┬áIn what could be a hint of things to come, General Motors has filed for a trademark on the “Z28” nameplate. The Z28 name has historically been reserved for performance versions of the Chevrolet Camaro.
Thanks to some rooting by enthusiast site GM Authority, it has been revealed that GM applied for the Z28 trademark on September 7. However, what GM intends to do with the historic nameplate remains unknown.
As you might recall, it was widely speculated that GM would use the Z28 nameplate for the top-spec version of the current Camaro. However, when that car debuted at the Chicago auto show in 2011, it came bearing the ZL1 name.
With the Camaro lineup now consisting of the V6, SS, 1LE and ZL1, it's not exactly clear where the Z28 might fit in. Through the years the Z28 has typically slotted between the base car and the SS, but there probably isn't enough wiggle room between those models to pull that off today. That leaves a few possible options.
Following previous rumors, GM could be planning to set the Z28 atop the Camaro lineup. Although Chevy already has one high-powered Camaro in the form of the 580 horsepower ZL1, it still falls short of the 650+ horsepower Ford Shelby GT500. If Chevy really wants to go toe-to-toe with Ford, it could drop a version of the Corvette ZR1's 638 horsepower V8 between the fenders of the Camaro and slap a Z28 badge on it.
Another possibility is that the Z28 could replace the SS in the Camaro lineup. Chevrolet is preparing to launch a new rear-wheel drive sedan called the SS, so the automaker could be planning a name switch to avoid any possible confusion.
A third option might see Chevy return to the true roots of the Z28 name. Established in the late 1960s as a road racer, the original Z28 made use of a lighter V8 to blend good straight line performance with improved handling a braking. A modern interpretation of that might include a turbocharged engine and an uprated suspension.
Of course everything is pure speculation at this point. GM isn't handing out any details, so we'll just have to sit tight and see what the automaker has planned for the Z28 name.