The 2017 Camaro 1LE debuts this week at the Chicago Auto Show and goes on sale late this year. The 1LE package will be offered for the first time on V6 Camaros, as well as the traditional V8-powered SS. The cars have upgraded suspensions, better brakes, aerodynamic treatments that create more downforce, and improved cooling features. The goal is simple: faster laps. "This is all grip and handling and cooling," said Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager.
It's an enthusiast special, transforming your basic Camaro into a more capable track machine. The 335-horsepower V6 and 455-hp V8 are unchanged (and only come with six-speed manual gearboxes), because the focus is on improving the Camaro's reflexes. That means different things, depending on the engine choice. Here's how they break down.
The V6's 1LE package is based on the LT trim and it pilfers the best chassis pieces from the V8 model, including the FE3 suspension with stabilizer bars. It also has a mechanical limited slip differential (3.27 ratio) and four-piston Brembo brake calipers in front. The fuel system is also borrowed from the SS, and it all rolls on 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber measuring 245/40R20 in front and 275/35R20 in back.
Christensen says Chevy added the 1LE pack for the V6 because customers actively wanted it, and for a reasonable price (we hear the 1LE will cost about the same as the fifth gen's $3,500 option) they can transform their V6 into a car that's as track capable as the SS. While it's giving up 120 hp, a V6 Camaro 1LE will also be more than 200 pounds lighter than the eight-cylinder 1LE.
Chevy noticed the customer interest for a V6 1LE and will study offering the pack on Camaros with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Consider the V6 a test case. "I'm anxious to get some customer feedback [from the V6]," Christensen said.
Even though it's heavier, the SS 1LE offers a lot of goodies that make it three seconds faster than a normal SS, according to Chevy's testing at Willow Springs Raceway in the California desert. The spotlight features in the SS are Magnetic Ride Control for the FE4 suspension and electronic-slip differential (3.73 ratio). This Camaro also has Brembo brakes with six-piston red calipers in front. The SS runs on forged aluminum wheels wrapped in 285/30ZR20 front rubber and 305/30ZR20 rear. The Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires use a compound that was specially devised for the Camaro.
Design and Details
Chevy added several visual cues to differentiate the 1LE package from other Camaros. It offers a satin black hood, three-piece rear spoiler, and custom front splitter. Inside, there's a suede-covered steering wheel and short-throw shifter. Performance is fortified with a dual-mode exhaust system and coolers for the engine, transmission, and differential. Recaro seats are standard on the SS and an option on the V6. Chevy's Performance Data Recording system is an option on both.
PDR would have been science fiction when the 1LE first appeared in 1988, the year four versions were built for showroom stock road racing. Chevy confirms 111 were made in '89, and the badge was also used on fourth-generation Camaros. The 1LE returned in 2013 to face off against the Ford Mustang Boss 302. The 'Stang doesn't have a hardcore track pack right now, but undoubtedly, one will be arriving soon. When it does, the 1LE will be waiting.
Track package returns with more technology for V8 models, first time offered on V6
CHICAGO – The Chevrolet Camaro 1LE performance package returns for 2017, poised to set new benchmarks for attainable track performance.
The package builds off the success of the previous-generation 1LE, offering increased handling and track performance. In response to customer demand, Chevrolet will offer two distinct 1LE packages, for both V6 and V8 models, each visually distinguished with a satin black hood, specific wheels and more.
For the first time, the 1LE package will be available on Camaro 1LT or 2LT coupes equipped with the 3.6L V6. Featuring more aggressive suspension tuning, standard Brembo brakes and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, the LT 1LE delivers an estimated 0.97G in cornering grip. Available Recaro seats will keep you planted through the corners, and an available Performance Data Recorder will allow you to view and share your track experience.
The new 1LE package for Camaro 1SS models includes magnetic ride control, with a new FE4 suspension tuning and a new, segment-exclusive electronic limited slip differential (eLSD). Paired with massive Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, lateral acceleration will exceed 1G. Additional features available on the 1LE package include standard Recaro seats and a Performance Data Recorder (PDR), new to the Camaro lineup.
As a result, the 1LE package elevates the award-winning performance that earned Camaro the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Car and Driver 10Best awards.
"The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. "Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling.
"The result delivers better performance in all measures," said Oppenheiser. "In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS."
The new 1LE packages are available in late 2016, on 2017 Camaro SS and LT V-6 coupes equipped with manual transmissions. Pricing and performance data will be announced at a later date.
Camaro LT 1LE
The Camaro LT 1LE was developed to be the most track-capable sports coupe in its price class. Highlights include:
• 3.6L V-6 rated at 335 horsepower and matched with the six-speed manual transmission
• FE3 suspension components (from the Camaro SS), including dampers, rear cradle mounts, ball-jointed rear toe links and stabilizer bars
• Lightweight 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 245/40R20 front tires and 275/35R20 rear tires
• Brembo 4-piston front brake calipers
• Mechanical Limited-slip differential with 3.27 ratio
• Standard track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers
• Suede steering wheel and shorter-throw shifter
• Standard dual mode exhaust system
• Camaro SS fuel system for higher-load cornering capability
• Satin black hood, front splitter and unique three-piece rear spoiler
• Unique high flow upper and lower grille with satin black accents
• Available Recaro seats and PDR video/data recording system.
"With a curb weight under 3,500 pounds, excellent front-to-rear weight balance and the precision of the FE3 suspension, the Camaro LT 1LE offers unmatched capability in its class," said Oppenheiser. "As a result, it offers incredible performance for Camaro V-6 customers."
Camaro SS 1LE
The 2017 Camaro SS 1LE introduces the new FE4 suspension to the Gen Six Camaro – a performance-oriented chassis system with specific tuning for the Magnetic Ride dampers, springs and stabilizer bars. Additional highlights include:
• 6.2L LT1 V-8 rated at 455 horsepower, and six-speed manual transmission (automatic transmission not available)
• Magnetic Ride Control
• Segment-exclusive electronic limited-slip differential with 3.73 ratio
• Unique forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front tires and 305/30ZR20 rear tires
• Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro – offering exceptional grip on the track
• Brembo brakes with new six-piston monobloc front red calipers – featuring the 1LE logo – and two-piece rotors. Measuring 14.6 inches (370mm) in diameter, the front rotors are 7 percent larger than Camaro SS
• Track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers
• Suede steering wheel with shorter-throw shifter
• Dual mode exhaust system
• Recaro front seats with aggressive bolsters optimized for shifting and steering comfort
• Satin black hood, front mirrors and unique three-piece rear spoiler
• Satin Graphite front splitter and rear diffuser
• Available PDR video/data recording system.
FAST FACT: The 1LE package was developed in 1988 to make the Camaro more competitive in Showroom Stock road racing series and officially debuted in 1989. Four examples were reportedly built in 1988; with 111 built in 1989. The 1LE package was also featured on fourth-gen vehicles through the 1999 model year, returning to the fifth-gen Camaro in 2013.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
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