Any car that could get through one lap on the Virginia International Raceway “Grand Course” in less than three minutes is simply amazing. Driven by Camaro engineer Aaron Link, the 2013 road-racing inspired Chevrolet Camaro 1LE completed the lap in 2:58.34 – a time set previously by just the upper level of performance cars.
The 1LE package for the Camaro 1SS and 2 SS coupes is available with a manual transmission and costs $3,500. Meanwhile, a Camaro 1SS with the 1LE package has a starting price of $37,035, including destination charges. As a result, it has become one of the least expensive, most capable performance cars that the automaker has ever offered.
Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, said that the Camaro 1LE has the best features of the SS and the ZL1 with a concentration on handling. He said that each part of the SS was given a boost to have improved track driving, such as gear ratios, suspension tuning, and chassis mounts. The resulting product is the Camaro SS appears to have been refreshed at each turn.
Oppenheiser said that the Camaro 1LE is $10,000 lower than its nearest rival. When riding e1LE, the 1LE will the cover a lot of days at the track.” Oppenheiser said that the VIR Grand Course configuration is a challenge for production cars because recording a fast lap requires extraordinary power, precise handling and tenacious grip.
He said that the three-minute lap on the four-mile Grand Course is an “incredible accomplishment” for any car. He said that at Nurburgring, at VIR there’s never a moment when the car rests at steady state. Each lap tests every aspect of a car, including power, brakes, steering, tire grip and chassis balance.
Chevrolet’s road-racing-inspired Camaro 1LE performance package is back with unique suspension tuning, gearing, and tires that allow it to deliver lateral acceleration of more than 1 g as well as a sub-3-minute lap time at the Virginia International Raceway Grand Course. The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro is offered with manual transmissions on Camaro SS coupes.
The 1LE package is available on 1SS and 2SS coupes with exclusive Tremec TR6060-MM6 6-speed manual transmission. It is paired with a higher 3.91 final-drive ratio, thus the transmission’s close-ratio gearing is tuned for a road-racing performance. When it comes to the ZL1, its 1LE transmission boasts a standard air-to-liquid cooling system ideal for track use.
What’s more, the new Chevrolet Camaro 1LE features monotube rear dampers rather than those twin-tube dampers on the SS variants. The new hardware allowed the engineers to tune a 1LE suspension so as to concentrate on optimal body-motion control and at the same time preserve the Camaro SS’ ride quality and its wheel-motion control.
The other changes aimed at optimizing the 1LE package for track-day use include:
• Higher-capacity rear-axle half shafts that helps in coping with increased traction levels
• Larger, 27-millimeter solid front stabilizer bar, as well as a 28-millimeter solid rear stabilizer bar that helps improve body control
• ZL1-based 20” x 10” front and 20” x 10” aluminum wheels
• Strut tower brace for an improved steering response and steering feel
• ZL1 wheel bearings, rear shock mounts, and toe links for an improved on-track performance
• 285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 front and rear tires, which are exactly similar to the ZL1 front tires.
• ZL1 high-capacity fuel pump as well as additional fuel pickups that help improve fuel delivery while high-load cornering.