Lighter and with more grip, this is the most aggressive Camaro yet.
No, this not the new Z/28. Meet the Camaro ZL1 1LE, an even more hardcore version of Chevy’s 650-horsepower, almost-200-mile-per-hour super-coupe. It’s got the same supercharged LT4 V8 making the same power, but like the 1LE versions of the V6 and SS Camaros, this one is more focused on handling and outright track-attack prowess.
Aerodynamic enhancements include a huge, carbon fiber rear wing, new air deflectors, and dive planes. Chassis upgrades include new Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve dampers at the front and rar, with an adjustable front-end ride height. Lightweight, forged aluminum wheels are an inch wider than the rollers on the standard ZL1, but an inch smaller in diameter, and are fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires – with super-massive 325-series tires at the back – which offer enough lateral grip to pull 1.1 Gs of force in a turn. Compared to a standard ZL1, the 1LE is 60 pounds lighter.
General Motors says these upgrades are enough to make the ZL1 1LE a full three seconds quicker than a stock ZL1 Coupe around the company’s Milford Road Course track. Hot damn.
Chevrolet unveiled the new Camaro ZL1 1LE in Daytona, Florida, ahead of the annual Daytona 500 race. Look for the new coupe to go on sale later this year, as a 2018 model. We’ll have official pricing details around that time, as well.
For now, scroll through the gallery below for both live and stock photos of the new 650-hp 1LE, and scroll beyond that to read GM's official press blast.
Live photos: Zac Estrada / Motor1.com
Gallery: 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
2018 CAMARO ZL1 1LE SETS BENCHMARK FOR TRACK CAPABILITY
Special aero, adjustable suspension, exclusive tires drive unprecedented performance for a production sports car
DAYTONA, Fla. — Chevrolet has established a new performance benchmark with the introduction of the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE — the most track-capable Camaro ever.
Taking the track-focused 1LE formula to an unprecedented level, the ZL1 1LE incorporates racing-based suspension and aero technologies, as well as exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R summer-only tires,* in an extreme track performance package.
“The track-focused 1LE package offers progressive levels of performance across the Camaro lineup, from the V6 1LE to the SS 1LE,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “But with the new ZL1 1LE, the progression takes a quantum leap — this is the ultimate track-day Camaro.”
In preliminary testing, the new ZL1 1LE was 3 seconds faster than the standard ZL1 Coupe around General Motors’ 2.9-mile, 18-turn Milford Road Course test track.
The improved track performance is driven by four key elements:
Aerodynamics: New aero features including a carbon fiber rear wing, specific air deflectors and dive planes on the front fascia produce grip-generating downforce to help the car stick harder and drive faster in turns.
Adjustable suspension: The ZL1 1LE features racing-derived, lightweight Multimatic DSSV® (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) dampers front and rear for exceptional wheel and vehicle control. The front-end ride height is adjustable with the front dampers, which are used with all-new, adjustable camber plates. The rear stabilizer bar also offers three-way adjustability. All of the components are designed for quick changes at the track for optimal performance and a quick return to street settings when the track day ends.
Wheels and tires: New, lightweight forged aluminum wheels are an inch wider but an inch smaller in diameter, front and rear, than standard ZL1 wheels and are used with new Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires that deliver max lateral grip of 1.10g. Developed exclusively for the Camaro ZL1 1LE, the 3R tires are designed to warm up faster to help maintain more consistent grip and speed, lap after lap. The overall footprint grows approximately 10 percent over the ZL1, but the wheel-and-tire package weighs about 1.5 pounds (3.3 kg) less per corner.
Lighter weight: The lighter wheels and dampers, along with reduced thickness rear glass and a fixed-back rear seat, contribute to an approximately 60-pound (27 kg) lower curb weight than a standard ZL1 Coupe.
“The new Camaro ZL1 1LE offers the supreme track experience,” said Mark Dickens, executive director, Chevrolet Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports Engineering. “It’s the pinnacle of Camaro performance and advances the 1LE’s nearly 30-year legacy of uncompromising, track-tailored capability.”
The power behind the ZL1 1LE is the 650-horsepower, supercharged LT4 engine backed by a six-speed manual transmission featuring Active Rev Match. Brembo brakes, including red calipers with the 1LE logo, are also included. Additional standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bose premium audio system, heated/ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel.
The 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE goes on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.