Chevrolet has revealed two important numbers for the 2013 Camaro 1LE: price and lap time. The 1LE package, which can be applied to any 2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS, costs just $3500. And it allowed Camaro engineer Aaron Link to lap Virginia International Raceway in just 2:58.34 -- only six seconds slower than the Camaro ZL1.
Announced this spring, the 1LE treatment is a handling and performance package for any Camaro SS coupe with the 426-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 engine. It's essentially a mid-way point between a regular Camaro SS and the top-dog, 580-hp Camaro ZL1. The 1LE package comes only with a close-ratio manual transmission, and has a more aggressive final-drive ratio for improved acceleration.
Handling changes include unique suspension dampers, larger anti-sway bars, a new strut-tower brace, and Goodyear Eagle Super G:2 tires (identical to those on the Camaro ZL1). Other components cribbed from the ZL1 include a higher-flow fuel pump, stronger wheel bearings, and 20-inch aluminum wheels.
Both the 1LE and ZL1 ran their timed laps on Virginia International Raceway's 4.2-mile Grand Course configuration.
"We optimized every part of the SS for improved track driving, including gear ratios, suspension tuning, and chassis mounts," Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser said in a statement. "The result really brings the Camaro SS alive at every turn."
The matte-black front splitter and rear spoiler contribute downforce to help improve grip when the Camaro 1LE is at speed on a track, while the matte-black hood is just for show. Inside, the car receives the same flat-bottomed steering wheel and suede-covered shifter as the Camaro ZL1.
The $3500 price tag means the cheapest Camaro 1LE starts at $37,035, as a 2013 Camaro 1SS coupe starts at 33,180 after destination charges. Chevrolet points out that the 1LE is thus cheaper than a similarly road-racing focused muscle car -- the Ford Mustang Boss 302. The 2013 Boss starts at $42,995 after destination, although its massaged 5.0-liter V-8 engine produces 444 hp, 18 more than the Camaro 1LE. The supercharged, 580-hp Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, for reference, costs $54,995.
Potential customers will be able to order a Camaro with the 1LE package starting in August, and Chevrolet expects the first deliveries to begin in September or October. You can watch Link's lap at Virginia International Raceway in the video below.