Camaro fans had been taking it from the left and the right, being ridiculed by Ford fans for quite some time, for the lack of a production Camaro from model years 2003-2009. Not that we care or anything, because we simply throw the Mustang II abomination back into their faces with little to know reciprocation.
Ever since the Great Camaro Comeback of 2010, Chevy fans have once again been able to pick up a new pony car that they could be proud of, and with each passing model year, it just keeps getting better. That brings us to 2018, and the recent unveiling of the ZL1 1LE.
No, that’s not a typo and we’re not confused — Chevrolet has taken the 6th-gen Camaro ZL1 to the next level, with a hardcore track pack that exemplifies Camaro performance — with the ZL1 1LE. As most Camaro enthusiasts know and understand, the 1LE package dates back to the third-generation car, with upgraded suspension, additional drivetrain coolers, a less restrictive exhaust system and so on.
Each generation since then has had some variant of the 1LE package, the sixth-generation included. Usually the 1LE is based on whatever the base performance V8 example is at the time (IROC, Z28, SS) but the six-generation car has already broken that unwritten rule. First, with the unveiling of the V6 1LE, and now, with a ZL1-based 1LE package. And in short, it’s frickin’ sick!
Essentially best described as a mash-up between the current ZL1 and the 5th-gen Z/28, the first thing that jumps up at you is the rear spoiler (wing, if we’re being honest), the typical matte black hood wrap (on top of the carbon hood) of the modern 1LE treatment and the splitter/dive planes on the front bumper for maximum downforce and aero.
Combined with 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, Goodyear Eagle Supercar F1 rubber (305mm front, 325mm in the rear) and a DSSV suspension package not only sheds 60 pounds off of the car, but helps provide a 1.10 lateral-g cornering process around the Milford Proving Grounds’ corners.
The drivetrain is standard 650 hp LT4, with a 6-speed manual transmission as the only option. The brakes have been improved as well, thanks to Chevrolet/Brembo 6-spiston calipers in the front, and 4-pistond binders in the rear.
When asked why thew car was dubbed the “ZL1 1LE,” and not the Z/28, Camaro Chief Al Oppenheiser simply stated that the Z/28 nameplate is reserved for naturally-aspirated Camaros, only — not ruling out that we won’t see another production Z/28 in the future.
This influx of surging Camaro performance is seemingly just the beginning.
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.