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Bowtied Boss 302? Chevrolet Announces Camaro 1LE Handling/Performance Pack

Chevrolet wants you to say hello to the Camaro 1LE, a car that promises to handle and accelerate better than the stock Camaro SS, but isn’t as high-performance as the mighty Camaro ZL1. Consider it Chevrolet’s answer to the much-loved Ford Mustang Boss 302.

First and foremost, the 1LE does not get any more horsepower than the Camaro SS: unlike the Boss, the Camaro 1LE uses exactly the same 426-hp 6.2-liter V-8 engine as the stock SS. For the 1LE, however, that engine is mated to a six-speed Tremec manual transmission that has shorter gearing and a rear end with a taller final-drive ratio. The result, Chevy says, is better “road-racing performance.”

The 1LE’s ultimate goal, however, is to make the Camaro handle very well. Engineers at Chevrolet swapped in things like larger stabilizer bars, a new strut tower brace, and better half-shafts in hopes of making the 1LE shine in the twisties. They also cribbed a few parts from the mighty ZL1, including itswheel bearings and rear shock mounts, high-capacity fuel pump, and 20-inch wheels with super-sticky Goodyear Eagle tires (the 1LE uses the same wheels and tires at all four corners as the ZL1’s front wheel/tire setup). The result? Chevrolet promises that the Camaro 1LE will hit 1g of lateral acceleration, a good improvement on the 0.92g figure reached by Motor Trend testers in 2010.

As you might guess, the 1LE also gets some visual flair to show as well: those ZL1 wheels are painted black, which match the car’s aerodynamic kit. On the inside, the 1LE features a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a short-throw shifter, both in nods to the ZL1.

Chevrolet hasn’t announced a set price for the 1LE package, but it does promise that the most basic 1LE will come in under $40,000. It’ll be available with either the 1SS or 2SS trim levels (which start at $33,180 and $36,780, respectively), but only those equipped with the manual transmission. Keep in mind that the 1LE’s Blue-Oval rival, the Boss 302, starts at $42,995.

However, Chevrolet would ask to you wait, there’s more: the Camaro range will get some more changes this year in the form of variable-effort electric power steering (standard on all models) and an available dual-mode exhaust system that promises a quietly sporty sound around town that rises to a full roar when you push it. The Camaro is also available for the first time with Chevrolet’s new MyLink touch screen navigation/infotainment system.

Source: General Motors

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EPA MPG:

17 City / 28 Hwy

Horse Power:

323 @ 6800

Torque:

278 @ 4800