The new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is one of the fastest cars GM has ever made. In fact, the sports car is so powerful that its wheels initial spun inside their tires.
The Z/28 is able to achieve up to 1.5 g in deceleration force, thanks to its Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires and Brembo carbon-ceramic brake rotors. When it was determined that the wheels were slipping inside the tires, GM’s engineer sought out the root cause by marking one of the tires at the beginning of a lap with a chalk line relative to the valve stem on the wheel, and then recorded where the chalk line ended up at the end of the lap. They noticed the tires had rotated at least a full 360 degrees from where they started.
The other culprit was the car’s mighty 7.0L LS7 V8 engine, which produces 505 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). During cornering, the limited-slip rear differential sends power to the rear wheels so well that differences in tire slip can be observed from side to side.
To resolve the problem, the engineers initially tried placing an abrasive paint around the bead of the wheel, where the tire meets the rim, to provide more friction, but the paint wasn’t strong enough to prevent the slippage. They ended up using a media blasting technique that involved shooting a gritty material through an air gun at the wheel’s surface, adding texture to the paint for the tire to grip. It worked.
“Media-blasting the wheel created an extremely aggressive grit on the rim, which finally got the tire to hold,” Mark Stielow, Camaro Z/28 program manager and pro-touring expert, said in a statement.
This beast of a Chevy posed many challenges for GM’s engineers during development. Let’s hope they managed to tame it completely.