Track-package changes Camaro’s muscle car demeanor by Sami Haj-Assaad
In the transition to becoming a track-ready car, automakers will strip weight, stiffen up the chassis, slap-on a new set of brakes and tires and then bump up the engine performance. Chevy’s new Camaro SS 1LE follows the formula pretty closely, but is that all it takes to make it a better track-focused coupe than Ford’s Mustang GT Boss 302?
The Camaro SS is already a high-powered sports car, but in order to make the jump to becoming a track star it had to look to the 580-hp, fire-breathing Camaro ZL1 for a few parts.
UPDATES FOR 2013
For 2013 the Camaro line gets a few upgrades all around, including the new SS with the 1LE package. Immediately noticeable in the car is the new color-touch radio with Chevy’s MyLink system, which is now standard on all models. Chevrolet says that a navigation option will be available later this year.
All stick-shift models get a hill-assist feature and a new shift-knob lifted right from the ZL1. That includes the 1LE, which is only available as a manual transmission.
Under the hood, the 1LE package doesn’t add any performance-enhancing upgrades, which might come as a strange omission considering the track-ready intent of this car. However, using the same 426-hp V8 engine used in the regular Camaro SS, more isn’t really necessary here.
GETS SOME HELP FROM A 580-HP FRIEND
In simple terms, the Camaro SS with the 1LE package is about half-way to becoming a Camaro ZL1. It uses plenty of the same parts, including the same wheel-bearings, a more powerful fuel-pump, and a transmission cooler from the bigger more powerful Camaro. All these elements are designed to allow the 1LE to withstand a hearty thrashing, repeatedly.
The 1LE also borrows the same black-finished 10-spoke wheels the ZL1 – a clue to its performance capabilities. It doesn’t get any special badging, but instead relies on a few other visual cues make it stand out, like the flat black hood, a black front splitter, black fin-like antenna and black decklid spoiler.