The extra gears and quicker shifts slice a half second off the ZL1 1LE's lap time around the Milford Road Course at General Motors' proving grounds.
Update: We reached out to Chevy to get a little more info on the new 10-speed for the ZL1 1LE. The gearbox weighs about 26 pounds more than the existing six-speed manual.
The company isn't willing to discuss specific acceleration and top speed figures for the muscle car with the automatic, but Chevy spokesperson Christopher Bonelli told us: "The lightning-quick shifts of the 10-speed will provide similar improvements for 0-60 and quarter-mile times as it did on the standard ZL1. More important for this car is track capability, so the quick down/up shifts when entering/exiting corners is a huge benefit."
The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is now quicker and easier to drive thanks to a newly available 10-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can start getting the new gearbox in late February. The 10-speed goes for $1,595 in addition to the 1LE package's $7,500.
Gallery: 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
The 10-speed is largely the same gearbox available in the 2019 Camaro SS, but Chevy's engineers tweak the calibrations for the transmission, electronic limited-slip differential, and traction control to match the ZL1 1LE's 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 650 horsepower (485 kilowatts) and 650 pound-feet (880 Newton-meters) of torque. The setup for the Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve dampers also have revisions to cope with the quicker weight transfer when swapping gears.
According to the Bowtie, the 10-speed auto makes the ZL1 1LE a half-second quicker around the 2.9-mile Milford Road Course than the model with the existing six-speed manual. The company predicts the new transmission's quicker shifts and extra cogs would also shave off time from the hardcore Camaro's Nürburgring lap time of 7:16.04.
Other than the new gearbox and its related tweaks, the ZL1 1LE package carries over unchanged from last year. Buyers still get a more aggressive body that includes canards at the front corners and a carbon fiber rear wing. The model rides on forged aluminum wheels with sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires that allow for 1.1g of lateral grip. Thinner rear glass and a fixed back seat help shed 50 pounds (22.68 kilograms). Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers and 15.4-inch rotors in front handle stopping duties.
2019 CAMARO ZL1 1LE: FASTER AND MORE ACCESSIBLE THAN EVER
10-speed automatic transmission will be available late February
DETROIT — The 2019 Camaro ZL1 1LE — the fastest, most track-capable Camaro ever — will offer an available 10-speed automatic transmission beginning late February.
During development, Chevy engineers pushed the limits of the automatic transmission to be more than one half second faster than the standard manual on General Motors’ 2.9-mile Milford Road Course. In fact, on longer tracks like the Nürburgring where you can take advantage of the lightning-quick shifts and all 10 gears, drivers can expect to shave off several seconds from their previous lap times with the six-speed manual ZL1 1LE.
“This transmission is optimized for speed,” said Camaro Chief Engineer Mark Dickens. “With unique Track Mode calibrations and 10 gears, you are always in the perfect gear when rolling on or off the throttle. You may not be a professional race car driver, but now you can shift like one.”
Not only does the 10-speed transmission save time at the track, it gives customers more performance options. The automatic provides standard paddle shifters for when they want a more engaging experience.
This new transmission comes with many changes that live up to the requirements of the 1LE performance package. Unique calibrations were made to the transmission, electronic limited slip differential and performance traction management system. The front and rear Multimatic DSSV® (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) dampers have been tuned to accommodate the quicker shifts in weight transfer. New hardware includes a new transmission oil pan and an additional cooling duct for the steering gear.
“Adding an automatic transmission is another example of the Camaro portfolio delivering what customers want. This ultimate 1LE is another appealing option that is true to its racing heritage,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing.
Additional ZL1 1LE features include:
Downforce-producing aero: Unique features include a carbon fiber rear wing, specific air deflectors and dive planes on the front fascia that produce grip-generating downforce to help the car stick harder and drive faster in turns.
Adjustable suspension: Racing-derived, lightweight Multimatic DSSV® dampers front and rear offer exceptional wheel and vehicle control. The front-end ride height is adjustable, along with the camber geometry. The rear stabilizer bar also offers three-way adjustability.
Wheels and tires: Specific 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 summer-only Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires1 that deliver max lateral grip of 1.10g.
Lighter weight: The lighter wheels and dampers, along with thinner rear glass and a fixed-back rear seat, contribute to more than 50-pound lower curb weight than a standard ZL1 Coupe.
Supercharged performance and more: The power behind the ZL1 1LE is the 650-horsepower, supercharged LT4 engine. Brembo brakes are included, along with dual-zone automatic climate control, Bose premium audio system, heated and ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel.
The ZL1 1LE Track Performance Package has an MSRP of $7,500 and the available 10-speed automatic transmission an MSRP of $1,595.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
1Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire-and-wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to https://my.chevrolet.com/learn/tires/ or see your dealer.