If you believe any of the hype about internal combustion engines going the way of the dodo by the end of the decade, chances are you’re feeling pretty bummed about the whole ordeal. Luckily for you, good old-fashioned dino juice-powered cars aren’t dead yet, and there’s still time left to get your hands on one of the biggest bang for your buck sports car bargains of the last 15 years. That, of course, is the 2014 Chevy Camaro Z28
The Z28 Camaro was a price to performance beast in its day, but now that depreciation’s had time to work its magic, it’s even more true than it was seven years ago.
The C6 Corvette Zo6 was an iconic car in American history for a number of reasons. It was the first American sports car to be taken seriously by European competitors off the back of rave reviews from the staunch anti-American Jeremy Clarkson. Oftentimes, the Vette was even faster than its rivals. But more than anything, what made the Z06 a legend was its engine. An all-aluminum seven-liter LS7 pushrod V8 may sound archaic if you’re into European cars or even JDM cars, but there’s no denying the 505 horsepower that motor jets out. This phenomenal engine found its way under the hood of the Z28 Camaro to the delight of muscle car fans the world over.
The specs on the 2014 Z28 could easily apply to a supercar from ten to twenty years ago. 505 horsepower just like the Corvette Zo6, 481 foot-pounds of torque, zero to 60 in four seconds, and a top speed of 180 miles per hour. Unlike early Z06 Corvettes, the Z28 uses a dry-sump oil system for increased reliability in high-stress situations. A similar system to the one that’s found on later models of Z06 Vette.
Of course, the Camaro iteration of this engine won’t be quite as fast as the sleeker, more aerodynamic Corvette, but out and out raw speed is not what you buy a Camaro Z28 for. This Camaro is all about handling.
MotorTrend can be a real fickle bunch sometimes, their standards for what constitutes a “fun car to drive” are quite a bit higher than the average Joe, and rightfully so. They’ve been accused of being biased in favor of European cars in the past. So when they named the Z28 Camaro as their 2014 driver’s car of the year beating out two BMWs and an Alfa Romeo, it really meant something.
To the Z28’s eternal credit, the auto engineers of the world really do have to tip their caps to the drag race-happy boys in Detroit for the job they did with this Camaro’s handling. Carbon ceramic disk brakes at all four corners and an all-original multi-link suspension setup proprietary to the Z/28 all make for an American car that looks every bit the muscle car it claims to be but has the handling ability to keep up with just about anything in twisty bends.
When it was new, the Camaro Z28 was an all-American alternative to high-end sports cars like the BMW M3. Today, not only is it just as fast as it was new, the gods of depreciation have cast a spell on the thing. Making it even more accessible than it already was.
Don’t believe us? Here’s something that’s bound to blow your mind. The Z28 managed to make a full lap of the Nurburgring in Germany in a time of 7 minutes and 37.47 seconds. That’s a faster time than the Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640 supercar. Those can still sell for upwards of a quarter of a million dollars in some cases. At around 45 thousand for a used Camaro Z/28, you could have a whole fleet of track destroying muscle cars for the price of one big Lambo. If nothing else, it just goes to show how overpriced flagship supercars are.
It’s about as plain to see as it ever was in 2021, the future of the auto industry is going to be all-electric. Most nations in the European Union as well as several US states have pledged to become carbon neutral within the next ten to twenty years.
That said, good old-fashioned petroleum isn’t illegal quite yet, and there’s still plenty of amazing bargains to be had for those looking to drive as fast as possible on the cheap. If nothing else, the 2014 Camaro Z28 is living proof of that. So before you admit defeat and put a deposit down for an EV, maybe consider a 2014 Z28 Camaro as the last car you buy before gasoline internal combustion goes extinct for good.