Chevrolet Camaro 1LE debuts as Ford Mustang BOSS 302 competitor

So the Ford Mustang Boss 302 is making some great contribution to the popularity of the pony sports car. Well, Chevrolet is here with its own road-racing inspired performance package for the Chevrolet Camaro. The Chevrolet Camaro 1LE package returns for the 2013 model year and gets unique gearing, suspension upgrades and tires that make the Camaro capable of more than 1 g of lateral acceleration and a sub-three minute lap time at Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course.

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Based on the Chevrolet Camaro SS, the Camaro 1LE package is powered by the outstanding 6.2 liter LS3 V8 engine making 426-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Exclusively mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, Chevrolet has paired it with a numerically higher 3.91 final-drive ratio, the close-ratio gearing of the transmission is tuned for road-racing performance. As with the Camaro ZL1, the 1LE transmission features a standard air-to-liquid cooling system for track use.  The model also features monotube rear dampers allowing engineers to tune the 1LE suspension to focus on optimal body-motion control.

“The Camaro 1LE combines the best elements of the SS and ZL1 to take road-racing performance to a whole new level,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “That the 1LE breaks the three-minute lap at VIR puts it in the upper echelon of performance cars. That it starts under $40,000 makes the Camaro 1LE one of the most affordable, most capable track-day cars offered by any manufacturer.”

Chevy says that it expects owners to enter the 1LE in amateur-racing vents and is pursuing SCCA approval of the 1LE package for Touring Class competition.

Other changes to optimize the 1LE for track-day use include:

  • Larger, 27-mm solid front stabilizer bar, and 28-mm solid rear stabilizer bar for improved body control
  • Higher-capacity rear-axle half shafts to cope with increased levels of traction
  • Strut tower brace for improved steering feel and response
  • ZL1-based 20 x 10-inch front and 20 x 11-inch aluminum wheels
  • 285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 tires front and rear (identical to the front tires for ZL1)
  • ZL1 wheel bearings, toe links and rear shock mounts for improved on-track performance
  • ZL1 high-capacity fuel pump and additional fuel pickups for improved fuel delivery during high-cornering

– By: Omar Rana