2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be the first to receive the new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic gearbox and it’s said to have faster shift times than Porsche’s seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission.

In tests carried out by the brand, results revealed that upshifting from first to second was 36% quicker, upshifts from second to third was 27% faster and from third to fourth, 26% quicker than the dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission.

Greater overall performance and efficiency for that matter, is said to be attributed to the gearbox’s wider 7.39 overall gear ratio spread. Off-the-line performance is enhanced with a first gear ratio of 4.70, while smaller steps between gears help the engine maintain optimal speed for maximum power at all vehicle speeds.

Additionally, the 10-speed unit also has a numerically lower top gear ratio compared to the Camaro’s eight-speed unit. This allows the engine to run at a lower speed on the highway but with greater efficiency. “The gear ratios are so tightly spaced that the transmission is in the right gear and the engine is at the best rpm for transitions from corners to straights,” said Aaron Link, ZL1 lead development engineer.

The gearbox uses four simple gear sets and six clutches, including two brake clutches, four rotating clutches (only one more clutch than the eight-speed unit). This allows for the new gearbox to be at the approximate size as the eight-speed transmission. Elsewhere, it has an all-new proprietary electronic control system with performance calibrations as well.

Other features include a reduction in spin losses, new ultra-low viscosity transmission fluid that reduces friction and an internal thermal bypass that allows the transmission to warm up faster – all of which results in greater fuel efficiency. An advanced torque converter design meanwhile, contributes to packaging efficiency, according to Chevy.

The 10-speed gearbox will be produced with a new manufacturing system at GM’s propulsion manufacturing facility in Romulus, Michigan. As a recap, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is the highest-performing Camaro yet. With a supercharged 6.2 litre small-block V8 LT4 engine, the muscle car pushes out 640 hp and 868 Nm of torque.

GALLERY: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1