Chevy does the impossible by making the Camaro ZL1 even more extreme

Willing to pay up for performance? Most hardcore Camaro ever will cost $70K

“ZL1” and “1LE” may seem like alphabet soup to the uninitiated, but they add up to what may be the ultimate Chevrolet Camaro.

The 1LE package — officially titled the ZL1 1LE Extreme Track Performance Package — adds track-ready features to V6 and V8 Camaros, but Chevy also decided to add it to the Camaro ZL1, which is already the highest-performing and most focused Camaro available. In other words, adding 1LE features to the ZL1 is like adding nitroglycerin to a pile of gunpowder.

The 1LE package adds more aggressive aerodynamic elements, adjustable suspension, and new wheels and tires to the ZL1, while also cutting weight. The aero add-ons include a carbon fiber rear wing, as well as new air deflectors and dive planes. The 1LE rides on model-specific wheels that are an inch wider than the standard ZL1 wheels, and an inch smaller in diameter. Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R summer-only tires developed specifically for this car help it generate up to 1.10 g of lateral grip, according to Chevy.

The ZL1 1LE uses Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve shock absorbers both front and rear. They’re similar in concept to the shocks used on the Chevy Colorado ZR2 off-road truck. Front-end ride height and the rear stabilizer bar are both adjustable. This requires physically adjusting the suspension pieces, but Chevy said they were designed for quick changes. The idea is for a driver to show up at a track and tweak the suspension, then switch it back to a tamer street setting for the drive home.

Chevy also claims the ZL1 1LE is approximately 60 pounds lighter than a non-1LE ZL1 coupe. That’s thanks to less thick rear glass, a fixed-back rear seat, and the suspension and wheel-and-tire packages. The wheels and tires alone shave 1.5 pounds per corner, according to Chevy. All of the changes allowed the 1LE to lap General Motors’ Milford Road Course test track in Michigan 3 second faster than a standard ZL1. How much do these go-fast goodies cost? The package costs $7,500 in total, bringing the MSRP of the 2018 ZL1 1LE to $69,995 including the $995 destination charge.

The 1LE kit doesn’t include any engine modifications, but the ZL1 doesn’t exactly need help in that department. The vehicle uses a Corvette Z06-derived 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that makes a whopping 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The 1LE is only available with a six-speed manual transmission, but a 10-speed automatic is an option on the standard ZL1. The 2018 Camaro lineup goes on sale this summer.

Updated 05-17-2017 by Andrew Hard: Added pricing info for the ZL1 1LE.

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