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In stock form, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is an absolute monster on the race track. That's apparently not good enough for Chevy though. That's why the automaker is giving the ZL1 the 1LE treatment to make it even more of a track-ready weapon.
The Camaro ZL1 1LE made its debut today at Daytona International Speedway, just before this weekend's running of the Daytona 500. Interestingly, this is the same car we saw Chevy testing on the Nurburgring last year, which we originally identified as the Z/28.
The most obvious visual change between this and a standard ZL1 is the addition downforce-generating aerodynamic devices–there's a giant rear wing, and big dive planes at the front. There's also a new, larger front splitter and a larger grille opening to feed air into the engine.
Power comes from the same 6.2-liter LT4 V8 that's in the standard ZL1. That means 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Interestingly, the ZL1 1LE will only be offered with a six-speed manual–not the new 10-speed auto Chevy has been so excited about lately.
Arguably the most significant change for the ZL1 1LE, though, is with the suspension. Instead of the standard ZL1's Magnetic Ride shocks, the ZL1 1LE gets Multimatic's genius spool-valve dampers. These are the same sort of shocks used to astonishing effect in the old Camaro Z/28. Beyond the dampers, the ZL1 1LE gets additional suspension tweaks to make it stiffer than the standard car.
Those dampers, in addition to some interior changes, also help save 60 lbs over the standard ZL1.
The ZL1 1LE also gets new 19-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in ultra-wide Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires–305s at the front and 325s at the rear. The standard ZL1 uses 285s in the front and 305s in the rear, so these tires are quite a bit bigger. In fact, they're the biggest tires ever fitted to a Camaro. Brakes are from Brembo and feature six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear.
Just like the V6 and V8 1LE, Chevy won't offer the ZL1 1LE as a convertible. This is a track car, after all.
All in all, these changes add up to a car that's three seconds faster around GM's proving ground than a standard ZL1. As a brief reminder, the ZL1 is already a shockingly fast car. The ZL1 1LE should be mind-blowing.
Additional reporting by DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles