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Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018: характеристики и фотографии

Обзор Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018: внешний вид модели, интерьер, технические характеристики, системы безопасности, цены и комплектации. В конце статьи — тест-драйв модели!

Содержание обзора:

  • Внешний вид
  • Салон новой Шевроле Камаро ЗЛ1
  • Характеристики Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018
  • Системы безопасности
  • Стоимость и комплектации Шевроле Камаро ZL1 1LE 2018 года
  • Видео

Весной 2016-го компания Chevrolet порадовала своих поклонников выходом экстремальной модификации двухдверного маслкара Chevrolet Camaro 6-поколения, получившей приставку «ZL1». Как и подобает версии «ZL1», новинка получила первоклассный аэродинамический обвес, мощнейшую силовую установку и новую автоматическую КПП на 10 скоростей, позволяющую «выстреливать» до первой сотни всего за 3,5 сек.

Но мировая общественность не успела оглянуться, как в феврале 2017-го руководство «Шевроле» представило трековую версию модели Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, к наименования которой добавилась приставка «1LE». Дебют трекового маслкара состоялся в ходе ежегодной гонке «Дайтона 500», традиционно открывший новый сезон гонок серии NASCAR.

В сравнении с версией «ZL1», Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018-2019 получил слегка видоизменный аэродинамический обвес, перенастроенное шасси, более производительную тормозную систему и максимальный уровень комплектации.

Экстерьер Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018

Внешность нового Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE точно не оставит никого равнодушным — автомобиль обладает современным, ярким и чрезвычайно агрессивным дизайном, в котором, как не странно, просматриваются фирменные «нотки» классических Chevrolet Camaro прошлого столетия.

На месте остался рельефный капот, тонкая полоска фальшрадиаторной решётки и грозная головная оптика, с эффектными лентами дневных ходовых огней.

Профиль новинки имеет классические для маслкара пропорции, а также может похвастаться эффектными боковыми аэродинамическими «юбками», мощными колёсными арками и крупными 19-дюймовыми колёсными дисками, обутыми в покрышки Goodyear Eagle F1-Supercar 3R, которые были специально разработаны для этой модели.

И без того эффектная корма Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 в трековой модификации «1LE» получила массивное заднее антикрыло, изготовленное из углеволокна. При этом на месте остались фирменные габаритные LED-огни, компактная крышка багажника и монументальный задний бампер с двумя парами патрубков системы выпуска.

Внешние размеры Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018-2019 остались прежними:

Производитель предпочёл не раскрывать информацию о высоте дорожного просвета, но учитывая трековую направленность модификации «1LE», автомобиль может обладать немного заниженной подвеской.

На выбор потенциальным покупателям производитель предлагает широкую гамму расцветок кузова, не позволяющую автомобилю остаться незамеченным даже в тесном городском потоке.

Интерьер Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018-2019

Внутреннее убранство автомобиля полностью соответствует его внешнему облику – спортивно, брутально и максимально эргономично. Водительский кокпит представлен оригинальным трехспицевым мультирулем с по-спортивному срезанным нижним ободом, а также хорошо считываемой и информативной комбинацией аналогово-цифровых приборов.

Центральная часть торпедо отведена под мультимедийный центр с сенсорным дисплеем, а также оригинальный блок управления климатом с двумя крупными турбинами-крутилками регулировки температуры, внешне в точности повторяющими оформление дефлекторов воздуховодов.

Салон нового Camaro ZL1 1LE выполнен по компоновке 2+2, что означает наличие двух полноценных передних кресел и компактного заднего диванчика, способного принять на борт разве что детей.

К слову о передних креслах, тут они представлены особыми спортивными сидениями от Recaro, обладающими отменной боковой поддержкой, электрорегулировками, системой подогрева и вентилирования. Кресла имеют красную строчку, комбинированную отделку из алькантары и натуральной кожи, а в их спинках красуется фирменный логотип «ZL1».

Технические характеристики Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018

Под капотом Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE располагается хорошо знакомый и успевший отлично зарекомендовать себя мотор V8, аналогичный тому, который устанавливается на версии Camaro ZL1. Двигатель оборудован системой непосредственной подачи горючего и механическими нагнетателями, что позволяет «выжать» максимальные 659 «коней» и впечатляющие 881 Нм пикового момента.

К сожалению, производитель решил не озвучивать информацию про время, необходимое на разгон от 0 до 100, а вот максимальная скорость составляет порядка 320 км/час. Тут же отметим, что в отличие от Camaro ZL1, оснащённого инновационной АКПП на 10-скоростей, версия «1LE» предлагается исключительно с 6-уровневой «механикой», которая немногим уступает «автомату» в динамике.

Тем не менее, летом 2017-го трековый Camaro преодолел трассу Нюрбургринга за 7 мин. и 16,04 сек., что оказалось на 14 сек. быстрее Camaro ZL1, на 5 сек. быстрее Феррари 488 GTB и на целых 2 сек. быстрее Porsche 911 GT RS2 (997-й кузов).

Базируется Camaro ZL1 1LE на фирменной заднеприводной платформе «Alpha», представленной многорычажной системой подвески спереди и пятирычажкой – сзади. В отличии от версии ZL1, трековая версия получила возможность быстрой корректировки развала колёс, а также возможность настройки стабилизаторов поперечной устойчивости.

Кроме этого, американские инженеры встроили в заднюю ось самоблокируемый задний дифференциал. Стандартно маслкар оснащается адаптивной системой шасси Magnetic Ride, а также высокопроизводительными передними 6- и задними 4-поршневыми тормозами от компании Brembo, диаметром в 390 мм и 365 мм соответственно. Рулевое управление реечного типа дополнено современным электроусилителем.

Безопасность новой Шевроле Камаро ЗЛ1 1ЛЕ

Учитывая выдающуюся мощность и отменные динамические характеристики Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, производитель просто не мог обойти стороной такой параметр как безопасность, которая тут находится на очень высоком уровне. Так, в арсенале автомобиля значатся такие системы:

  • Камера обзорности назад;
  • Фирменная стабилизационная система «StabiliTrak»;
  • Эирбеги «по кругу»;
  • Система оповещения о смене полосы движения;
  • Система мониторинга «слепых» зон и предупреждения о наличии поперечно двигающихся авто при езде задним ходом;
  • Светодиодная передняя и задняя оптика;
  • Антиблокировочная, а также противобуксовочная и система курсовой стабилизации;
  • Высокопроизводительными тормозными дисками Brembo;
  • Ремни безопасности;
  • Датчики контроля уровня давления в колёсах;
  • Система круиз-контроля;
  • Функция автоматического включения аварийной сигнализации;
  • Иммобилайзер и многое другое.

Кроме того, маслкар получил прочный стальной каркас, надёжно защищающих находящихся внутри пассажиров при столкновении.

Комплектация и цена новой Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018 года

В настоящее время российским покупателям предложена исключительно обычная версия Chevrolet Camaro, цена которой начинается с отметки в 2,99 млн. руб. При этом ожидать появлении версий ZL1 и ZL1 1LE на российском рынке в ближайшее время точно не стоит, впрочем, и в последующем их появление в России крайне сомнительно.

А вот на родном для себя североамериканском рынке версия Camaro ZL1 продаётся по цене от 62,495 тыс. долларов (порядка 3,62 млн. руб.).

К сожалению, пока нет никакой точной информации ни о цене, ни о предположительной дате начала продаж трековой версии ZL1 1LE, но уже можно говорить о том, что автомобиль будет заметно дороже «стандартного» Camaro ZL1.

Список стандартного оборудования будет представлен:

  • Светодиодной оптикой спереди и сзади;
  • Аэродинамическим передним и задним бампером со встроенным сплиттером и задним спортивным диффузором;
  • Продвинутой системой выхлопа;
  • Мультимедийным центром с музыкой от BOSE;
  • Двузонным климат-контролем;
  • Спортивными креслами Recaro;
  • Системой подогрева кресел и рулевого колеса;
  • Электрорегулировкой и системой вентилирования кресел;
  • Мощным задним антикрылом из углеволокна;
  • Минимум 6 эирбегами;
  • Системой стабилизации StabiliTrak;
  • Системами мониторинга «слепых» зон и предупреждения о наличии поперечно двигающихся авто при езде задним ходом;
  • Круиз-контролем;
  • Механической КПП на 6 скоростей;
  • Самоблокируемым задним дифференциалом;
  • Высокопроизводительными тормозами от компании Brembo;
  • Адаптивным шасси Magnetic Ride и т.п.

Кроме этого, производитель обещает предложить широкий набор опционального оборудования.

Заключение

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE – эффектный, мощный и высокотехнологичный маслкар, способный подарить истинное наслаждение от динамики и управления не только на скоростной шоссе, но и профессиональном гоночном треке.

Тест-драйв Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE 2018:

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2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE [Add-on / Replace]

All Versions

13 827 загрузки , 19,1 МБ
26 мая 2018

More mods by Gta5KoRn:

Pre-released on Nov 19, 2017 on Patreon.com/Gta5KoRn
My 55th car mod

• 3D Model: NaturalMotion / Turn 10
• Showcase video: YouTube

• Add-on / Replace (Lynx)
• at least patch 1.0.1180.2 is required!

Early access / Pre-Release mods — Patreon.com/Gta5KoRn:
2018 Brabus-Maybach Rocket 900
Fast and Furious 8 — Submarine Map
2014 Volkswagen GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo
2015 Mercedes-Brabus G500 4×4²
2019 Bugatti Divo
2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Pullman
2019 Apollo Intensa Emozione
2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 X222
2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 W222
2018 Lamborghini Urus
2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 W213 [Remastered]
2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS AlphaSix Designs
2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 W222
2016 Chevrolet Camaro Bumblebee (from Transformers 5)
2016 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Coupé
2019 Hyundai Veloster N
2015 Brabus 850 S-Class W222
2018 Mercedes-AMG E63s W213 [Remastered]
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom 8

Features:
— HQ- Exterior / Interior / Sills / Engine / Trunk
— Clean mapping of leather, plasticsuede, alcantara, etc. textures
— Vibrating engine and exhaust
— Working lights (headlights, taillights, front and rear indicators, reversing- and brake lights)
— 4 Paint options:
▪ Paint 1: exterior
▪ Paint 2: brake calipers
▪ Paint 6: Interior parts (only via trainer in benny mod shop)
▪ Paint 7: body parts (only via trainer in benny mod shop)
— Interior light (you can turn it on & off with headlights)
— Manufacturer rear plate with ‘1LE’ logo
— 4 extras: Front & Rear GTA Plate, Rollcage, Monster Energy drink
— Working steeringwheel
— Analog-digital dials
— Working Game radio adapted to the original Camaro display
— Full body dirt
— Breakable windows (with dirt and cracks)
— Bullet impact
— Hands on steeringwheel
— Correct car proportions
— HQ mirror reflections
— Correct door handle & opening on door hinges
— No tint on lights
— Correct seat positions for 2 peds
— Correct exhaust smoke position
— Correct neon lights position
— Correct platelight position
— Burn area
—————————————

Installation (Replace / Add-on):
Read the README file inside the archive

All Versions

13 827 загрузки , 19,1 МБ
26 мая 2018

47 комментариев

More mods by Gta5KoRn:

Pre-released on Nov 19, 2017 on Patreon.com/Gta5KoRn
My 55th car mod

• 3D Model: NaturalMotion / Turn 10
• Showcase video: YouTube

• Add-on / Replace (Lynx)
• at least patch 1.0.1180.2 is required!

Early access / Pre-Release mods — Patreon.com/Gta5KoRn:
2018 Brabus-Maybach Rocket 900
Fast and Furious 8 — Submarine Map
2014 Volkswagen GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo
2015 Mercedes-Brabus G500 4×4²
2019 Bugatti Divo
2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Pullman
2019 Apollo Intensa Emozione
2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 X222
2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 W222
2018 Lamborghini Urus
2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 W213 [Remastered]
2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS AlphaSix Designs
2018 Mercedes-Benz S560 W222
2016 Chevrolet Camaro Bumblebee (from Transformers 5)
2016 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Coupé
2019 Hyundai Veloster N
2015 Brabus 850 S-Class W222
2018 Mercedes-AMG E63s W213 [Remastered]
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom 8

Features:
— HQ- Exterior / Interior / Sills / Engine / Trunk
— Clean mapping of leather, plasticsuede, alcantara, etc. textures
— Vibrating engine and exhaust
— Working lights (headlights, taillights, front and rear indicators, reversing- and brake lights)
— 4 Paint options:
▪ Paint 1: exterior
▪ Paint 2: brake calipers
▪ Paint 6: Interior parts (only via trainer in benny mod shop)
▪ Paint 7: body parts (only via trainer in benny mod shop)
— Interior light (you can turn it on & off with headlights)
— Manufacturer rear plate with ‘1LE’ logo
— 4 extras: Front & Rear GTA Plate, Rollcage, Monster Energy drink
— Working steeringwheel
— Analog-digital dials
— Working Game radio adapted to the original Camaro display
— Full body dirt
— Breakable windows (with dirt and cracks)
— Bullet impact
— Hands on steeringwheel
— Correct car proportions
— HQ mirror reflections
— Correct door handle & opening on door hinges
— No tint on lights
— Correct seat positions for 2 peds
— Correct exhaust smoke position
— Correct neon lights position
— Correct platelight position
— Burn area
—————————————

Installation (Replace / Add-on):
Read the README file inside the archive

2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE First Drive: Best Of The Breed

Driving the quickest production pony car the world has ever known.

– Oliver, British Columbia, Canada

From the outside, the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is a caricature of what a performance car should be. As the hardcore track-day version of the not-at-all timid Camaro ZL1, the ZL1 1LE’s rear wing might as well double as an ironing board, and the hyper-aggressive dive planes in front would be right at home on a nuclear submarine.

Anyone driving something in the ZL1 1LE’s crosshairs, however, from the Shelby GT350R to Porsches with similarly protracted alphanumeric names, would be foolish to dismiss the Camaro as a superficial plaything for those with an extra $69,995 in their bank accounts. Everything new on this car, both what’s visible, and especially what isn’t, is there to turn it into a precision instrument on the race track.

Around a road course, the ZL1 1LE stands alone as the quickest pony car ever put into production, a claim to which its 7:16 lap time around the Nürburgring attests. Simply put, this is the best of the breed, and it’s not even close.

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Goodyear spent three years developing two brand new tires solely for this car – one for the front, and another for the rear, each with a different fundamental behavior.

“ZL1,” of course, is the option code for an all-singing, all-dancing, 650-horsepower, 650-pound-feet supercharged V8, complete with all the trimmings – much like “SS” denotes a 455-hp V8, or “LT” signifies the four- or six-cylinder option. Adding the “1LE” designation to the end of the ZL1, SS, or the V6 LT brings about the kind of beefed-up cornering prowess one would expect of a serious track package option.

With each step up in the product line, from LT to SS to ZL1, the list of 1LE go-fast goodies evolves into an increasingly serious package. For the ZL1 1LE, Chevrolet held nothing back, leveraging existing business relationships to execute a tour de force of corporate R&D.

The ZL1 1LE is a mean muscle car:

This isn’t a limited edition, though Chevy only anticipates annual sales of somewhere between 800 and 1,000 units. It’s a halo car designed both to draw attention to the engineering excellence of Chevrolet’s engineers and its corporate partners, and to drive sales for Chevrolet’s Performance Parts Catalog, in which the ZL1 1LE’s most important go-fast goodies will be available à la carte. Success revolves around how brightly the ZL1 1LE shines against its competition.

Goodyear spent three years developing two brand new tires solely for this car – one for the front, and another for the rear, each with a different fundamental behavior. Multimatic, the Canadian firm best known for its Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers, completely re-engineered some of the most crucial front suspension components. Even the Mercedes Formula One wind tunnel got in on the action.

More on all of that in a minute, though, because none of it matters if the car isn’t a stud in its native environment.

The car rotates with a finesse more commonly associated with a svelte Miata than a 3,820-pound behemoth.

Area 27 takes its name from the Ferrari racing number synonymous with Canadian F1 legend Gilles Villeneuve. Carved into a hilly wine valley in rural British Columbia, it’s a highly technical track filled with blind corners, double apexes, tight hairpins, and fast sweepers at the end of even faster straights. And Chevrolet’s team has lined it with 1LEs.

Turn 5 here is a tight left-hand corner that’s the second half of a double-apex complex, and you crest a hill while you’re still steering. As I approach, I lightly tap the brake with my left foot just a bit later than the Camaro I’m chasing, a 455-hp SS 1LE piloted by a professional Canadian racer. I trail off the slow pedal as I turn in. The car rotates with a finesse more commonly associated with a svelte Miata than a 3,820-pound behemoth, and I’m able to get on the throttle earlier than the other guy.

. And then I have to back off, lest I risk shoving those Red October-sized dive planes right up his tailpipe.

Turn 6 is a high-speed, uphill, right-hand sweeper that leads immediately into a heavy braking zone. I again lightly squeeze the brake pedal to transfer just a touch more of the ZL1 1LE’s weight onto the front tires, and smoothly turn the steering wheel while looking up the hill.

I wind up taking the corner with my right foot firmly pressed to the floor, climbing up the hill as the head-up display ticks past 100 miles per hour. Just like that, I’ve caught right back up to a car that only six months ago was arguably the best performance bargain in America, if not the world.

This is a legitimate trackday superstar with more than enough engineering pedigree to satisfy even the most dedicated enthusiast.

Turn 11 at Area 27 is a fast, blind, left-hand kink that sits right at the crest of a hill. You can’t see the track on the other side until you’re already there, and the topography is perfectly set up to unsettle a car. In the lesser SS 1LE, understeer is prevalent as the front tires pass the crest, but then it nervously transitions to oversteer as weight comes back down on the front and the rear crosses the crest. In the ZL1 1LE, however, the effect of the wing and dive planes is evident, and the uneasiness is much less pronounced.

The aerodynamic additions might look like a Fast & Furious appearance package, but they’re absolutely functional. The wing in particular was developed using the Mercedes F1 wind tunnel in Brackley, England, to determine both its height and the exact mounting point on the trunk. It generates 300 pounds of downforce at 150 mph. The aim isn’t pure downforce, though, but rather to keep the car as perfectly balanced as possible.

With the same supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 as the “base” ZL1, the ZL1 1LE’s drivetrain is unchanged, save for a minor tweak to sixth gear and some fine tuning to the software controlling the active differential. The suspension, though, is a marked improvement, taken straight from the pages of The Track Junkie’s Handbook.

As both a top-level supplier and an engineering firm, Multimatic carved out a name for itself by helping teams at the absolute highest levels of racing win myriad championships. The company’s revolutionary DSSV dampers are found everywhere from the 2010-2013 World Championship-winning Red Bull F1 cars, to the Ford GT, to the Camaro Z/28, to even the Chevy Colorado ZR2 truck. And now the ZL1 1LE.

The car inspires the confidence needed to push the envelope whether the speedometer reads 20 mph or 120 mph.

For the ZL1 1LE, Multimatic’s engineers developed their own strut housing. The new aluminum bits not only save over 18 pounds from the front of the car – helping to offset the additional weight of the supercharger – they’re stronger, too. Adding to that rigidity, the subframes use hard mounts, rather than squishy rubber bushings that tend to deform under heavy use. In layman’s terms, the suspension geometry remains consistent, so the handling is predictable at any speed. The car inspires the confidence needed to push the envelope whether the speedometer reads 20 mph or 120 mph.

Much of the suspension is adjustable, allowing knowledgeable owners to adjust the setup to their driving style or home track. For those new to the black art of suspension adjustment, Chevrolet will provide a cheat sheet to help understand all the permutations. The ride height is variable by up to 10 millimeters to enable balance adjustments. The rear stabilizer bar is adjustable to allow further fine-tuning. To better take advantage of the barely-DOT-legal, ZL1 1LE-specific tires, engineers added easily adjustable camber plates to this Camaro, too.

At a fundamental level, all of this means that the front end grips the pavement in a way in which few front-engined production cars are capable, let alone one that tips the scales at more than double the weight of a Lotus Elise. The steering is precise and highly communicative, and the whole front end reacts enthusiastically to mid-corner throttle or brake adjustments.

The revolutionary nature of those DSSV dampers has been discussed at length elsewhere, but running over the kerbing at corner-exit highlights their brilliance. They simply absorb the bump and control the motion, allowing the car to settle down with an almost imperceptible quickness. The same simply can’t be said of other cars in this class, and even very good options like the SS 1LE and Shelby GT350 require a driver to wait patiently until the chassis is ready for further instructions.

The Camaro ZL1 1LE works as a cohesive piece of racecar engineering applied to the street.

In other words, the ZL1 1LE’s suspension enables drivers to get on the throttle, turn, or brake without delay, and that advantage adds up over the course of a lap. The most dramatic evidence of this is the ZL1 1LE’s 13.5-second advantage over the non-1LE ZL1 at the Nürburgring, a track that places a premium on such stability.

Perhaps the biggest piece of the ZL1 1LE’s magic, though, is the role of the tires. Engineers from both Chevrolet’s street tire division and its race programs went to 11 different tracks. They mixed various chemical compounds to develop the right one for this specific car. They hand-carved tread blocks based on computer modeling, then re-carved them time and again after getting feedback from test drivers.

The 305-millimeter wide front tires are designed with turn-in, responsiveness, and communication in mind. The monster 325-millimeter rears are meant to allow a driver to take advantage of that suspension by getting on the throttle earlier without suddenly snapping into oversteer.

The car works as a cohesive piece of racecar engineering applied to the street. No doubt aided in part by Chevy’s excellent Performance Traction Management, the car powers out of the corner with absolutely zero drama as it accelerates down the long straight.

Slowing from north of 135 mph to around 90 mph for the long, fast turn two sweeper, everything comes together for the ZL1 1LE. The tires talk directly to the driver, without rubber bushings muting their feedback. Push too hard, and they’re sticky enough to save you and compensate for your ham-fistedness, but they tell you via a subtle scrubbing sensation if you’re trying too hard. Back off ever so slightly, and they sing a melodious note as they settle into their sweet spot.

Driving the ZL1 1LE is truly a dance: to be fast one needs only to pay attention to what the tires are telling you, and lightly manipulate the throttle accordingly.

The ZL1 1LE is more than just a heavy American pony car with prodigious power. This is a legitimate trackday superstar with more than enough engineering pedigree to satisfy even the most dedicated enthusiast. At the same time, though, its race track demeanor is so user-friendly that GM can sell it to a novice driver without fear of immediate recrimination. This is a car that can bludgeon lesser cars into submission even at the hands of an unskilled driver. For the experienced track addict, though, it’s a nuanced instrument, a scalpel capable of carving up considerably more expensive machinery.

Photos: Chevrolet

First Drive: 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

The baddest sixth-generation Camaro yet leaves us impressed

KELOWNA, British Columbia — Have you ever been to Kelowna? Neither had I as I boarded the final flight on my way to drive the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. Terra firma meeting my little Alaskan Air twin-prop prodded me out of nap land. I had to think for second where I was and what I was actually doing here. I’ve been traveling flat out since January, when I flew to the Middle East to compete in the 24 Hours of Dubai sports-car race. Since then, among other responsibilities, I’ve been to Germany several times to run at the Nürburgring, and now here I am — 170,000 miles later — in the Pacific Northwest for a test of the latest Camaro track special.

As I eyed the 1LE for the first time, its ultra-aggressive stance made me think of the long-standing Mustang/Camaro rivalry, with fanatical fans on both sides. They’re nothing like political or religious fanatics, of course; they’re way more civilized. That said, seeing the 1LE’s rabid front fascia in a rearview mirror may be the vehicular equivalent of a middle finger to anyone in its path.

Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser informs us, «The 1LE is focused towards track and then street. We aimed for a vehicle buyers (General Motors figures people age 50 and older) can drive to the track, enjoy driving on track, and then drive it home.»

The 1LE seems to follow function more than design. Air management was a chief consideration throughout its development. Bodywork had to change, because the 1LE’s wheels (11 inches in front, 12 in the rear) are an inch wider than the ones found on the standard Camaro ZL1. The fenders are 0.7 inch wider to efficiently move air around the larger rubber (305/30R-19 front, 325/30R-19 rear). As a historical note, this is the widest rubber ever employed on a factory-built Camaro. Unique to the 1LE package, Chevy chose to use 19-inch wheels instead of the base ZL1’s 20-inchers. The 19s pull air through them as they roll to aid brake cooling.

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The 1LE has a longer front splitter molded over the standard fascia, plus racing-derived dive planes and larger front grille openings. All of this adds downforce to the front, which means a new rear wing is necessary to reestablish aerodynamic balance. The 1LE rear wing is highly efficient, adding downforce with little drag. The use of carbon fiber allows the wing to be very thin where needed, which means aero effectiveness dictated the shape rather than manufacturing limitations or design eccentricities. Total downforce, according to Chevy, is 300 pounds at 150 mph.

Chevy went to suspension masters Multimatic to work on the 1LE, the same company that’s heavily involved with the new Ford GT supercar. As does the Ford GT, the Camaro 1LE uses Multimatic’s Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve, DSSV, damper technology front and rear. DSSV technology has been used in Formula 1 and other professional racing series and is, of course, very expensive. The main tech difference in a DSSV damper compared to a typical one is the use of exquisitely engineered pistons, with port holes instead of the deflective discs, or shims, traditionally found inside.

DSSV technology allows for much more specific shock tuning and a wider range of capability. Note: The 1LE’s dampers are not adjustable. In an effort to delete chassis/suspension flex, traditional rubber mounts and bushings were eliminated where possible. The 1LE front dampers are hard-mounted, top and bottom, which should lead to more consistent handling at the limit. Interestingly, despite the hard mount, loosening just three bolts and rotating the strut can increase front camber to 3 degrees negative in minutes. This is a very useful option for trackside preparation. Ride height is also adjustable by a total of 0.78 inch via the front-strut spring perch. Plus, the rear stability bar has three positions. Amazingly, the DSSV dampers on the 1LE save 23 pounds over the ZL1’s regular setup.

More than 20 years have passed since I worked with Goodyear tire engineers to develop super-sticky street-based race tires. After a long layoff, at least on my side, I can say Goodyear is back in the sticky street-tire game with this new Eagle F1 Supercar 3R (1LE specific). Think Pirelli Trofeo, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, etc. In other words, they are exceptional — and wear out if you look at them too long — but, oh, how they grip. Goodyear worked alongside the Camaro group on the new R3. «Normally we would see maybe four iterations of development tire at most,» Oppenheiser says. «With the 1LE tire, Goodyear submitted seven over three years.» Indeed, it’s good to see another player in the sticky street-tire business, as it should provide more competition and improve and increase choices for all enthusiasts.

My street drive of the 1LE takes place in northwest Washington, around the picturesque Oroville, Tonasket area. I drive 300 miles, sitting in the driver’s seat for around eight hours. I’ll say something right here about the seats in the 1LE (identical to the ZL1): These are without doubt the most comfortable seats I have ever found in a GM vehicle. That is good news because this car feels stiff — and I mean really stiff. The 1LE does not have a lot of suspension travel, and the dampers are designed to work best on the limit at racetracks.

In fact, expansion joints on public roads cause the car to skip. Ripples in asphalt while approaching a couple stop signs send the 1LE into a tiff, as it skips from one ripple to the next. Staff photographer Robin Trajano and I find ourselves out of our seats a couple of times (yes, we have seatbelts on) as we encounter abrupt road heaves. But once I understand how the 1LE is set up, I drive accordingly. The car’s ride and handling reminds me of driving a Porsche 997 911 GT3; they seem to share similar compliance levels. I have not heard anyone with a GT3 complain about a stiff ride, as usually they know what they bought. I suspect and certainly hope 1LE buyers will be equally discerning.

Regardless of the stiffness, the 1LE feels fine 99 percent of the time on Washington’s superb country roads. Handling at spirited (not nutcase) speeds was predictable and impressive. The Goodyears provide constant lateral grip of more than 1g with no fuss. Despite the big grip, I could manipulate the 1LE at will. I practiced some «overdriving» scenarios with traction- and stability-control nannies set to minimum intrusion. I leaned on the front tires and used quick hands to upset the rear. Nothing caused a twitchy or snappy reaction, just manageable little slides corrected easily with steering input or by the traction/stability controls. The chassis and Goodyear combo worked well.

I could not use all 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque from the supercharged LT4 V-8 for more than a few seconds without reaching jail-time speeds. This is power enjoyed fully on a track, as the 1LE is a really big stick, and you can’t come close to using all of it on the street.

The MH3 Tremec six-speed manual gearbox is excellent. In fact, it is one of the best production-car manual transmissions I’ve tried, and the rev-match feature is flawless as far as I’m concerned. The brakes (six-piston Brembos front, four-piston rear) are superb. The steering feels connected and direct, probably helped by the solid mounted struts. A fair amount of tire noise comes into the car above 60 mph, but it does nothing to hinder conversation. Engine noise is a friendly burble in normal driving, only changing to «Can you freakin’ hear me now?» with a heavy foot.

Why, though, in such a track-tuned car, does the 1LE have electric seats, as there must be 60 pounds worth of electric motors included in them? Oppenheiser answers, «We left all the ZL1 content in, as we believe the 1LE buyer will demand it.» He adds, «This is not a stripped-out car, [something like] that would tend towards a Z28.» So then, despite all the track-focused bits and tuning, the 1LE remains all ZL1 inside and weighs only 67 pounds less (3,820 pounds).

The basic Camaro controls are simple to use, and I had no problem achieving an ideal driving position. I managed 15.3 mpg during our 300-mile day, including at least an hour of engine idle time.

As far as racetracks go, we headed to Area 27, a six-month-old facility just outside of Kelowna. The 3-mile track has 16 turns and was designed by Canadian F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve. I can confirm he did not design it to be boring. There are fast, medium, and slow corners, a wicked blind 100-mph chicane, and great elevation changes. It’s an excellent circuit.

The Camaro ZL1 1LEs Chevy brought out for track driving were set up before we arrived, the setup work carried out by Bill Wise and other GM ride and handling engineers. As mentioned, front camber, ride height, and the rear stability bar are all easily adjustable. These engineers know their stuff and are as fast as pro drivers in the cars these engineers have developed. (Check out the superb 1LE Nürburgring lap on YouTube: 7 minutes, 16.04 seconds).

Whenever testing, I try out all the traction-control modes from the most restrictive to everything switched off. I find no surprises here; the traction/stability systems do a great job of keeping the chassis and power under control. The 1LE gives me the ability to correct all the silliness I throw at it. The least restrictive «race mode» TC cost me only a few tenths of a second over «everything off» on a two-plus-minute lap.

However, there is no getting away from the fact the 1LE is a heavy car. The majority of its weight resides over the front axle, and a driver can induce understeer if clumsy with steering inputs. The rear stays really stuck unless severely provoked. The 3R tires stay consistent after multiple laps, times falling off only slightly, even with ambient temps in the mid-80s. The ultimate stick of the Goodyear does not quite match that of the Michelin Cup 2s I’ve tried, but it’s close. The brake pedal stays solid for me all day, though I am not known to have a gorilla foot. (On the track I would not let tire pressures exceed 35 psi, and 28-30 psi seems to be a sweet spot.)

My photographer wants some drifting shots at the end of the day, and the 1LE is a pleasure to slide, giving me plenty of control and feedback. I had used the same car/tires all day, and after finishing up I am amazed to see minimal tire wear. I don’t know how long the new Goodyears will last, but these well-abused specimens did much better than I expected.

It’s just another example of modern engineering and technology, and the fact we live in an amazing time for the automobile. Autonomous innovation is coming, millions of hybrids are out there, but we can buy a weaponized 650-hp Camaro ZL1 1LE for $69,995. No one knows for sure how long this will last, but I am going to enjoy the ride for as long as possible.

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE First Test Review

Chevy Sharpens its Lead Pipe

A terrible thing happened back in December during our First Test of the then brand-new Camaro ZL1. Randy Pobst, our lap-record-setting machine/professional race car driver cohort, went out and ran a 1:26.16 lap in the manual version of the burly Camaro on the big track at Willow Springs International Raceway, aka Big Willow. Then he did 1:26.48 in the 10-speed automatic version. The problem was that the auto was supposed to be the quicker of the two. That slower time not only harshed my mellow but also blew the story. But as I’ve heard Randy say many times, that’s racing. With laps in the bag, our test team left, and while the rest of us were at lunch, a Camaro engineer who shall remain nameless convinced Randy to take another stab in the 650-horsepower 10-speed monster. The result was a 1:25.87 lap. Rather, the unofficial result was a 1:25.87 lap. We used the ZL1’s built-in Performance Data Recorder to grab that number, but alas, we had no GPS info to back up the claim. So it doesn’t count. Things happen.

I mention the above because Camaro bossman Al Oppenheiser shared an after-dinner story with us about his new Camaro ZL1 1LE, the laser-focused track-day special version of the brutal ZL1. A Camaro engineer who I’m gonna name (Bill Wise) knocked off a 7:16.03 lap of the legendary Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring. For some perspective, a Ferrari Enzo did a 7:25.21, a Ferrari 488 GTB did a 7:21.63, and a Porsche 911 GT2 RS did a 7:18.00. Bill was driving a Camaro. Crazy, no? Want to hear crazier? That 7:16.03 is quicker than any other General Motors (cough, Corvette, cough) product has gone around the ‘Ring. His time is also more than 13 seconds quicker than what the standard ZL1 has done, 7:29.60. Al’s story, however, was one of tragedy. A little window of time had suddenly opened up one afternoon in Germany, and Bill jumped into the red ZL1 1LE and managed to run a lap in the 7:13 neighborhood. A Lexus LFA Nürburgring package ran a 7:14.64. But because everything happened so fast, Team Camaro didn’t document it. No GoPro, no one thought to hit record on the PDR, no onboard data capture equipment—nothing. These things happen, though mostly it seems to Camaros.

  • Read more about the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible in the Motor Trend First Drive here.

Meet the car that crushed it: the ZL1 1LE. This machine is the third member of the sixth-generation Camaro 1LE family, following the V-6 1LE and the V-8 powered SS 1LE. The 1LE moniker is Camaro shorthand for tracked-up versions that can stop and turn better, though there’s no increase in power. Under the black hood—a 1LE family trait—sits the same Camaro-specific LT4 as the «regular» ZL1, a 6.2-liter supercharged, heavily intercooled, non-dry-sumped V-8 that spits out 650 horsepower and sledgehammers home 650 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the ZL1, the 1LE version is only available with the Tremec MH3 six-speed manual transmission. No auto, sorry. Because the 10-speed tranny is supposed to be the quickest way around a racetrack, it’s curious that it’s not offered. My guess as to why is because of weight concerns. If there’s a problem with the ZL1, it’s lard. The 10-speed clocks in at 3,926 pounds—14 pounds heftier than the 3,912-pound manual. You might laugh about 14 pounds, but the ZL1 1LE was put on a diet, resulting in a 75-pound loss (to 3,837 pounds). Remember, every little bit counts on track, including the 7 pounds they saved when yanking out the daytime running lights. Besides, it’s more fun to shift yourself.

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By removing those DRLs and redoing the grille, the Camaro team was able to increase the amount of airflow into several of the 11 radiators aboard the ZL1. More clean air is good not just for cooling things off but for aero, too. It’s easiest to look at a white ZL1 1LE to spot all the changes over the «base» car. Essentially, everything that’s black is new, including the mega front splitter and those insane canards/dive planes. 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. I think that fact right there is reason enough to buy this car. When working in unison with the splitter and massive carbon-fiber wing that sits atop three uprights on the trunk, the dive planes—which are the widest part of the car—help produce 300 pounds of downforce at 155 miles per hour. You might be thinking, «When will you ever use that?» Well, if you watch the Nürburgring lap video, you’ll see that the ZL1 1LE goes over 155 mph four times (and over 165 mph thrice!), so there’s that. Also, the car is a 650-hp force of nature; 155 mph will happen. Even if you don’t care about downforce at driver’s-license-shredding speeds, you have to applaud the ZL1 1LE’s menacing Überholprestige, a German phrase that translates to, «I’d better let the beast in my rearview mirror pass!»

The single biggest difference between the garden variety ZL1 and the 1LE are the shocks. Like the fifth-generation Z/28, this car uses Multimatic DSSV dampers, better known as spool-valve shocks. Other cars that use Multimatic’s creation? Every current F1 car, the Aston Martin One-77, the Aston Martin Vulcan, and the new Ford GT. Shock-wise at least, the ZL1 1LE is in good company, no? The spool-valve advantage is that low-speed rebound and compression can be radically differentiated from high-speed attributes. To go back to the Nürburgring Nordschleife, some moments take place at 48 mph while others happen at 173 mph. To get optimum damping, traction, and steering under those wildly different conditions, Chevy feels the best solution is spool-valve dampers. The Camaro team then took things one step further toward full-blown race car: The dampers are hard-mounted to the body. That’s right—the tires incorporate the only rubber in the suspension. There are no rubber bushings!

Rule number one in business is to know thy customer. As such, the Camaro team knows that track rats love nothing more than being able to make adjustments to their toys. Whether said adjustability is wise or warranted is best left to internet forums (God help us). There are three variables you can tweak on the ZL1 1LE. The first is front-end ride height, which can be varied plus or minus 10 millimeters. Warning: Don’t drop the nose 10mm on the street, or you’ll be buying a new splitter. Out back, the anti-roll bar (or «stab bar,» as the Camaro team insists on calling it) can be put into one of three positions: neutral, more oversteer, or more understeer. Why would you want more understeer? It helps with high-speed stability. Plus, certain tracks induce more oversteer—or understeer—than others. The final piece of the adjustable puzzle is front-end camber. The trick shocks are topped off with groovy-looking blue-anodized camber plates. Jack the front up, remove three bolts, twist, and voilà, you have 3.7 degrees of tire-chewing negative camber. You know you love it. And hey, you might even need it.

Speaking of tires, the other big change to the ZL1 1LE are the Goodyears. The Eagle F1 SuperCar R3 tires are Goodyear’s first attempt at a DOT-approved R-compound tire. Rumor has it that several years back, Camaro approached Michelin for tires to slap on the sixth-gen car. Michelin turned their nose up and said, «Non.» Camaro was apparently too déclassé for the famed French tiremaker. This created an opportunity for Goodyear, one that it pounced on. I’ve loved the Eagle F1 SuperCar tires that come standard on both the SS 1LE and the ZL1 since I first experienced them last year. They’re as close to the segment-best Michelin Pilot Super Sports as I’ve tried. The target for the ZL1 1LE’s R3 is the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2, an R-compound tire that can be found on high-performance machines ranging from the Corvette Grand Sport to the Porsche 918 Spyder. Two dirty, poorly kept secrets about Sport Cup 2s: You get one «hero lap,» as Corvette engineer Jim Mero refers to it. After that first extra-special lap, performance falls off. Also, as Tobias Moers, the head of AMG, told me after gloating about the fact that he is slapping Corvette-spec Cup 2s (1416) on the new GT R, «One drop of rain, and you’re done.» As a result, Goodyear was tasked with developing a tire that won’t quit after one lap and that will get you home from the track should it rain. The ZL1 1LE rolls on massive 305/30ZR19 fronts and 325/30ZR19 rears.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. As a result of the decision to hard-mount the dampers to the car—and this is me being charitable—ride quality is not great. Being less kind—especially if you’re on ripped up, lumpy pavement—the ZL1 1LE’s ride flat-out sucks. It’s brutal, and over big bumps at speed, the rear end seems to run out of travel. That’s the trade-off for supercar handling everywhere else. Can you live with the car as a daily driver? Yes. Just avoid potholes like the plague. Continuing with the bad, some genius in Chevy marketing decided that placing an «X» sticker on the ends of the rear wing would let consumers know exactly how extreme the ZL1 1LE is. What, tribal tattoos were patented? The sticker is an insult to the team that built the car, as well as to the car itself. Thankfully, you can peel them off with a thumbnail. I checked. Should you—as you should—pound the snot out of the angriest Camaro on your favorite back road, you’ll see less than 10 miles per gallon. Perhaps much less. The new tires are so sticky you can’t do burnouts, which stinks because the normal ZL1 is the greatest burnout machine on planet Earth. Even better than a Hellcat. Lastly, I dislike the name. A lot. ZL1LE? ZL2? Apollyon? The Crippler? ZLucifer? Satan Pony X? That last one would at least excuse the stickers. But anyhow, those are all the bad things I could think of.

The good stuff is vast and varied. Thanks to the miracle of iPhone Notes and voice to text, here are my thoughts moments after I drove the car for the first time: «Analogue! Whatever else it might be, the ZL1 1LE is a good workout! That’s a driver’s car! When the aero and the tires shake hands, it’s a moment of revelation. You’re suddenly driving a hard-mounted race car. Unreal. So much power, so much control, so much stopping ability. Monster of a machine this Satan Pony. I found myself screaming ‘YEAH. ‘ out loud and clapping my hands on the straights. This thing is an uncaged race car.»

After several more days behind the microfiber-wrapped steering wheel, I stand by my initial impressions. Other cars might be as capable, but they lack the ZL1 1LE’s sense of reward when you get a corner or a string of corners right. As far as on track goes, the ZL1 1LE is both potent and forgiving. Thanks to the instant spool of the supercharger and the resulting deep sea of torque, I was reminded of a harder-hitting Dodge Viper ACR—though the Camaro’s extra 400 pounds of heft means it’s not as fleet as the Mopar superstar. That said, the gluey Goodyear 3Rs never quit. Neither did my smile.

On our test track, the ZL1 1LE hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. A regular-strength six-speed ZL1 takes 3.8 seconds, and the 10-speed auto gets it done in 3.5 seconds. The 1LE version runs the quarter mile in 11.7 seconds with a 123.0-mph trap speed. The manual ZL1 needs 11.8 seconds at 123.9 mph, whereas the automatic hits it in 11.5 seconds at 125.0 mph. The 1LE’s lower trap speed is likely due to the drag from the aero bits. The ZL1 1LE can pull a max g of 1.11 and run our figure-eight course in 23 seconds flat. For reference, anything above 1.1 g and a figure-eight time in the 22-second range should be considered elite. The six-speed ZL1 can pull 1.08 g and run the figure eight in 23.2 seconds; the 10-speed is good for 1.07 g and 23.1 seconds. Braking for the ZL1 1LE from 60 mph happens in an ultra-elite 91 feet. The regular manual car takes 97 feet, whereas the auto needs only 96 feet. Anything less than 100 feet is excellent. For a bit more contrast, the aforementioned 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R weighs 3,680 pounds, hits 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, runs the quarter mile in 11.4 seconds at 127.6 mph, pulls 1.12 g on the skidpad, figure eights in 22.8 seconds, stops from 60 mph in 96 feet, and popped off a 7:10.92 lap of the Nordschleife. The beast from Grüne Hölle also costs more than twice as much as the Chevy.

Sadly, we haven’t been able to lap the ZL1 1LE at Big Willow. Meaning we don’t know by how much it will crush the standard steroidal Camaros. Conversely, we haven’t lapped either flavor of regular ZL1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. However, Randy Pobst did lap the ZL1 1LE at MRLS, and the results are stunning. He managed a 1:34.30. For some context, the previous-gen Z/28 did a 1:37.82. The sixth-gen SS 1LE ran a 1:37.77. Last year’s Best Driver’s Car winner, the carbon-fiber-tubbed mid-engine McLaren 570S, posted a 1:34.58. The 2012 Corvette Z06 used to be the production-car record holder. It lapped Laguna in 1:34.43. Impressed yet? You should be. The ZL1 1LE is a serious machine intended for serious purposes. Honestly, the tire-smoking, donut-loving normal ZL1 is more fun to horse around with.

Allow me to leave you with one final story. Chevy launched the ZL1 1LE at a new racetrack in Osoyoos, British Columbia, called Area 27. The track is 3 miles long, has 16 corners, and is a refreshing mix of fast and challenging, with lots of tarmac between corners. The Area 27 lap record, which was set by a McLaren 675LT and a pro driver, is 2:10.40. After two days of practice, Bill Wise was able to record a 2:11.98 lap in a ZL1 1LE. After about half a day, Randy Pobst ran a 2:11.88, besting Bill—the guy who built the car—by one tenth of a second. Yes, of course, I’m telling you this to brag about my buddy Randy. However, it’s worth mentioning that Randy’s quickest time happened on the fourth lap of his evening stint. Meaning that Goodyear nailed those tires. As for the Camaro ZL1 1LE, Chevy smacked it out of the park.

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