Are you looking for more track day performance from the Chevrolet Camaro, and not even the already potent ZL1 model can satiate your need for speed? Chevrolet has unveiled the solution to this unique problem with the all new 2018 ZL1 LE.
Building on the standard ZL1, the ZL1 LE was designed to be the ultimate track day Camaro, and also enhances the already popular LE package even further. Chevrolet engineers added an all new suspension that features lightweight components, and the company was quick to point out that owners can easily switch between track and street settings.
The ZL1 LE also features sticky Goodyear tires that were designed to heat up quickly, which translates into higher levels of grip. These tires are wrapped around forged aluminium alloy wheels that are an inch wider and are slightly smaller than the hoops fitted on the standard ZL1 . A key aspect of these rims is that they are actually lighter than the stock units despite their additional width.
The exterior styling of the ZL1 LE also sees a host of upgrades that aim to enhance the car’s already solid aerodynamic profile. The front fascia features lower bumper mounted dive planes, while the rear incorporates a massive rear wing.
Performance under the hood has not been altered in this transformation, and the car is still powered by the familiar 650 horsepower supercharged LT4 V8. A six speed manual transmission is the sole offering here though, and features a revised sixth gear ratio.
The ZL1 LE is also lighter than the standard coupe, but unlike the stripped out Z/28 model, the ZL1 LE retains a high level of standard equipment, and includes heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, dual zone climate control, and a Bose premium audio system.
The 2018 ZL1 LE is expected to go on sale later this year, with formal pricing information being released before the car begins its full rollout to dealers nation wide. In the meantime, Chevrolet has released a brief video of the ZL1 LE tearing it up in its natural habitat which can be seen below.
Following the debut of the 1LE Camaro in Chicago, Chevrolet has finally revealed the extreme performance version that we have waited for, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
The exterior styling of the ZL1 retains the basic cues that made their debut on the standard car, but Chevrolet engineers completely revamped the aerodynamics of the car adding a new body kit that comes complete with a bigger front splitter, a deeper grille that increases airflow, a tweaked hood with carbon fiber insert, and wider front fenders. The new suit of clothes also includes new side skirts as well as a meaty rear spoiler to help increase down force on the rear of the car. Lastly all ZL1’s will ride on a slick set of 20-inch alloy wheels that are shod in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires which were specifically engineered for the car.
The interior of the ZL1 features supportive Recaro bucket seats, as well as a performance themed three spoke flat bottomed steering wheel. Like the ATS-V and the Camaro SS, GM’s Performance Data Recorder will also be offered on the ZL1, but only as an optional piece of equipment. In addition, the interior will also feature healthy amounts of Alcantara as well as other materials to further enhance its track inspired nature and its overall focus on all American driving fun.
The headline here is found under the hood where GM engineers have shoehorned a 6.2 liter V8 that comes equipped with a big supercharger. While the end result is a bit shy of the 707 horsepower fielded by FCA’s Hellcat twins, the 640 horsepower that is generated by this engine is still very potent, and allows it to outclass other performance cars with many of them costing twice as much. The V8’s muscle is sent to the rear wheels through either a standard six speed manual gearbox, or an optional 10 speed automatic (the first to be used in Chevrolet’s 105 year history.) In addition to the beastly V8 lurking behind the scenes, the ZL1 also benefits from several track focused technologies including a model exclusive drive mode selector, six piston front calipers, an electronic limited slip differential, and Chevrolet’s Magnetic Ride Control Technology. To help make sure that the ZL1 does not boil over during intense track work, the car arrives with 11 heat exchangers that helps keep the powertrain cool, and also helps prevent performance sapping heat soak.
After it makes its debut at the New York Auto Show, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is expected to go on sale later this year. Chevrolet has not released official pricing for the car, but look for that bit of information as well as final fuel economy figures to be released closer to its official launch. In addition to the ZL1, Chevrolet revealed that the 10 speed transmission will eventually trickle its way down to about eight other models by 2018 though it is unclear if this transmission will be limited to performance offerings, or if it will expand to some of the more volume oriented cars in Chevrolet’s lineup.
Chevrolet’s popular and heritage filled 1LE package is making its return for 2017, and promises to bring even more bargain friendly performance than ever before to buyers that crave a bit more fun from their Camaro purchase.
A key change here is that unlike the old package, it will be offered on both the V8 and V6 engines for the first time ever. V6 models benefit from an all new sport tuned suspension that helps sharpen up its handling manners while four piston Brembo brakes, a mechanically limited slip differential, and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires help enhance its track oriented feel. Chevrolet engineers also transplanted the dual mode exhaust system and the fuel system from the SS to further improve it it’s performance and the overall soundtrack as well.
As expected, the V8 is the top choice, and it features GM’s familiar Magnetic Ride Control, an electronically operated limited slip differential, and six piston Brembo brakes. Unlike the V6 variant, the V8’s ATS-V inspired Recaro seats are standard equipment, but the Corvette’s Performance Data Recorder remains optional. According to Chevrolet, the package does not bring any major upgrades to its mechanical hardware, which means performance comes from either the carryover 335 horsepower 3.6 liter V6 or the SS variant’s 6.2 liter 455 horsepower. The exterior styling also does not change much, but 1LE grade variants standout thanks to a new front splitter, glare reducing satin black hood, and a specially designed three piece rear spoiler.
Chevrolet is offering the package on all manual transmission equipped V8 and V6 models with the first units arriving on dealer lots this fall. The base model and it’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine will not be offered with this package, but look for Chevrolet to reveal final performance and pricing details closer to its official launch.
With the 2016 Chicago Auto Show fast approaching, Chevrolet has revealed that it will be bringing two updated models to its stand in the Windy City when the event kicks off on February 11th. Among them will be the resurrection of the 1LE performance package for the Chevrolet Camaro
The first model will be a revised version of the Trax compact CUV. The Trax was introduced just a few months ago, so expect the first round of revisions to be relatively minor with the exterior styling of the Trax being tweaked to include more youthful cues and also some alterations to the interior to help eliminate some of the bland traits that have been a favorite target of critics, and also have helped it fall behind rivals from Toyota and Volkswagen.
The big news item here is the revamped 1LE package which will be the first such package offered on the current generation Camaro. Chevrolet has not revealed major details about it, but look for the 1LE to follow the path set by the previous generation 1LE, and bring unique exterior styling, uprated performance hardware, and a host of interior upgrades including improved seats and a flat bottomed steering wheel. Chevrolet also claims that the 1LE will add about $3500 to the sticker price which is not a bad bang for the buck proposition. It should also offer buyers better performance numbers, though Chevrolet has not revealed official details on that front. The 1LE would also foreshadow the debut of the upcoming ZL1 model which will turn up the wick on performance even further thanks to even more power, aerodynamic enhancements, and new performance technologies.
Lastly Chevrolet will also showcase the latest iteration of the “Midnight Package” for the Colorado, Silverado, and Silverado HD models.
Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our inaugural coverage of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show in February where we will have a chance to view both models first hand.
In an announcement released earlier this week, General Motors revealed that production of the sixth generation Chevrolet Camaro has formally begun and also revealed when eager buyers can expect to see them on dealer lots.
The first batch of 2016 Camaros are expected to leave their Lansing, Michigan based factory by the end of this week, with formal customer deliveries expected to begin in mid November.
When it does, it will feature six new power train combinations with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine serving as the base offering. Look for this engine to be popular with young tuners looking to maximize performance on a budget while also being a formidable adversary for the Mustang’s 2.3 liter EcoBoost four cylinder in what could rapidly turn into a new aftermarket arms race between Ford and Chevrolet . The mid level trim will feature a revamped 3.6 liter V6, while top dog SS models receive the 6.2 liter LT1 V8. Regardless of which engine is equipped, buyers can choose from either a standard six speed manual gearbox, or an eight speed automatic.
The Camaro’s milestone also highlights an equally important chapter in the life of the Lansing Grand River factory with the relatively new facility recently receiving $175 million dollars in retooling and new equipment to help it handle Camaro production. The facility currently builds the Camaro’s distant cousin the ATS, as well as the bigger CTS luxury sedan so the necessary retooling and changes needed for the Camaro were relatively minor when compared to other facilities that had to be significantly updated for a new model.
While the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro may embody a look that is refreshingly familiar to loyalists and fans, don’t be fooled by the cover of this exciting book, because this latest chapter of the fabled pony car aims to blow the Mustang out of the water with new technology, more power, and a lighter curb weight which should please a wide range of enthusiast tastes.
A key piece of this new Camaro’s story is the radical weight loss that the model has experienced thanks to the meticulous efforts of Chevrolet’s engineers. The previous generation’s Zeta based architecture was certainly a welcome departure from the old, underutilized, and creaky F-Bodies of yore, but the platform also had the unfortunate distinction of making the Camaro heavier than before which blunted its handling abilities. The all new Alpha platform that underpins the 2016 version plays a major role in this crash diet thanks to its smaller dimensions as well as a more compact layout that aims to improve handling and overall packaging. A new body also helped shed 133 lbs of excess flab, while the rest of the weight culling was made possible thanks to extensive use of lightweight aluminium in the instrument panel frame as well as the suspension components.
The exterior styling of the 2016 Camaro also embodies this masterful blend of subtle familiarity, but a tauter appearance as well as revised proportions aim to highlight the Camaro’s newfound focus on handling and weight loss. The front fascia receives a new grille/headlamp aperture that according to Chevrolet, is supposed to resemble the first generation Camaro. Looking at it ourselves, we do not see the resemblance, but we do appreciate the front fascias new headlights, as well as its revised lower front bumper. The roof line of the car has a fastback-esque appearance and the SS version even gets a small rear mounted spoiler. The rear fascia has also been heavily revamped and features all new tail lights that look better than before especially when compared to the awkward units that were on the previous generation Camaro.
The interior of the cabin also reaps big rewards for 2016, and boasts more technology and better ergonomics than before. The instrument panel for example retains some of its analog centric nature, but an all new 8 inch center screen works together with the fore-mentioned unit, and shows drivers performance, entertainment, and navigation information. A second eight-inch screen in the center of the Instrument panel houses the company’s familiar Chevy MyLink infotainment system. Chevy designers also stole a page from the recently unveiled Audi TT and cleverly integrated the heating and cooling controls for the A/C unit into the vents themselves a nice touch that does help reduce button count on the instrument cluster. Occupants can also take advantage of an all new LED ambient lighting system (a trick that Ford has used) that can be set to 24 available colors. While a bit gimmicky IMO, it does allow buyers to distinctively tailor the car to their own mood or driving tastes.
Performance hardware for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is a direct nod to the Mustang, but unlike that car, the first two engine choices get swapped with the ATS derived 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder serving as the base engine (versus the 2.3 liter Ecoboost’s role as a mid range offering). It is good for a solid 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque with much of that torque available at 3,000 rpm. The engine also incorporates direct injection, variable valve timing, as well as aluminum in its construction with Chevrolet claiming that it can make the sprint to 60 mph in less than six seconds, and allows the base model to be the most fuel efficient Camaro ever produced. However, we think that the 2.0 liter will also allow the base car to go head to head with the Ecoboost in aftermarket flexibility and capability especially once tuners have had enough time to create upgrades for both engines that appeal to budget minded enthusiasts looking for more muscle.
A naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V6 serves as the mid range engine for the Camaro and brings 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque to the festivities. While this is commendable output that trumps both the Challenger and the Mustang, we expect this engine to only make up a small percentage of sales with the four cylinder and the V8 bringing in the majority of buyers. While we are on the subject of that V8, it also serves as the range topping (for now) engine offering that will only be found in the SS. Borrowed from the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the 6.2 liter LT1 it is capable of producing 455 horsepower, and an equally stout 455 lb-ft of torque which should mean improved 0 to 60 times over the old car and its V8 powerplant. The V8 may share much of its parts with the Vette, but Chevrolet claims that roughly 20 percent of the parts in this application are unique to the Camaro including the Camaro specific exhaust manifolds. The SS will also feature Magnetic Ride Control (a first for the model) which allows drivers to tweak the damper settings to enhance the car’s ride quality.
Regardless of which engine is chosen, all three can be had with either a standard six speed manual gearbox, or an optional eight speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Each engine also determines which type of automatic is used with the four cylinder and the V6 receiving the small engine tuned General Motors Hydra-Matic 8L45, while the SS receives the stouter 8L90 unit.
With all of this and more, look for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro to command a bigger slice of the pony car segment when it arrives in dealer lots sometime in the near future. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for the latest developments on the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro as they become available.