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New Camaro Z/28 Outruns Its Own Tires

The new 2014 Camaro Z/28 is so fast, it outran its own tires. Here's how Chevy fixed it.

From MotorAuthority  by Nelson Ireson

It's well known that the Chevy Camaro Z/28 has the widest front tires of any production car. At 305 mm wide, those tires produce tremendous grip--especially since they're Pirelli P Zero Trofeo Rs. In fact, they make so much grip, the Z/28 was spinning the tire around the wheel under braking--the Z/28 was, in effect, outrunning its tires, or at least their ability to grip the wheels.

2014-chevrolet-camaro-z-28-first-ride_100443235_mIt's an unusual problem for a production car, but it's a good one to have--too much grip is just enough.

Part of the cause also comes down to the Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, which provide tremendous stopping power for the large but track-worthy Z/28. But regardless of the cause, Chevy had to find a fix for the tire-on-wheel slippage issue.

If Chevy hadn't found a solution to the problem, it could have resulted in the wheel/tire package going out of balance--like the wheels they're mounted on, tires aren't perfectly uniform around their circumference. That's why the wheel/tire package is balanced as a unit.

Typically, Chevy says the tire-wheel slippage issue is solved through the use of an abrasive paint along the bead of the wheel, where the tire seats. The Z/28 team tried this, and found it wasn't enough to prevent the problem.

So they took it to the next level, using a racing solution: they media-blasted the rim of each wheel. That finally produced enough friction to keep the Z/28 from spinning the rubber around the metal.

Like the Flowtie, and the Flying Car Mode, this is just another small but significant piece of engineering that makes us appreciate the Z/28 that much more.