More track focus turns the Bow Tie’s muscle machine into an apex hunter

Chevy just revealed the new Camaro ZL1 1LE, calling it the most track-capable model to ever wear the nameplate thanks to high-tech suspension, new aerodynamic enhancements, and exclusive uber-grippy Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R performance rubber. Hell yeah.

Let’s take a closer look at the specs. First, the suspension – keeping it shiny side up is Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers in all four corners. These race-bred bits offer a good deal of adjustability, and come complemented by an adjustable sway bar and camber plates.

Next, the aero. In back is a sizable spoiler made from carbon fiber, while up front are canards and a splitter for more grip and improved turn in.

Making the most of the extra stick are forged aluminum wheels, now offering a full inch in extra width compared to the regular ZL1, complete with that gummy Goodyear compound already mentioned. Put it on the skidpad, and Chevy says it’ll post 1.1 g.

Better suspension, more wing, and grippy rubber – check, check, and check. The final piece of the puzzle is reduced weight, with about 60 pounds cut from the curb weight of the ZL1 Coupe.

Those upgrades make it quite a bit quicker. To put it in perspective, Chevy says the ZL1 1LE is a whole 3 seconds faster around its 2.9-mile Milford test track than the regular ZL1 Coupe.

Making the go is 650 horses from a blown LT4 6.2-liter V-8, the same lump you get in the regular ZL1.

Official pricing has yet to be announced, but look for the ZL1 1LE in dealers later in the year.

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All photos courtesy of Chevrolet.

Chevrolet has established a new performance benchmark with the introduction of the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE — the most track-capable Camaro ever.

Taking the track-focused 1LE formula to an unprecedented level, the ZL1 1LE incorporates racing-based suspension and aero technologies, as well as exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R summer-only tires,* in an extreme track performance package.

“The track-focused 1LE package offers progressive levels of performance across the Camaro lineup, from the V6 1LE to the SS 1LE,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “But with the new ZL1 1LE, the progression takes a quantum leap — this is the ultimate track-day Camaro.”

In preliminary testing, the new ZL1 1LE was 3 seconds faster than the standard ZL1 Coupe around General Motors’ 2.9-mile, 18-turn Milford Road Course test track.

The improved track performance is driven by four key elements:

Aerodynamics: New aero features including a carbon fiber rear wing, specific air deflectors and dive planes on the front fascia produce grip-generating downforce to help the car stick harder and drive faster in turns.
Adjustable suspension: The ZL1 1LE features racing-derived, lightweight Multimatic DSSV® (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) dampers front and rear for exceptional wheel and vehicle control. The front-end ride height is adjustable with the front dampers, which are used with all-new, adjustable camber plates. The rear stabilizer bar also offers three-way adjustability. All of the components are designed for quick changes at the track for optimal performance and a quick return to street settings when the track day ends.
Wheels and tires: New, lightweight forged aluminum wheels are an inch wider but an inch smaller in diameter, front and rear, than standard ZL1 wheels and are used with new Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires that deliver max lateral grip of 1.10g. Developed exclusively for the Camaro ZL1 1LE, the 3R tires are designed to warm up faster to help maintain more consistent grip and speed, lap after lap. The overall footprint grows approximately 10 percent over the ZL1, but the wheel-and-tire package weighs about 1.5 pounds (3.3 kg) less per corner.
Lighter weight: The lighter wheels and dampers, along with reduced thickness rear glass and a fixed-back rear seat, contribute to an approximately 60-pound (27 kg) lower curb weight than a standard ZL1 Coupe.
“The new Camaro ZL1 1LE offers the supreme track experience,” said Mark Dickens, executive director, Chevrolet Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports Engineering. “It’s the pinnacle of Camaro performance and advances the 1LE’s nearly 30-year legacy of uncompromising, track-tailored capability.”

The power behind the ZL1 1LE is the 650-horsepower, supercharged LT4 engine backed by a six-speed manual transmission featuring Active Rev Match. Brembo brakes, including red calipers with the 1LE logo, are also included. Additional standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bose premium audio system, heated/ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel.

The 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE goes on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

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