Most of the other SEMA show cars in the Chevy Performance booth have modified engines. Not Tony Stewart’s. He showed up at a Monday night party in a customized ZL1 Camaro with stock engine under the distinctive hood scoop. Then again, that factory powerplant is a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA engine boasting 580 horsepower.
“It’s impressive,” says Stewart about his first drive in a ZL1. “There’s excellent power and it rides great. The throttle response is outstanding, yet the power curve is really smooth.”
When he wasn’t taking officials for impromptu test drives on nearby city streets, Stewart spent time at the GM Design Center working closely with Chevy’s Dave Ross to make sure his personality and the “Smoke” nickname were integrated into the show car’s character. The result is a custom gray metallic paint accented with tribal graphics in flat red with silver pinstripes. The “Smoke” moniker, of course, is prominently endorsed in strategic locations.
Other exterior tricks include tinted headlamp lenses, red halo lighting and custom wheels with red-accented Piano Black finish.
The same color theme carries over to the interior with black leather seats that include suede inserts and scarlet-accent stitching. Other interior features include:
- Embroidered Tony Stewart signatures on the seats
- Suede leather door panel inserts and instrument panel wrapping with laser-etched details
- Jet Black leather door armrests with French stitching and white piping
- Jet Black suede leather-wrapped steering wheel with scarlet accent stitching
- Piano Black trim plates and gauge cluster bezel.
Stewart’s ZL1 entrance was a perfect segue for GM to announce that ZL1 parts will be available through Chevrolet Performance. Production-style brake kits lead the way with racing-style front 2-piece, 14.6-inch front rotors and 6-piston Brembo calipers with aluminum housings (part number 22959672). In addition, rear 14-inch rotors paired with 4-piston aluminum calipers (part number 22989384) are available, and both front and rear calipers have the ZL1 logo.
Also available is the complete rear driveline system, which includes a larger, stronger 9.9-inch cast iron differential housing, stronger axles, heavy-duty limited-slip differential and more (part number 22959394 for manuals and 22959395 for automatics). More ZL1 parts include its short-throw shifter, chassis-stiffening strut tower brace and low-restriction air filter element – all of which are direct replacements in a Camaro SS.
Stewart joined TV chef Guy Fieri as celebrity Chevy owners with customized cars at the SEMA show. Fieri, who was the pace car driver at the Indy 500 this year, showed up with a 427 Corvette convertible.