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DETROIT – Thursday afternoon, Chevrolet unveiled its new car for the NASCAR Cup Series – the Camaro ZL1.

The new era kicks off with the 2018 season.

“The new Camaro ZL1 is a great-looking race car with a lot of heritage behind it, which will make it a big hit with fans,” Jimmie Johnson said. “And as someone who’s enjoyed the ZL1 on the street, I’m really looking forward to getting this new race car on the track.”

Johnson, his Hendrick Motorsports teammates -- including Alex Bowman -- and owner Rick Hendrick joined the car unveil at Chevrolet’s headquarters in Detroit.

The Camaro ZL1 – which will make its competition debut next February at Daytona International Speedway – builds on a winning legacy carried by the previous Chevrolet SS, which has scored 70 Cup Series wins to date.

“I think the heritage of 50 years with the Camaro, seeing it on the racetrack is going to be so good and I think we’re going to be very competitive,” Hendrick said.

The Camaro ZL1 is a fuel-injected, V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance car both on the road and at the racetrack. It features a 650-horsepower supercharged engine featuring a 90-degree V-8 configuration similar to the racing engines seen in the Cup Series.

The ZL1 name originated in the 1960s with a Chevy-developed, all-aluminum racing engine. In 1969, the engine was installed in 69 regular-production Camaros.

More than 40 years later, the ZL1 was reintroduced as the ultimate performance Camaro, offering track-capable performance straight off the showroom floor.

“Chevrolet, Camaro and ZL1 are all synonymous with winning, both on and off the track,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of GM global product development. “We are thrilled to run Camaro in the NASCAR Cup Series next year, with the time-honored and track-tested ZL1 badge, and we’re just as excited for our drivers, teams, fans and customers.”

Johnson powered the big reveal, driving the Camaro ZL1 out to the waiting crowd.

“I’m really pumped up,” Hendrick said. “I wish we had it this year. I wish we were already racing it.”

Chevrolet has earned a record 39 NASCAR manufacturer titles — including 13 consecutive titles from 2003-2015 – and its drivers have taken home a record 30 Cup championships, most recently courtesy of Johnson in 2016.

The bowtie brand will look for even more success the rest of the 2017 campaign – and in the Camaro era, starting next season.

“It’s going to be a great race car,” Hendrick said.