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2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE sets 7:16.04 Nurburgring lap

By Chris Thompson, 23 Jun 2017 News

US Muscle proves a manual ‘box can still be quick as upcoming Chev pips its paddled predecessor

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Race

It has taken only seven minutes and 16.04 seconds for the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to lap the Green Hell.

That’s faster than the ZL1 lap from last year by almost 14 seconds, faster than a BMW M4 GTS by about 13 seconds, a Ferrari 488 GTB by five seconds, and even faster than a Porsche 911 GT2 RS’s 2010 effort by two seconds.

The 1LE shares the same supercharged 6.2-litre, 485kW/881Nm LT4 engine as the Camaro ZL1, but features track-driving tweaks such as fully adjustable suspension, front dive planes and carbon fibre rear wing, and summer-only Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tyres.

What’s more is that the impressive 7:16.04 lap time was achieved using a car fitted with a manual gearbox.

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE frontTo shave so much time off a lap is commendable, but to do it with a manual gearbox highlights how much more track-focussed the 1LE is, says Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser.

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“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,” he says.

“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.”

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE racingBehind the wheel was Camaro ride and handling engineer Bill Wise, who was able to get the most out of the 1LE as someone who knows the car well.

“The harder you push the Camaro ZL1 1LE, the more it rewards you on the track,” says Wise

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“It offers total control, with the confidence that it will deliver lap after lap.”

The car goes on sale in the US within a couple of months, for $69,995 USD. There’s little to suggest we’ll be seeing them down under, however, as the Camaro’s Alpha platform is LHD-