Every car company feels the need to improve their cars with every outgoing year. Not doing so can result in the car getting outdated and outperformed by the competition. When we are talking about the high performance segment which the Camaro ZL1 sits in, these improvements become even more important.
To make sure that their flagship car stays relevant and dominant in the market, Chevy has decided to pull out all the stops and completely redesign the way the car handles itself. They have done so by designing a brand new 10-speed automatic transmission to go in with the supercharged V8 engine featured in the vehicle.
Since the engine churns out a massive 640 BHP (477 KW) power with 640 Pound/Feet (868 NM) torque, it was important that the new transmission must also be fast enough to handle all the power on tap. To ensure this fact, Chevy designed this new transmission, called the Hyra-Matic, with aggressive gear ratios in the lower gears and more refined ones for the upper range.
By doing so, they made sure that the shifting was even faster than the Porsche PDK Dual-Clutch transmission, which is considered the benchmark for automatic transmission performance.
A big part of this magic comes from the design itself, which includes a one piece aluminum case, featuring an integrated bell housing. This housing features the 10 gears and 6 clutches, which give out an overall gear ratio spread of 7.39.
Along for the ride is a 260MM turbine clutch torque converter which features a lockup clutch and an Electronically Controlled Capacity Clutch (ECCC), which works overtime to ensure that the ride is as smooth as it can get.
To increase the smoothness of the ride further, the setup also gets a brand new variable displacement vane pump with a secret low viscosity transmission fluid.
While all these technical terms may sound daunting to the average car buyer, the important thing to note is that the whole setup is geared towards giving you the best performance, both at low speeds launches and high speed maneuvering.
No matter what your skill level is, or how you drive, this transmission is designed to learn from your and adapt itself to suit your style, giving you the best performance you can get.
Currently this transmission will be manufactured at the GM Michigan plant for the ZL1 only. But with time, it is expected to be seen is more models as well. So, if you want to know what it feels like, book your ZL1 test drive ASAP.