By on June 22, 2017


Team Camaro just went ballistic.

With ride and handling engineer Bill Wise at the wheel, the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE ate the 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife for breakfast, devouring the Teutonic track in an absurd 7:16.04, making it the fastest production Camaro, ever.

It might even be the fastest piece of metal GM has ever made for public consumption.

To put the Camaro’s time in context, the Corvette ZR1 officially looped the Green Hell 3.6 seconds slower than the 1LE; a brand new Ferrari 488 GTB is 5.6 seconds behind; meanwhile, the Formula 1–derived Enzo looks like a hot mess showing up 9.1 seconds after the land rocket from Lansing.

Rumor has it that Wise actually turned in a hand-timed 7:13.xx, but it will remain unofficial.

That’s like, super, stupid fast.

“With chassis adjustability unlike any vehicle in its peer group, the Camaro ZL1 1LE challenges supercars from around the world regardless of cost, configuration or propulsion system,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, in a statement.

“To make up more than a second per mile on the Nordschleife compared to the ZL1 automatic is a dramatic improvement and speaks to the 1LE’s enhanced track features.”

Thanks to a ridiculous kit list the 1LE’d ZL1 has propelled the Camaro into the realm of dream cars.

GM’s heavy hitting 650-horsepower supercharged LT4 V8 is aided and abetted by a fully adjustable set of Multimatic DSSV dampers, a bigly front splitter, sweet dive planes, a carbon-fiber rear wing, and a specially made batch of Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R rubbers.

According to Chevrolet, the lap was set on the car’s production tires, unlike the Lamborghini Huracan Performante’s 6:52.01 Nürburgring lap which was controversially set earlier this year using a doctored set of Pirelli Trofeo Rs.

The 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE arrives this summer with a $69,995 price tag, including destination.

A version of this article originally appeared on

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43 Comments on “The Camaro ZL1 1LE Torches the Ring…...”

  • avatar

    I started driving in the era of 60HP four bangers and 140HP V8s. We are in a golden time.

  • avatar

    Pfffft, Demon will do it faster, up until the first turn…

  • avatar

    Pretty incredible achievement especially considering the price tag on this. Google 100 fastest production car lap times at the ring and it is pretty amazing that the Camaro, in various trims, is sprinkled throughout the list of cars with price tags several times the Camaro’s. Ya gotta love a working class hero.

    Was noticing that the new Ford GT was absent from the list. Get on it Ford.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford doesn’t do Burgering times. They do development there but no “official timed runs.

      Too many variables and no official timing body/procedures in place to make it anymore than a bench racing bragfest.

      Just look at the Z/28, its “official” was on a rainy day and the track was slick killing it’s time. Pick a year they decide to repave the ‘ring and run on fresh asphalt and an otherwise stellar car will look like crap compared to a slightly inferior car run on 6 month old tarmac the day after a race and it will the other cars oats.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      $70k Camaro ZL1-1LE = “working class hero”

      $70k Tesla Model S 75 kWh = “rich man’s toy”

  • avatar

    If only it didn’t look like a hunday.

  • avatar

    A Camaro beating mid-engined Ferrari super-cars only re-emphasizes the obvious: Speed has become a commodity but exclusiveness is still the better selling point.

  • avatar

    I wonder what percentage of Camaro ZL1-1LE buyers will be capable of driving the car to even close to these levels, much less actually do so.

    Might be fun for everybody if they offered something similar to the old Boss Track Attack if you buy one of these things.

    • 0 avatar

      Less then 2% I’d guess. I’ve passed Vettes on track because of no-skill owners. However to be fair I’ve gotten passed by plenty of Miatas too, so my skills are barely above par. Turns out driving fast on track is HARD.

      These cars are complete overkill on the street, there is no way to really enjoy them under such conditions. This is track car wrapped in a Transformers body.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m actually an amateur race car driver (SCCA) who has won my class at some events.

        I was at a track day the other day doing pretty well in my z06 c5 vette, and got whooped up on by a freaking honda Civic.

        There’s nothing like getting shut down by a Honda Civic to make you feel like you suck at life.

        The guy races for Honda’s race team, but goes to show skill > Vehicle almost any day.

    • 0 avatar

      I asked a guy who recently purchased a ZL1. GM doesn’t offer any sort of track experience with the ZL1 unlike the V cars at Cadillac.

      I don’t know if you get an included track day when you purchase a V like the Boss and GT350 – GM may simply offer the class and you have to pay for it outside of the initial purchase though which would be a shame if thats the case.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Under 2% will try, and under 2% of that will succeed in not wrecking or killing.

  • avatar

    I suspect a fair amount of these will be garage queens, waiting patiently for the 2020 or 2025 Barrett-Jackson or Mecum auctions.

    I do like the red color GM puts on these Camaros, though.

  • avatar

    Fully adjustable suspension?

    In the hands of most people, that just means 100’s of ways to f^ck up your vehicle’s ride dynamics.

    I saw that routinely when I was heavy into dirt bikes and sport bikes with full adjustable suspensions.

  • avatar

    09 GT-R reborn as an American. Now with style, character and an exhaust note that doesn’t sound like an angry Altima. I dig it. For my money though I’d rather just have an SS.

  • avatar

    This is the kind of car that should have been running at LeMans instead of those ugly LMP cars.

  • avatar

    We live in glorious times.

  • avatar

    In that color combo, it even looks pretty darned awesome!

    Biggest downside toe it being a Camaro, is that no cop anywhere will cut you any slack. In a Ferrari, it’s generally a warning and a thumbs up, unless you drive like a genuine threat.

    In a Camaro with wings, 335s and a roaring V8…. they’ll probably strip search you for guns and booze and underaged hookers….

    • 0 avatar

      This is why you buy an SS in a subdued color. The added capabilities of this vs an SS will just amount to more traffic violations and possibly personal/property damage.

      IMO, only way to buy something like this is if you can afford to track it regularly… in which case you can probably afford something exotic, or something used and purpose built. The use case for this on public roads is a real stretch.

    • 0 avatar

      @Stuki –
      “Man gets anal search, colonoscopy, 3 enemas for rolling through stop with “clenched buttocks””

    • 0 avatar

      Haha. I used to have a 2015 1LE with the NPP fuse pulled. Pretty much the same color combo as the car in the lede, except with a more smaller rear wing. In the year I had the car I got pulled over twice but got a warning each time. I now have a Fiesta ST in a more subdued color and have had it a little over a year, so far I’ve gotten six tickets. What this says about cops in Texas, I don’t know.

      • 0 avatar

        I believe the “younger” a car makes the driver appear to cops, the more likely they are to pull him over. Texas, unlike CA, may be a place where cops actually understand that this car is not some rattrap Camaro with bling, put together by a 19 year old to go hooning. While the FiST is just hopeless: It makes you look like a Fast and Furious reenactor, regardless of jurisdiction….

  • avatar

    With Honda going all-turbo, we’re on the precipice of a new Malaise Era.

    Two reasons:

    1. Just as in 1969, emissions regulations started the downward trajectory at a time of peak horsepower, and a second catalyst was the ’73 oil embargo. (It’s happening again due to arguably ginned-up circumstances, which are essentially regulating ICEs out of existence! CAFE 2025 rollbacks won’t help if everyone has to worry about China!)

    2.Self-driving cars == oil embargo in this case: why design performance into vehicles if the day will come when NO VEHICLE will exceed a speed limit?! (Especially with makers like Ford trying to go all-in by 2020, and Honda announcing same by not long after.)

    It took the better part of twenty-five years to pull out of it. This time, we’re done!

    This ZL-1 == ’69 GTX, or whatever other otherworldly muscle car you care to name.

  • avatar

    There is nothing more to say about this car….it does all the talking on the road…

    I think the SS 1LE is the sweet spot but man are these cool.

  • avatar

    After a certain number of HP/torque, each additional unit is worth less than the previous one. And that Camaro is up where the last several hundred are gilding the lily. Yeah, I suppose, if you’re a Chevy man, it feels a little like having your baseball team win the series. But I’d much rather drive a Miata.

  • avatar

    Sum( Clap clap, 1:1000 ). ‘Murica. Eff yeah.

  • avatar

    POS General Motors garbage product with play skool grade plastics’ interior, no trunk space, sh!tty GM reliability, and a million other demerits happens to post a fast (ringer) time around Burgerkingring, to which few really cares, except for raging-boner-all-things-GM types like Michael Accardi (who moderates GM Inside News Forums), ponchoman, [email protected] and other General Motors fanbois fapp to –

    News at 11.

    • 0 avatar

      I fear all RenCen has done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

      • 0 avatar

        General Motors garbage, same as it ever was, even with potent V8s (which competitors have, also).

        General Motors faithful (masochists) shouldn’t forget to pick up their Hecho en Mexico and Hecho en China Buicks (Encore, Envision, etc.), Chevys (including like-a-rock Silverados and Sierras) and Cadillacs (with 4 cylinder motors on Chevy-out-of-China chassis’), either.

        • 0 avatar

          GM is essentially dead in my view. A truck platform or two is not enough to keep it going for me.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s the same song as in the 1990s and early’to-mid 2000s; GM and Ford derive a massively disproportionate share of both revenue and, especially, profits, from trucks and SUVs.

            Ford’s entire business model in the black mode is based on strong F Series pickup sales, sans massive discounting, almost entirely, and the same can be said of GM and their trucks/SUVs.

            So little has changed.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Random observation: I think the car would be faster if it kept the drive wheels on the pavement.

  • avatar

    After watching the video it makes me miss driving a stick.

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