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Old 07-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
Lgndryhr
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Motor Trend's First Drive of 2013 1LE

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...e_first_drive/

I am looking forward to their official review / hands-on experience as well as the inevitable 1LE vs Boss 302 LS.

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By now, Ford is probably wondering when it's going to end. The clouds of burnout smoke have barely cleared from our battle between the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and Ford Shelby GT500, but the Bow Tie brand is unleashing yet another Mustang irritant. Here to pester, bully, and outrun the Blue Oval's Boss is the new 2013 Chevy Camaro 1LE, which takes a seat between the SS and the mighty ZL1.

The 1LE essentially starts life as a Camaro SS upgraded with a package of performance bits, most of which are pulled from the ZL1. The package, which aims to make the Camaro a more athletic track star, is a no-brainer for Chevy. Modifications start with thicker stabilizer bars (27mm front and 28mm rear), a strut tower brace, stronger rear-axle half-shafts, and monotube rear dampers (the SS rides on twin-tube units). Next, the engineers turn to the ZL1 parts bin to grab wheel bearings, toe links, rear shock mounts, and the fuel pump. Additionally, all four corners are fitted with the ZL1's front-wheel setup, which comprises of 20-inch, multi-spoke rims and 285 width Goodyear Eagle tires. GM says the setup saves 22 pounds of unsprung weight compared with a set of SS wheels.

What the 1LE doesn't get are two of the ZL1's most impressive magic tricks. One is the fancy and adjustable magnetorheological shock absorbers. Also missing is the ZL1's supercharger, which means the 1LE is powered by the same naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 engine found in the SS, rated at 426 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. With the Camaro 1LE officially priced at $37,035 including destination, the Chevy is thousands cheaper than the 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, which retails for $42,995. Look further down the spec sheets, however, and the Ford appears to have a few advantages thanks to its adjustable rear shocks and horsepower rating of 444 (the 'Stang is down on torque, with 380 lb-ft). Chevy hasn't released the 1LE's official curb weight, but it shouldn't be too far off from the 3850-pound SS, making it about 300 pounds heftier than the Boss.

A beefier, track-optimized transmission also distinguishes the 1LE from the SS. Specifically, it's a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual with shorter gearing and a 3.91:1 final drive ratio (3.45:1 for the SS). Gearbox items cribbed from the ZL1 include an air-to-liquid cooling system and a short-throw shifter. Rounding off the 1LE treatment are red-painted brake calipers, unique front bumper, matte black hood (vinyl stick-on wrap), and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

To try out Chevy's newest Camaro, we headed to the racetrack tucked within GM's Milford Proving Grounds. Our time with the 1LE was limited to a woefully short, two-lap session, but the track is plenty challenging, with dramatic elevation changes and Nurburgring-inspired turns including the sharply banked "toilet bowl." Overall, the 1LE exhibited ZL1-like manners, staying flat through the turns, with few signs of understeer, a nasty habit we've complained about in the SS. GM says the 1LE can hit 1g of lateral acceleration, a claim our test crew will attempt to verify once they get their hands on one. The ZL1 hit 1.02g, while the SS reached 0.92g during our most recent tests. The 1LE is fitted with a new variable electric power steering system that first debuted on the ZL1 (the SS gets it, too) that GM says provides better steering buildup. Indeed, the 1LE's steering was nicely weighted, though we can't say how much better (or worse) it is than the previous hydraulic setup, since an outgoing SS model wasn't available to drive back-to-back.

The engine felt plenty strong, but rowing through the gears doesn't feel quite as special and precise as in the Boss. What is special is the 1LE's engine note. Thanks to a modified version of the dual-mode exhaust system used in the Corvette and ZL1, the Camaro 1LE produces a rowdy roar at the higher end of the engine's power band.

Naturally, we want more quality time with the 1LE. How does it ride on the road without the magnetic shocks that make the ZL1 a racetrack champ and a relatively comfortable cruiser? And of course, we can't wait to see if this new Camaro has what it takes to stand up to the Boss.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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I don't care for the black hood and wheels . My ex-friend had a '91 1LE . He beat the crap out of that poor car. What a waste.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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The Camaro team is at Gingerman Raceway today in western Michigan putting the 1LE through it's paces... I bet we'll see more reviews coming in over the next few weeks.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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Just correcting wrong information printed in this article. The transmission cooler is liquid to liquid and the Curb weight has been released for the 1LE in the 2013 Camaro brochure at 3875 lbs.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PYROLYSIS View Post
Just correcting wrong information printed in this article. The transmission cooler is liquid to liquid and the Curb weight has been released for the 1LE in the 2013 Camaro brochure at 3875 lbs.
Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
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This is a much more enthusiastic review than reported over at Car & Driver... The Motor Trend folks actually drove the car whereas C&D resorted to picking out refrigerators and balked at things like the name, the wrapped hood, but didn't have much, if anything, to say about the actual ride except noting a louder exhaust.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:39 PM   #7
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Wow, WAYYYYYYYYY better than C&Ds crappy review!

Sounds like it will be stacking up well against the Boss, especially for the price! Me likey!!!
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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This is another reason why I prefer MT over C&D as well as subscribe to MT.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:28 PM   #9
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It's looking like C & D and motor trend released what little info they had. Full drive comparisons will come in soon enough. They most lilkely both drove the car but either aren't allowed to show everything or are saving it for their full review.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by United_727 View Post
I don't care for the black hood and wheels . My ex-friend had a '91 1LE . He beat the crap out of that poor car. What a waste.
"Rounding off the 1LE treatment are red-painted brake calipers, unique front bumper, matte black hood (vinyl stick-on wrap), and a flat-bottom steering wheel."

Looks like you could peel off the black wrap.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:17 PM   #11
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Those 1LE's might be fast, but they sure are ugly..
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:18 AM   #12
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If you look at that gas guage it doesn't even move.. Very weird.. i mean really the guy is going from 40 to 130 etc.. i see my gas guage move driving to work doing at best 75-80
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:23 AM   #13
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I like it, but not enough to trade.
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