How Much Faster Is A Camaro ZL1 1LE Than A Standard ZL1?

By - Camaro ZL1 vs. ZL1 1LE Track Test Car & Driver Lightning Lap

With more downforce, stickier tires, and spool-valve shocks, how much faster is the 1LE package? A lot, actually.

At this year’s Car & Driver Lightning Lap, there was an extra special comparison to be had between two similar yet very different Camaros. Both are ZL1 package cars with 650-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 engines. However, one of them is equipped as standard, and the other features the now famous 1LE performance package. The 1LE car, as measured by Car & Driver on the first day of testing, is about 75 pounds lighter than the standard car. In this case, it was  mostly due to the difference between the 10-speed auto and the 6-speed manual gearbox. With the 1LE package’s better tires, suspension, and aero-downforce, however, the difference in lap times is quite significant.

First, the standard ZL1:

First we have the ‘standard’ Camaro ZL1 setting a pretty awesome lap time of 2:50.1 around the 4-mile track. Next up, the Camaro ZL1 with the 1LE package trounces all over it with a lap of 2:45.7.

Here is the ZL1 1LE hot lap:

Many race teams would be ecstatic with a change in suspension and tires netting a lap time over four seconds quicker on the same day on the same track in the same conditions. If you told that race team the four second delta would only cost them $7500, they’d climb over themselves trying to hand over that money. Keep in mind that both cars are using the same exact powerplant. Besides the 1LE package, the only difference is the 6-speed manual versus the 10-speed automatic, both are equally capable. The standard ZL1’s Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3s seem to give up the ghost and scream a lot. Comparatively, the much wider ‘3R’ compound version found on the 1LE equipped car doesn’t seem to complain as much.

The ZL1 1LE is a tenth of a second faster than a McLaren 650S costing at least four times as much. It is also barely a second slower than Chevrolet’s own mega power Corvette Z06, also with the LT4 power unit. This car is a track breaking bargain on the market right now. Heck, this car is only 2.6 seconds a lap slower than Porsche’s hyper hybrid 918 Spyder, a car costing nearly a million dollars. If you’re going to be heading to the track with your new Camaro ZL1, the 1LE package is the best $7500 you’ve ever spent.

[Source: Car And Driver Magazine on YouTube]

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