A Black Hood
It’s hard to tell the difference between a Ford Mustang GT with the Performance Package Level 2 and a lesser example. The Camaro has no such issue, thanks to the 1LE’s iconic matte-black hood. It looks absolutely killer, and is easily our favorite stylistic touch.
The ZL1 1LE has easily the most noticeable aerodynamic improvements – a big-ass rear wing and front dive planes. But the SS, V6, and Turbo 1LE all feature smaller touches, like a matte-black rear spoiler and more prominent enhancements on the front fascia.
We’re suckers for Alcantara, and the Camaro isn’t short on it. It surrounds the perfectly sized steering wheel and shift lever, giving the otherwise unchanged cabin a sporty touch.
Bless the product planners at Chevrolet – the 1LE, regardless of engine, is only available with a six-speed manual transmission. This is as the performance gods demand.
Chevrolet offers a 1LE Package with literally every one of the Camaro’s available engines. Using a trickle-down strategy that suits the 1LE Package to the engine it’s paired with, Chevy offers a hardcore ZL1 1LE with heavy aerodynamic enhancements. The SS 1LE shares its adaptive suspension with the ZL1 1LE, while the V6 and Turbo take the standard Camaro SS’ suspension and add enhanced brakes. The result is four cars with different but similar handling character, but almost identical characters.
We do wish the Turbo 1LE were louder, but it’s not for lack of trying. Every 1LE comes standard with a dual-mode exhaust, an item that sounds especially good with the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 in the SS.
The Camaro’s excellent Recaro seats are available as optional extras on the SS, but they come standard on the SS 1LE and both regular and 1LE versions of the ZL1. As for the Turbo and V6, the only way to get these truly awesome seats is with the 1LE Package. And even then, they cost extra. But that’s money well spent.
Tires are the single most important upgrade a car can receive, and the 1LE doesn’t skimp regardless of the powertrain. The Turbo and V6 wear Goodyear Eagle F1s, while the SS gets slightly larger Eagle F1 Supercar tires, and the ZL1 1LE features Eagle F1 R3s. Each set is a summer-only tire, and while owners will likely want to swap out for their own more aggressive rubber after a track day or two, the Goodyears are a good starting point.
Even the least-powerful 1LE wears four-piston Brembo-branded brakes in front. Go with the SS, and there are six-piston stoppers in front and four-piston units in back. Those same calipers come standard on the ZL1 1LE, although they clamp down on bigger brake rotors – 15.35 inchers in front versus 13.6 on the front of the SS.
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