than previous models. As you can see, the headlight system consists of a large capsule divided into two compartments. The fog lights are small projection-style and are embedded deep into the lower corners of the front fascia.
[singlepic id=3 w=150 float=left]Under the hood lies the powerful LS1. It seems as though it is slightly easier to work on than the previous Z28 with the LT1 engine. Performance-minded enthusiasts take note: the spark plugs are a little easier to reach due to the design of LS1’s exhaust manifold, and the fuel pressure regulator has been relocated so it is not as far under the windshield cowl than on the LT1.
[singlepic id=4 w=150 float=right]What puzzles us are the two chambers on both sides of the intake that are right behind the radiator shroud and just before the air intake. Under the watchful eye of a GM employee, we managed to dismantle the intake on another LS1 Z28 at a previous Camaro event earlier this year. We discovered that there is no visible reason for the presence of these chambers, but our guess is to reduce incoming air noise.