The Camaro 1LE Wants To Be The BOSS Of You

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
the camaro 1le wants to be the boss of you

AutoGuide states that

In many ways, the 1LE is to the Camaro SS what the Boss 302 is to the Mustang GT.

Sure, and in many ways Silver Side Up was to Nickelback what Zep II was to Jimmy Page and the rest of the boys. And just like Silver Side Up, the Camaro keeps selling like there’s probably no tomorrow, and certainly no trackday tomorrow. Let’s see what 1LE customers will get.

Want to know what “1LE” is all about? Go visit this Angelfire page. Quick, before Angelfire collapses into a black hole of archaic irrelevance or something like that. The original 1LE cars were SCCA-focused ass-kickers. This one? Well, you will get

FE6 suspension package which includes thicker front and rear sway bars, a strut tower brace, toe links, rear shock mounts, monotube dampers, upgraded half-shafts and wheel bearings sourced from the ZL1 model. 20-inch wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar tires finish off the package.

The drivetrain also sees some upgrades with a 3.91:1 rear-axle ratio and an updated close-ratio variant of the Tremec six-speed manual transmission. Lastly, the automaker also throws in a transmission cooler and high-flow fuel pump.

As for aesthetics, the 1LE model is differentiated from its brethren with a black finish on the hood and wheels. Climbing inside the cabin, microsuede accents are seen on the steering wheel and shift knob, again borrowed from the ZL1.

This strikes me as a Camaro “GrandSport”. The Corvette GS, of course, is a Z06 without the handmade engine or expensive aluminum chassis. This is a ZL1 without the engine but with most of the cosmetics. It’s not a BOSS 302, which is an extremely focused vehicle even if you don’t spring for the Laguna Seca package.

One area where credit must be given: the Camaro 1LE, like the SS, uses the more expensive Mexican-assembled Tremec 6060 which Ford saves for the Shelby GT500. If you’re hard on transmissions, or expect to add significant power through the limitless small-block-Chevy aftermarket, it’s enough for us to recommend the Camaro over the Mustang. Everybody else… we’ll see you at the Ford store.

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4 of 91 comments
  • Sky_Render Sky_Render on Jul 20, 2012

    No car that comes with 20" wheels is "track ready." Jus' sayin'.

    • Loj Loj on Jul 20, 2012

      Nobody buys a $40k+ Camaro or Mustang as a "track car", anyway. It's folly to put a car that you can't replace with cash onto a road course and complete insanity to do so with a car you don't own outright. These are cars you buy to impress your buddies and to occasionally drive like a jackass on the street. They'll clock more hours on a dyno than on a road course and more hours accumulating glassy coats of Zaino than either.

  • Zamoti Zamoti on Jul 20, 2012

    It is entertaining how much people enjoy hating on the Camaro. In terms of the criticism, you hear that it needs to be lighter and faster with better visibility. Last time I checked, the General does make that car--it's called a Corvette. Instead of wishing that the Camaro is a Corvette, why not just take some enjoyment in that GM makes a poor-man's Corvette for normal people who will never likely use it on a track. I've driven the SS for a little while and I had a blast! The acceleration is violent, the sound is fansastic and with those two virtues in mind, you quickly forget about the interior. Having been in a good handful of rental cars in the past months I've a decent perspective to judge an interior. While the Camaro is not anywhere near the best, it's really not as horrible as everyone makes it out to be. It's a muscle car, not a luxury car. Handling could be a little better, but again, I doubt that most owners will take this to a track. Even if they did, most of us mortals probably couldn't drive to it's full potential anyway. My only "real" test was a 90mph sprint from 270w to 315s outside of Columbus and while it held on, I can say that I would NOT do that again, at least not without some spare trousers. For the critisim that it's ugly, well sure. It may be ugly, but at least it's a different ugly. With so many appliancemobiles on the road at least when you see this mug roll up behind you, there's no doubt what it is. Oh and I had no issues seeing out of it, but I'm not very tall. I guess we have the same old news that tall people don't fit in a sporty car yet again. In other news, dogs bark, birds fly and babies cry. Boo hoo tall guy, now do something useful like get that box of pasta off the top kitchen shelf and dust the ceiling fan when you're finished!

    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jul 20, 2012

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me, the exterior of the Camaro is pure sex on wheels. The car looks hot. Inside is a letdown on two fronts. One, the style is not attractive and the functionality is compromised. Two, the quality of the materials is just not what it should be. I don't understand why GM does not decided that it will become known as the make with better than expected interiors. The investment would pay off. Another thing that should be noted is that many changes were made to the SS Camaros's suspension. With all the development that went into the ZL1, many suspension improvements went into the "lesser" cars. So much so that CD was quite impressed by the improvement in the car, especially as it is driven near the limit. All that fun killing understeer is gone....

  • Teddyc73 A resounding NO. This has "Democrat" "Socialism" "liberalism" "Progressivism" and "Communism" written all over it.
  • Jeffrey An all electric entry level vehicle is needed and as a second car I'm interested. Though I will wait for it to be manufactured in the states with US components eligible for the EV credit.
  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)