The beastly 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE may be capable of a 7:16.04 lap time around the Nürburgring, but it will never see light of day on a public European road. You can thank Europe’s pedestrian safety standards for that.
According to Motor Trend, all the aggressive aerodynamic components on the 1LE package make the Camaro a menace on the track – and to pedestrians. Unlike the standard ZL1, the ZL1 1LE adds a more aggressive body kit, front splitter, huge front dive planes, and a massive carbon-fiber rear wing. Those dive planes not only look cool and help direct air for cooling purposes and downforce, but also cause a potential threat to pedestrians, according to EU safety rules.
“The first thing you should know about the dive planes is that they can’t sell the ZL1 1LE in Europe because of pedestrian safety laws,” Motor Trend reported. “I think that fact right there is reason enough to buy this car.”
Back in the states – where you can actually buy this monster – the 1LE package is offered for an additional $7,500 over the standard ZL1, and comes with a multitude of upgrades. Although the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 650 horsepower (485 kilowatts) and 650 pound-feet (880 Newton-meters) remains, the 1LE sheds 60 pounds (27 kg) off of a ZL1 by employing a thinner rear glass window, and fixed rear seat back.
Ticking this option box also adds race-inspired Multimatic’s Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve dampers, wider and slightly smaller diameter black split-spoke wheels on Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R rubber, and a three-way adjustable rear stabilizer bar – all making this a truly capable track car.
All those extras make the ZL1 1LE almost 14 seconds faster around the ‘Ring than the regular Camaro ZL1 – not to mention it beats the likes of the Ferrari 488 GTB, Nissan GT-R and the last-gen 911 GT2 RS.
On American soil, the ZL1 1LE can be had for $69,995, including the $995 destination charge. European buyers will have to rely on memories of American V8 muscle roars reverberating from the Nordschleife.