Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE is shockingly quick at the Nurburgring

We can't tell you about how it drives yet (that's coming soon), but we can tell you the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE can lap the Nürburgring in supercar territory. The number in question here is 7:16.04, and if you start comparing that with other published lap times from manufacturer's tests, you'll notice that this puts the brash Camaro in fast company.

Let's start first with its close family relation, the regular ZL1. "Regular" is a bit of a misnomer, because it packs a supercharged LT4 engine making 650 horsepower. It ran the 'Ring, according to Chevy, 13.56 seconds slower than the 1LE version – which, it should be noted, doesn't make any additional horsepower and in fact has shorter fifth and sixth gear ratios. Even so, the regular ZL1 is awfully quick by any objective standard, if we assume that 'Ring times can be compared at face value, and 13-plus seconds is an eternity to shave off even on a long track like the Nordschleiffe.

How did the 1LE manage to hang with Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and a heck of a lot of Germans? If the 747 wing hovering over the rear decklid doesn't tip you off, the 1LE makes more downforce than a regular ZL1. It's also on Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3Rs – stickier and more forgiving even than the old Trofeo Rs that made the Zeta Camaro Z/28 into a two-ton go-kart. It also has a highly tunable setup suspended by Multimatic's incredible DSSV shocks, rather than the ZL1's Magnetic Ride Control – a great technology, but DSSV's better at doing what a 'Ring runner does.

Stay tuned for on-track driving impressions of the 1LE soon, but in the meantime enjoy imagining frustrated Ferrari owners trying to shake a monstrous, be-winged pony car at an upcoming lap day.

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