That title isn’t misleading clickbait, nor is it a typo. It’s a proven fact. As a recent Motor Trend test has proven, Randy Probst, the famed and highly-talented test driver takes the brand new 2017 Camaro SS 1LE around Laguna Seca in a time that eclipses the now former hardcore track king Camaro Z/28. Borrowing from a similar formula that has since evolved off of the 5th-generation car, the 6th-generation descendant has taken the 1LE to a whole ‘nother level!
Sporting upgraded Goodyear Eagle tires, 6-piston Brembo brakes, track-tuned suspension, forged alloy wheels and naturally, a matte black wrapped hood (so the glare from the sun doesn’t blind the driver) and other mouth-watering hardware, the LT1-powered 1LE is a direct competition for the BMW M4 GT3 and Shelby Mustang GT350-R.
Laguna Seca is the perfect testing grounds for the 1LE; as its numerous bends, hills and famed corkscrew, twisting downgrade is a surefire way to test the Camaro 1LE’s metal. Some of you Millenials may remember it from famous racing games, such as Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsports. For the experienced racer, it’s among the most coveted tracks in the country, if not the world. Having said that, the 1LE manages the SoCal race circuit in 1:37.78. The now out-of-production 5th-gen Z/28 did it in 1:37.82.
You also have to remember, the Z/28 was equipped with 50 additional horsepower, and even more tout suspension system and was on an insane diet (lighter glass, one speaker, no A/C, no stereo, no back seat, etc.). Oh, and it cost an additional $30k over that of the 2017 SS 1LE. For sheer value alone, the new 1LE is clearly the hot ticket to have these days. Just ask Randy…
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.