How fast is fast? Well, if you’re talking about Chevrolet’s newest 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE then the answer would be “pretty damn fast”. Yep, we’ve said it often, but Chevrolet has just proven us right on our theory of fast cars getting ever faster. The new 1LE equipped ZL1 just turned in a lap time of 7:16.04 on the “Green Hell” also known as the 12.9 mile Nurburgring in Germany.
That’s 13.56 seconds faster than the previous Camaro ZL1 (with a 10-speed automatic) that Chevrolet tested last year. “With chassis adjustability unlike any vehicle in its peer group, the Camaro ZL1 1LE challenges supercars from around the world regardless of cost, configuration or propulsion system,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “To make up more than a second per mile on the Nordschleife compared to the ZL1 automatic is a dramatic improvement and speaks to the 1LE’s enhanced track features.”
The Camaro ZL1 1LE takes Chevrolet’s track-focused 1LE legacy to an even higher level, with racing-based adjustable suspension components — including Multimatic DSSV (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) front and rear dampers — special front dive planes and carbon-fiber rear wing, and exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R summer-only tires,* in an extreme track performance package powered by the 650-horsepower LT4 supercharged V-8 engine.
The Nürburgring lap time was achieved with the ZL1 1LE test car’s suspension adjusted for optimal track performance and running the production Goodyear tires.
“The harder you push the Camaro ZL1 1LE, the more it rewards you on the track,” said Bill Wise, Camaro ride and handling engineer and the driver of the hot lap. “It offers total control, with the confidence that it will deliver lap after lap.”
When you look at past lap times at Nurburgring a time of 7:16.04 should put the Camaro ZL1 1LE in 14th place in recorded lap times and sandwiched between a Donkervoort D8 RS (around $170,000) and a Porsche 911 GT2 RS (around $245,000). Considering the ZL1 1LE’s sticker price of around $70,000 that’s a lot of bang for your performance buck. In terms of production cars this makes it into the top 10 and it’s, by far, the fastest Camaro ever produced by Chevrolet (and faster than the C6 ZR1!). Better yet, this time around, the 1LE Camaro had a manual transmission as God intended.
Photography courtesy of General Motors