Staged up-shifts improve Camaro’s manual-mode performance by up to 60 percent
DETROIT – When the new 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 arrives this spring, performance car enthusiasts will experience the hands-on driving satisfaction of a “stick” with the ease of an automatic transmission due to General Motors’ newly improved TapShift technology.
Since its introduction several years ago, TapShift has allowed drivers to control up- and down-shifts with paddle shifters. For 2012, GM powertrain engineers implemented a patent-pending software algorithm that improves tap response time by up to 60 percent compared to the previous system. No hardware changes were required for the upgrade.
“The faster you can get to the next gear, the better, and from the sound of it, the ZL1 automatic’s performance is going to make paddle shifting more exhilarating and satisfying for drivers of all skill sets,” said Eric Fedewa , director of Global Powertrain Forecasting at IHS Automotive. “We’re seeing a trend toward more manual-mode-capable, fun-to-drive automatic transmissions across all vehicle segments, and GM’s technology is leading the pack.”
The 2012 ZL1’s six-speed automatic transmission delivers a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds – a tenth of a second faster than the manual transmission time.
By staging hydraulic pressure in the clutch for the next gear, the new control module algorithm reduces tap delay for the 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5 up-shifts by 200-300 milliseconds. The system anticipates shift requests based on current gear, throttle, torque and speed. By pre-filling the clutch for the next gear, the tap up-shift response is near instantaneous.
“As great as the previous system’s performance was, we were driven to achieve even better results,” said Gabe Gibson, GM performance car calibration engineer. “Not only did we make the upgrade to Camaro, we implemented it on the 2012 Corvette as well, and will use it on all vehicles with TapShift control going forward.”
Staged up-shifts will help drivers of the 2012 ZL1 – the most powerful production Camaro ever – get the most out of its supercharged 6.2L engine that is SAE-rated at 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm).
ZL1 customers’ choice of an automatic 6L90 transmission with TapShift manual mode or a six-speed manual transmission is unmatched in its class. With 0 to 60 taking 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 184 mph, the power and acceleration of the ZL1 automatic rivals many supercars.
“We think Camaro drivers will really appreciate the performance improvement offered by staged up-shifts, whether they’re merging onto the freeway or putting their ZL1 through its paces at the track,” Gibson said.
The Camaro ZL1 Coupe will go on sale this spring as a 2012 model. The Camaro ZL1 Convertible will go on sale this summer as a 2013 model. Chevrolet expects the automatic transmission to command up to 50 percent of ZL1 sales.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality.