First Look

Before The Drive: Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

Chevy always waits for the new Mustang, then upstages it.

The new Chevrolet Camaro 1LE was unveiled at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, where GM surprised us by announcing the track-focused pack would now be available on both V6 and V8 models. The 1LE pack comes with aggressive suspension tuning, Brembo brakes and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires that should transform the Camaro into a track day warrior. Optional Recaro racing seats, performance data recorder, magnetic ride control, with new FE4 suspension tuning and electronic limited-slip diff, should help you set a ferociously quick lap time.

When the new Camaro was first unveiled, we weren't sold on the styling. After spending some time with the new Camaro and examining it inside and out, we can't wait for the next round in the epic Mustang Vs. Camaro war. The Camaro's chief engineer Al Oppenheiser has already smack talked the new Shelby GT350. The Shelby is an extremely impressive car, but Chevy's engineers think that the new 1LE is up for the challenge. Oppenheiser told GM Authority that the new car is over three seconds per lap faster than the outgoing model. Can the new Camaro compete with the mighty Shelby Mustang? We think so. The new Camaro SS may be down on horsepower, but a more powerful ZL1 is likely on its way.

The 1LE is not a direct competitor to the GT350, but with the same LT1 from the Corvette making 455 horsepower, the Camaro is capable of some serious track day fun. The Camaro has also improved on the interior with upgraded materials and stylish design. The Camaro SS is much faster than the standard Mustang GT, but it can not keep up with the 526-horsepower GT350. The 1LE package should even the playing field, and the upcoming ZL1 model should give Ford even more to worry about. The newest Camaro has certainly grown on us. Your loyalties are likely set for the Mustang Vs. Camaro war, but we can definitely see the benefits of both cars. We can't wait to get behind the wheel of both muscle cars to find out which is best.

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