We’re used to seeing supercars at Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds blitzing the full 2.7-mile runway in search of top-speed glory. Occasionally the cameras come out for a half-mile test, and that’s exactly what we have this time around. The car is also something a bit different, specifically a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Among the many Porsches and McLarens we’ve seen at the Florida strip, it’s nice to see a proper muscle car getting some straight-line exercise.
Not that the top-dog Camaro is a slouch in the corners. The ZL1 1LE is among the fastest four-seat cars to lap the Nürburgring, turning a time of 7:16.04 back in 2017. Yes, it has a beefy 6.2-liter supercharged V8 good for 650 horsepower (485 kilowatts) and 650 pound-feet (881 Newton-meters) of torque, which can send it down the Nordschleife’s straighter sections to a top speed upwards of 200 mph. However, power alone doesn’t get you into the low-seven-minute range at the Green Hell, and our personal experience with the Camaro confirms it could well be the best handling modern Pony Car of them all. We’ll reserve further judgment until we get our hands on a new Mustang Shelby GT500.
Gallery: Camaro ZL1 1LE Half-Mile Sprint
Hustling down a straightaway is still natural territory for the Camaro, however, and it doesn’t disappoint for this half-mile run. We’ll assume the telemetry readout isn’t quite accurate, as it suggests the ZL1 takes over five seconds to reach the 60-mph mark. It’s usually dispensed in less than four seconds, but we do see the ‘Maro struggling for traction off the line. Once rolling, the muscle machine builds speed like a jumbo jet and manages to hit a respectable 142 mph at the half-mile mark. It sounds pretty good doing it, too.
Hopefully, we’ll see this car also tackle the full course. The 6.2-liter V8 sounds amazing at full bore, and we’re dying to see a Camaro break 200 mph.