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30 August 2017

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Hits the Track on New Ignition

Track-focused Camaro gets put through its paces

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The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is the latest track monster from the Bowtie brand, and on the latest episode of Ignition, host Jonny Lieberman takes it through the winding roads of Washington State.

Unlike the “standard” Camaro ZL1, the ZL1 1LE adds more aggressive aero treatments that include dive planes, a larger front splitter, and massive rear spoiler. The 1Le package also adds R-compound Goodyear tires, Multimatic spool valve dampers, a satin black hood, six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brakes, lightwheight 19-inch alloy wheels, an adjustable front camber plate and rear stabilizer bar, dual mode exhausts, and improved cooling.

Under the hood is the same 650-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 as the standard ZL1, but it’s mated exclusively to a six-speed manual with an active rev matching system that can be turned on and off. Lieberman points out that the Camaro ZL1 1LE sets itself apart because it is extremely adjustable, meaning you can adjust the ride height, rear stabilizer bars, and the car’s camber, making it possible for track junkies to configure the car as they please. Additionally, it’s got suspension bits usually found on exotic cars, case in point the Multimatic spool valve dampers, which are also found on supercars like the Ford GT and the limted-run Aston Martin One-77. However, the fact that they’re non-adjustable means you give up ride comfort in favor of unflappable track handling.

Race car driver Randy Pobst joins later on and takes the Camaro ZL1 1LE to a race track in Canada to see what it’s capable of. On a closed course is where the car shines thanks to its upgraded chassis that makes the car easy to control and, with the R-compound tires and crazy aero treatment, essentially unflappable thanks to its prodigious grip. Fast forward to a track run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the Camaro ZL1 1LE turns a time that rival supercars costing twice its price.

Check out the video below to see the Camaro ZL1 1LE’s lap time.

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