GM really impressed last year with the reintroduction of the 1LE Camaro option. The $3,500 package stuffed the SS with handling goodies galore. And for those with a desire to slap Mustang owners upside their little pony heads at the track, there's even more to love in 2014. The 1LE option still MSRPs out at $3,500, but that stack of green gets you 3.91 gears, a unique rear spoiler, 20-inch ZL1 wheels, and über-grippy 285 Goodyear rubber. But, of course, the main event is the suspension upgrade portion, which is a combination of widgets borrowed from the ZL1 and parts specific to the 1LE platform. The interior gets the same suede-wrapped D-ring steering wheel and palm-friendly suede-wrapped quick-ratio shifter found in the ZL1.
There are no 1LE badges, but the black-wrapped hood gives a hint to those in the know. Because the black hood is courtesy of a vinyl wrap, and if it's not your thing, the vinyl can be removed to reveal the color-matched aluminum hood. Another visual cue to the 1LE package are the Brembo calipers, which are red, but functionally the same as what comes on the SS. As previously noted, the 1LE fields the black lightweight wheels from the ZL1, but after extensive track testing, the GM engineers found that the 1LE was faster with 285 rear tires rather than the wider 305s found on the ZL1. The hood vent is functional and helps reduce lift at higher speeds.
In the options department, offerings are the same as for the SS; such as navigation. But just don't try to get your 1LE with an automatic trans or you'll just end up being sad. For a tick under $2,000 you can purchase the Recaro seat upgrade, which lets you place your butt into very supportive, suede-covered, race-bred seats. These are the same seats that come standard in the Z/28, and trust us, they are worth the coin if you plan on hitting the track. They even feature pass-through holes if you want to go the harness route. About $900 extra can equip the 1LE with the dual-mode exhaust system found on the ZL1.
All of this handling goodness comes attached to the newly redesigned (more like freshened up) 2014 Camaro SS. It also features a new, streamlined front fascia that we really like and reworked taillamps that we're diggin' more each time we see 'em. Also for 2014, if you opt for the 2SS starter car, is a color heads-up display.
GM dropped one off for us to check out, and after driving it, we couldn't help but be impressed with how good the handling felt. The steering was fast and precise, and overall the Camaro felt very solid and a lot lighter than it really is. It's also nice that the car has so many creature comforts but is still a very capable track car. As a GM rep told us, "For what it's worth, the 1LE is faster than any Mustang we've tested on a track, and the ZL1 is faster that the 1LE, and the Z/28 is faster than the ZL1." So, if you want to cry havoc while lapping Fords, then the 1LE is an option that anyone looking to buy a new SS should kick in the extra cash for.