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Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE dominates Nurburgring with old school three-pedal manual

By Cameron Kirby, 23 Jun 2017 News

The most track-focused Camaro available demonstrates that old-school rear-driven manuals can keep up with more exotic autos.

Camaro ZL1 cover LONG

OF the 15 fastest Nurburgring laptimes, just four have been completed with traditional manual gearboxes fitted to the car.

Enter the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, and its old-school three-pedal-and-stick setup.

The folks at GM have just released footage of the most hardcore Camaro available monstering the infamous Nordschleife. The end laptime? A brisk 7:16, which places it 14th on the list of “fastest road cars”.

It also means the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 Camaro is quicker around the Green Hell than a 2013 Nissan GT-R, 2010 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, 2015 Ferrari 488 GTB, and 2004 Maserati MC12. Those are some big scalps claimed.

The ZL1 is the flagship of the Camaro family, with the 1LE track package adding bigger brakes, stiffer suspension, race-bred aero, and sticky – but still road-legal – rubber.

The end result is a 484kW/881Nm track focused muscle car that crushes the stereotype of American performance cars being fixated on straight-line speed and little else.

Watching the video provides a masterclass in how to do the manual mamba, with the Chevy’s test driver heel-toeing and left-foot braking with incredible finesse. Oh, and the supercharged V8 soundtrack is a thing to behold.

For those that are curious, the other manual cars in the top 15 fastest group are the Gumpert Apollo Speed (ninth), Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR (10th), Donkervoort D8 RS (13th), and Porsche 911 GT2 RS (15th).

But while the Camaro ZR1 1LE enters the list, the McLaren P1 LM has been dropped from the list of world’s fastest road cars. The P1 LM’s laptime of 6:43.2 has been struck, with the ‘street legal’ version of the GTR-spec track only beast being culled due to the fact it began life as a race car before being modified to meet street legal regulations, and was wearing a special rubber compound during its record-setting lap.