Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hail to the new King, the 2013 Camaro 1LE

Well this is an interesting turn of events that I do not think many people expected and I think deep down inside Chevrolet might be a little be surprised too.  What I am in fact talking about is the overall performance of the Camaro 1LE along with a journalist review of the new Camaro over at Jalopnik.

When Ford’s new Boss 302 Mustang Laguna Seca came out a year ago, most of the automotive enthusiast world stood in awe of the car and what it was capable of achieving.  However has Chevrolet been able to achieve the impossible with their porkier car? Perhaps.

Anyone that knows anything about the 5th generation Camaro that was first made available as a 2010 model knows that it suffers from being a bit of a porker at almost two tons.  However things look a little better when you compare it the obese Challenger.  Chevrolet decided to tackle many of the handling complaints when they introduced the 2012 Camaro ZL1, the super charged beast rides on electromagnetic suspension that allows the car to have amazing handling and cutting a sub 7 minute 50 second Nurburgring time.  However many of the ZL1 developments were initially developed to be put onto the Camaro 1LE test mule.

Chevrolet is making the 1LE an option for any manual Camaro SS, and the package will cost an additional $3,500.  This three and a half grand goes a long way including 20-inch wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle G:2 tires (what the ZL1 has) and are 285/35/20 all around to further increase balance.  The package also includes monotube rear shocks, larger stabilizer bars (27 mm up front and 28 mm at the rear), 3.91 gear ratio, short throw shifter, among other cosmetic additions.  It is no surprise that Chevrolet has the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca in its cross hairs.  However can the heavier 426 hp  even compete with the lighter 444 hp Boss?  Well Chevrolet is claiming that not only can it compete but it can surpass the Boss.

One thing is for certain, the 1LE completely blows the Boss out of the water when it comes to the price.  You can snag the 1LE for as cheap as $37,035 but you’re going to have to reach a little deeper into your wallet if you want the Boss, with a price tag at around $49,000.

Now what does this all me?  The 1LE has got a bunch of bells and whistles, but can it deliver?  Well it is faster at Virginia International Raceway than a 2009 Audi R8 with the amazing V10 engine and can even take its Cadillac cousin the CTS-V.  What about Fords 2013 200 mph Mustang GT500?  The 1LE is only 0.3 seconds behind the 662 hp monster.  So that’s probably leaving you wondering, what can it do against its primary competition the Boss 302.  GM claims that the 1LE is 4.5 seconds faster than the Boss.

All of this sounds good and the claims are nice.  However I’d like to see the 1LE independently tested against the Boss 302 Laguna Seca to see if these numbers and claims hold true.  I’m sure it won’t be long before someone picks one up.

Camaro 1LE


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