The new 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE is the ultimate Camaro model for a day at a closed-course track event. (Fig. 1) The ZL1 1LE Extreme Track Performance Package features a racing-based suspension and aero technologies that make the most of the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine.
The supercharged 6.2L V8 engine (RPO LT4) produces 650 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. (Fig. 2) Power is boosted by the Eaton supercharger intercooler bricks sitting higher in the supercharger housing, improving efficiency, and the unique Tri-Y design of the exhaust manifolds, which improve torque production.
The V8 engine is paired with the TREMEC 6060 6-speed manual transmission (RPO MH3), which is equipped with Active Rev Match (ARM). Active Rev Match aids in smoother shifting by matching engine speed to the next selected gear. The system is activated or deactivated by pressing either of the paddles marked REV MATCH on the steering wheel. (Fig. 3)
To keep the demands of the track in check, the cooling system includes a high-performance radiator with dual auxiliary outboard radiators and standard engine oil, transmission and rear differential coolers. (Fig. 4)
The ZL1 1LE was engineered for the track and has a curb weight that is 60 lbs. (27 kg) lighter than a standard ZL1 coupe, thanks to features such as lighter wheels and dampers, thinner glass in the rear window, and a fixed-back rear seat. Compared to the ZL1, approximately 60–70% of the chassis of the ZL1 1LE is different.
The Brembo® 6-piston fixed cast aluminum front calipers (Fig. 5) and 4-piston fixed cast aluminum rear calipers provide precise braking control while resisting fade. The two-piece front rotors cannot be refinished.
The Electronic Limited-Slip Differential (eLSD) and the Performance Traction Management system help improve “turn in” response and corner exit speeds while the solid-mounted front and rear cradle mounts provide a faster response from the chassis to the driver, enhancing driver reaction to the road.
The front aero package and rear wing of the ZL1 1LE produces additional downforce for better traction. The front aero package includes a splitter, air deflectors and dive planes on the front fascia. While at the rear is a high-mounted carbon fiber double-sickle wing that produces 300 lbs. (136 kg) of downforce at 150 mph (241 km/h). (Fig. 6)
Controlling all of that grip are the front and rear Multimatic DSSV® (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) dampers. (Fig. 7) The dampers have been calibrated for the car’s weight and tires. They are 23 lbs. (10.5 kg) lighter than the Magnetic Ride Control system on the ZL1.
The ZL1 1LE features lightweight forged aluminum wheels fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires — 305/30ZR19 front and 325/30ZR19 rear — that deliver a maximum lateral grip of 1.10g. (Fig. 8) The wider wheels provide an overall footprint that is approximately 10 percent larger than the ZL1, but the wheel and tire package weighs about 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) less per corner.
TIP: High performance summer tires have rubber compounds that lose flexibility and may develop surface cracks in the tread area at temperatures below 20°F (−7°C). Always store high performance summer tires indoors and at temperatures above 20°F (−7°C) when not in use.
Fixed-Back Rear Seat
The rear seat on the ZL1 1LE is a fixed seat in order to reduce weight. The seatback does not fold. If it’s necessary to remove the seatback, use a plastic trim tool between the seatback cushion and the rear window trim panel to release the latch from the seat frame. (Fig. 9)
The ZL1 1LE features several performance modes, set by the driver, that are designed to allow increased performance in a closed course track environment. Competitive Driving Mode, Performance Traction Management, and Launch Control can be accessed by pressing the Traction Control button twice quickly while in Sport or Track mode. Each mode regulates and optimizes the engine, brakes, and suspension performance while limiting the amount of electronic stability control intervention.
The Chevrolet Performance Data Recorder is available to record video, audio and real-time performance data of a driving session. The data is recorded onto an SD memory card. The SD card reader is below the instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel, just above the hood release lever.
Some loose-shipped parts of the ZL1 1LE are to be installed by the customer. The following parts are to be installed during the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) process:
- Front air dam/deflector
- Rear suspension control arm attachment kit
- Front tire front air deflector kit (strake)
- Front tire front air deflector kit (tire strips)
Refer to Bulletin #16-NA-369 for more information.
Hand Washing Only
The ZL1 1LE is not compatible with automatic car washes. It must be hand washed. Do not use any detergent, soap, or cleaners on the matte finish vinyl hood wrap.
For more information on the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE, refer to Bulletin #17-NA-251.
– Thanks to Sherman Dixon and Ann Briedis