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The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Is Now Available with an Automatic

The 10-speed unit may be faster around a track, but we’d stick with the stick.

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is already a wicked performer, and is made only more so when equipped with its $7,500 Track Performance package. Now bow tie-loving speed addicts can go even quicker around a track—or take it easier in traffic—with the addition of a 10-speed automatic transmission to the hard-core 1LE version’s options list. The 1LE retails for $72,195 with its six-speed manual, and it will run an additional $1,595 to swap in the new automatic when that version goes on sale at the end of next month.

Chevy claims the automatic shaves half a second from the 1LE’s time around the tight road course at its Milford, Michigan, proving grounds, and that it will drop lap times by even more at longer tracks such as the massive Nürburgring Nordschleife. (Because tons of Camaro owners regularly tackle the ’Ring for time.)

The ZL1 1LE packs a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The new gearbox has its own 1LE-specific calibration, and the electronic limited-slip differential and performance traction-management system also get special tuning to work with the self-shifter, according to Chevy. Finally, the front and rear spool-valve dampers have been retuned to accommodate quicker weight transfers that occur with the automatic.

The new transmission was co-developed with Ford and appears in several products from both makers, including Ford’s F-150 and Mustang, GM’s full-size SUVs, and more. It may be faster and easier—and likely will increase sales of the brutal 1LE—but we know which gearbox we’d want in our car.

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