One of the builds that left everybody breathless (no, not the motor sucking all the air in, even though it probably could) at last year’s SEMA show was the Hoonigan Camaro Z/28. This is third-gen with a Chevy ZZ632 10.4L Big Block V8 crate engine, a naturally aspirated monster making 1,000 hp that also debuted at the event. However, now that the Vegas show is behind us and the crew had the time to take care of all the little details, they’ve put together a new video dissecting the project.
Putting a thousand horsepower into a car is easy these days, thanks to crate monsters such as the said Chevy Big Block. However, getting that vehicle to perform, especially with the sort of extended… hooning sessions this label has accustomed us to, is an entirely different matter.
So, while installing six-piston 13-inch Baer brakes on all four corners might’ve come in handy, lowering the vehicle and prepping it for future drag strip adventures requires the crew to have a Moser Engineering rear end design without the mounts—the guys completely redesigned the rear suspension, going from the factory torque arm of the live axle to a four-link approach.
We also need to discuss the other bits sitting between that $38,000 motor and the 18-inch American Racing VF 503 wheels (hey, even the crew admits those 295-section rear tires are sort of skinny for the 876 lb-ft/1,188 Nm) torque. We’re looking at a four-speed Jerico dog box (straight-cut gears, racing-grade manual) and a custom twin-disc clutch, among others.
Since keeping the look as clean as possible to bring about those 80s vibes was a priority, a monstrous roll cage that would add rigidity to the whole structure wasn’t an option. After all, the interior hadn’t been completely redone, fabricated three-pedal box and all, just to be half occupied by those big bars. This meant that plenty of bracing had to be applied down south, including a bar running across that rear axle.
The clean engine bay allows the motor to enjoy the spotlights alone (think of those three master brake cylinders as the security team), but this didn’t happen by accident. For instance, the electric power system features column rather than rack assistance.
Oh, and the 5-gallon radiator was lifted off a sprint cup racer, while the water pump and the alternator come from a trophy truck.
The All-Motor Hoonigan Camaro Z/28 is getting a carbon fiber body kit
Some people care for the tech details mentioned above, while others don’t. However, the team knew it had to wrap up the whole package nicely. So, while they did the body kit together with Chevrolet Design and had Street Fighter LA 3D print this so it would fit the three-week window to SEMA, Hoonigan now plans to turn this into a carbon fiber kit, so perhaps they’ll even sell it.
Even the livery, with its Easter Eggs, has a story to tell and you can check it all out in the first video below. As for the second clip, this brings yet another brief donut session, as we’re all trying to quench our thirst for seeing this 1,000 HP Camaro Z/28 finally being put to tire-shredding use—the car is basically rotating around that cast iron monster up front.
The Neo-Golden Era of muscle
While we’re talking amazing build done with automakers, we also need to keep the big picture in our mind. These aren’t just the new 20s—we currently live in a Neo-Golden Era of muscle.
However, while carmakers like Chevy are pushing their developments, be they showroom cars or crate engines, to new levels of insanity, they’re also (more or less quietly) removing performance applications, crate motors included, from their stables. This is dictated by the ever-stricter emission regulations that are bringing mandatory complete electrification closer than ever. So we’d better enjoy the suck-squeeze-bang-blow insanity while we can!