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Old 05-26-2014, 11:00 PM   #1
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Test drove a brand new 1LE today

Test drove a brand new 2SS/1LE today and I gotta say, I wasn't overly impressed. Maybe I was expecting more seat of the pants giddyup. I did test drive it with another guy(the salesman) who was about my size at 6'2" and 225 and my wife in the back seat. Car was cherry as I was the first one to put 13 miles on the clock. Had 4 miles on it when we started our test drive.To me the clutch feels normal for half travel and then just drops to the floor with little resistance. Overall clutch travel seems excessive with engagement being higher in the travel than I would have expected. Not unbearable mind you but requires full attention to execute flawless shifts ,particularly from a dead stop through 3rd at slow speeds. Anyway after she warmed up a bit at slower speeds I racked through to 4th and then 5th entering a freeway ramp and settled it out around 75mph or so . Ride was smooth and steering was responsive on quick lane changes. Traffic BTW was minimal. Drove about 3 more miles and did a turnaround heading back some 4 miles toward the dealership. I accelerated and shifted at higher rpms(around 5000) or so and got her up to right at 100 and backed off ,but was not overly impressed with the power it made getting there. Maybe I was just expecting it to be a beast compared to my wife's Camaro but it seemed only marginally quicker up to 100. Also the gears down low felt a bit notchy at low rpms. Also test drove a 2012 2SS/RS auto with around 14,000 on the clock and it seemed similar in responsiveness as the 1LE. Not really in the market at this time for a second Camaro but had considered it within the next year or so and wanted to make sure I knew what each model felt like before planning a future purchase. Next up within the next month or so will be to test drive a ZL1 auto and see if it will provide the seat of the pants difference in acceleration and torque I desire as a second toy to berth beside my wife's RS . Anyway ,not trying to ruffle any feathers here but rather just trying to be candid as to what my personal experience was and what my expectations are. I appreciate any input from members who drive 1LE's who can shine some light on my personal experience without going into attack mode .
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:07 PM   #2
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A 1LE isn't really any faster than an SS in a straight line. Minor gearing advantage but other than that it's unnoticeable. That advantage could be wiped away by the heavier wheels and tires over a standard SS. For all intents and purposes, they're even.

These cars are not fast in a straight line. They are essentially Cadillac's with a muscle car aesthetic. They ride very well, handle very well, look great, are incredibly comfortable and - as a result - weigh a whole lot. The scale will always be the 5th gen Camaro's problem. You can get a faster straight line car elsewhere for the same or less money, but you will not find a better all-around car in terms of performance, reliability, comfort and styling for the money.

If all you care about is going fast in a straight line and comfort, handling and reliability aren't important to you, a Mustang would be a better purchase. You'll save money and save weight. I suggest putting some of that extra money into a roadside assistance membership of some kind as well.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:12 PM   #3
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Had a V6/1LT and now I have an SS/1LE.

Loved my V6 car. Really. They are great rides.

However, when I test drove that 1LE, I didn't feel bad at all leaving my V6 car behind that same day. The LS3 is about 100HP more than the V6 car. It probably has a more flat pull across the RPM band vs the V6 that suddenly 'kicks in' at around 3500+ RPM due to the variable valve timing. Another words, it's pulling to the top side smoother (and faster) and with less effort, and therefore feeling 'unimpressive'.

That's just how I felt about it, anyway.

The trans is notchy when cool, but after I put a few miles on mine it smooths out. I have gotten used to the clutch and it no longer bothers me despite the unusually high engagement. I kind of like it actually. When cruising I can just tap the pedal gear to gear, assuming you aren't the kind who floats them.

At the end of the day, numbers don't lie, and a 1LE is full second faster than a V6 car sitting on 20s, with a bad driver behind the wheel.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
A 1LE isn't really any faster than an SS in a straight line. Minor gearing advantage but other than that it's unnoticeable. That advantage could be wiped away by the heavier wheels and tires over a standard SS. For all intents and purposes, they're even.

These cars are not fast in a straight line. They are essentially Cadillac's with a muscle car aesthetic. They ride very well, handle very well, look great, are incredibly comfortable and - as a result - weigh a whole lot. The scale will always be the 5th gen Camaro's problem. You can get a faster straight line car elsewhere for the same or less money, but you will not find a better all-around car in terms of performance, reliability, comfort and styling for the money.

If all you care about is going fast in a straight line and comfort, handling and reliability aren't important to you, a Mustang would be a better purchase. You'll save money and save weight. I suggest putting some of that extra money into a roadside assistance membership of some kind as well.
Oh ,but I do care about handling and felt the 1LE as well as most Camaros steer and handle quite well executing turns and curves. As I stated ,maybe I just expected a bit more than what reality dictates. Thing is ,I seek both handling and straight line acceleration ,which is why I plan on test driving a ZL1 in the not so distant future. I'm already sold on exterior styling and Mustangs are not my cup of tea in this dept.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:25 PM   #5
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Had a V6/1LT and now I have an SS/1LE.

Loved my V6 car. Really. They are great rides.

However, when I test drove that 1LE, I didn't feel bad at all leaving my V6 car behind that same day. The LS3 is about 100HP more than the V6 car. It probably has a more flat pull across the RPM band vs the V6 that suddenly 'kicks in' at around 3500+ RPM due to the variable valve timing. Another words, it's pulling to the top side smoother (and faster) and with less effort, and therefore feeling 'unimpressive'.

That's just how I felt about it, anyway.

The trans is notchy when cool, but after I put a few miles on mine it smooths out. I have gotten used to the clutch and it no longer bothers me despite the unusually high engagement. I kind of like it actually. When cruising I can just tap the pedal gear to gear, assuming you aren't the kind who floats them.

At the end of the day, numbers don't lie, and a 1LE is full second faster than a V6 car sitting on 20s, with a bad driver behind the wheel.

I concur with the fact that the clutch is something that one could easily get used to after a few outings, particularly without the distraction of a salesman aboard. Also the 1LE didn't struggle at all getting up to speed ,but then my wife's Camaro doesn't either. As I stated ,maybe my expectations were set a bit high. I've never driven a ZL1 though and look forward to a sampling of what it's all about. I'll likely try out both the auto and manual gear boxes and go from there with what my final decision will be as to a second Camaro. I appreciate you shining some light on this topic.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:28 PM   #6
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I concur with the fact that the clutch is something that one could easily get used to after a few outings, particularly without the distraction of a salesman aboard. Also the 1LE didn't struggle at all getting up to speed ,but then my wife's Camaro doesn't either. As I stated ,maybe my expectations were set a bit high. I've never driven a ZL1 though and look forward to a sampling of what it's all about. I'll likely try out both the auto and manual gear boxes and go from there with what my final decision will be as to a second Camaro. I appreciate you shining some light on this topic.
Don't get me wrong, my mind wasn't blown either, but I was very pleased with the performance, the sound, the feel, etc. It was an overall package feel. The 1LE was a dream car of mine when they were revealed, probably 6 months after I got my first one, so when the opportunity came, I just did what felt right.

Good luck.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:39 PM   #7
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Don't get me wrong, my mind wasn't blown either, but I was very pleased with the performance, the sound, the feel, etc. It was an overall package feel. The 1LE was a dream car of mine when they were revealed, probably 6 months after I got my first one, so when the opportunity came, I just did what felt right.

Good luck.
And that's what matters. I may just give one of these a second shot under not so crowded occupant circumstances. I'm thinking that maybe it takes a few more miles for the computer to settle out all of the parameters it controls as well instead of just right out of the box. My 2102 6.2 Silverado runs much more responsive than it did when I first bought it with just 2 miles on the clock. They did have a lightly used 2014 1LE with 6,000 on the odometer. Maybe I will drive that one some time this week if someone doesn't snatch it up and compare experiences. I'm curious if you have ever driven a ZL1 or not and can share any comparisons as to performance.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:06 AM   #8
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And that's what matters. I may just give one of these a second shot under not so crowded occupant circumstances. I'm thinking that maybe it takes a few more miles for the computer to settle out all of the parameters it controls as well instead of just right out of the box. My 2102 6.2 Silverado runs much more responsive than it did when I first bought it with just 2 miles on the clock. They did have a lightly used 2014 1LE with 6,000 on the odometer. Maybe I will drive that one some time this week if someone doesn't snatch it up and compare experiences. I'm curious if you have ever driven a ZL1 or not and can share any comparisons as to performance.
No personal experience on the ZL1. From Day 1 I never drove anything I couldn't afford, LOL. Bought my first V6 because and SS was out of question. After a few pay raises $33,800 on a 1LE with 1,700 miles on the clock sounded great. However, ZL1's are far and away out of my league, so I haven't bothered yet. I can imagine 150 more HP will make a difference, but you have to consider the car is another 200-300 pounds heavier. My 1LE weighs like 3,850 if I recall, but ZL1 is north of 4100. That will take away from the car a bit. I want to say the ZL1 is worth about half a second more in the 1/4 than and SS.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:34 AM   #9
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That advantage could be wiped away by the heavier wheels and tires over a standard SS.
I thought the 1LE had the lighter ZL1 wheels?
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:27 AM   #10
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I thought the 1LE had the lighter ZL1 wheels?
I believe you are correct, I have read elsewhere that the 4 1LE wheels + tires are about 22lbs lighter than the standard SS wheels.

A question for the OP, you said that there was only 4 miles on the odometer when you started your test drive. Are you absolutely sure of this? Every 1LE and any car that had a vinyl stripe package from the factory should have ~ 10-14 miles on the odometer at delivery time, as they have to be driven to another location near the assembly plant to have the hood wrap or stripes installed. If the car you test drove only had 4 miles on it they either forgot to install the hood wrap at the factory (it has happened before) or there is a strong possibility that wasn't a 1LE that you test drove.

Regardless of the above keep in mind that the dealers will often gas the V8 models up with 87 octane fuel and it can affect the performance as the computer will switch to the low octane fuel map.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:37 AM   #11
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And this is why if you wont more straight line power you buy a 5.0. And save alot of coin for mods and then be able to take down a ZL1 for under a grand in mods lol.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:10 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing.

The 1LE should have pulled harder than the auto L99 you test drove. Mine pulls like a freight train in 3rd and 4th gear. The LS3 makes at least another 30 rwhp.

The 1LE probably had 87 in the tank and you had an additional 350 pounds of passenger weight which would make your V6 feel really slow.

Did you take it around any curves? You know what the 1LE was made for?
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:24 AM   #13
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I believe you are correct, I have read elsewhere that the 4 1LE wheels + tires are about 22lbs lighter than the standard SS wheels.

A question for the OP, you said that there was only 4 miles on the odometer when you started your test drive. Are you absolutely sure of this? Every 1LE and any car that had a vinyl stripe package from the factory should have ~ 10-14 miles on the odometer at delivery time, as they have to be driven to another location near the assembly plant to have the hood wrap or stripes installed. If the car you test drove only had 4 miles on it they either forgot to install the hood wrap at the factory (it has happened before) or there is a strong possibility that wasn't a 1LE that you test drove.

Regardless of the above keep in mind that the dealers will often gas the V8 models up with 87 octane fuel and it can affect the performance as the computer will switch to the low octane fuel map.
I was questioning the mileage on the car too!! The lowest I've seen anyone have with the LE is 7. Is the OP sure of what the 1LE is...???
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:36 AM   #14
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Ok lets get to the real points here. You had a 225 pound passenger and your wife in the car. Not knowing your wife I will say take away 115 pounds if she was not there and just you and another guy. Car would be quicker. Better yet take out the 225 pound dude and the car would be even quicker yet.

That was point 1. Point 2 is you are comparing a broken in car versus a LS3 with a total of 14 miles on it. L99's and LS3 have a much tighter engine than the V6 and do not even start to really break in till around 10K-20K miles. They run synthetic oil which takes much longer for the rings to set than running some dino oil.

Take the car on some curvy roads and it will make you V6 look like a dog. I know from driving my car with standard SS suspension then switching it up to full 1LE suspension, engine bay tower brace and square tire setup it would kill my old suspension on a road coarse.

But to each their own but some thing to think about.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:31 AM   #15
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Sounds like your test drive was pretty fun. I will say that if you were using 4th and 5th to get to 75mph, you were using the wrong gears. Should have been 1st and 2nd.

When you get out and test drive the ZL1 keep this in the back of your mind. The extra 15~17k you spend to get the ZL1, you can pick up a 1LE and do a cam swap for less than half the difference and possibly make more power.

Just food for thought.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:13 AM   #16
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OP, the 1LE shines on a racetrack. Take one out there and get back to us. If a track ready car is not what you want, pass on the 1LE. All SSes feel a little slow to me, the Camaro is a porky car. But still very fun to drive.

As mentioned above, no ZL1 will feel slow.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:24 AM   #17
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I thought the 1LE had the lighter ZL1 wheels?
They're 9.5" and 10" staggered on big tires, right? What are they, 275's and 305's? Or 275's and 295's? Can they really be lighter than the 8.5" and 9" staggered wheels with 245's and 275's on the SS's?
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #18
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Sounds like your test drive was pretty fun. I will say that if you were using 4th and 5th to get to 75mph, you were using the wrong gears. Should have been 1st and 2nd.

When you get out and test drive the ZL1 keep this in the back of your mind. The extra 15~17k you spend to get the ZL1, you can pick up a 1LE and do a cam swap for less than half the difference and possibly make more power.

Just food for thought.
Over 150HP from a cam swap? I had no idea the LS3 would respond so well to this mod.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:35 AM   #19
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The 1LE has the exact same rims as a ZL1, but it has the exact same front tires as the ZL1 on all 4 corners, all of this info is pretty easy to find on the Chevy site. You can't truly appreciate a 1LE on a test drive on the street. It shines on a track, that's why its considered a track oriented option package.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:37 AM   #20
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Over 150HP from a cam swap? I had no idea the LS3 would respond so well to this mod.
My apologies.

No. 150hp from just a cam swap would be damn near impossible. My point was simply you could have a rather zippy 1LE with some mods as apposed to spending the extra 15~17k on the ZL1.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:38 AM   #21
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:54 AM   #22
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Oh ,but I do care about handling and felt the 1LE as well as most Camaros steer and handle quite well executing turns and curves. As I stated ,maybe I just expected a bit more than what reality dictates. Thing is ,I seek both handling and straight line acceleration ,which is why I plan on test driving a ZL1 in the not so distant future. I'm already sold on exterior styling and Mustangs are not my cup of tea in this dept.
I don't quite understand your point. You cannot get a feel for a car designed for road racing by a 5 minute test drive. It's not as simple as doing a few aggressive pulls. You have to "know" your car to track it effectively in a road course and you couldn't possibly have anywhere near an idea of handling based on that. If you have lots of experience driving very high dollar Porsche's, you may be able to, but it would be be foolish to compare a $40,000 car to a $140,000 car.

A 1LE isn't going to be a comfortable ride compared to a 2SS due to the stiffer suspension, so keep that in mind as well.

A ZL1 is going to outperform a 1LE in nearly every way, but that is why it costs 40% more.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:12 AM   #23
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Bad gas (87 oct) and you'll need to allow the full break in period for the 1LE to come into it's own.

But remember. Our V6 cars are not that far off from our V8 brothers in terms of performance and handling.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:30 AM   #24
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They're 9.5" and 10" staggered on big tires, right? What are they, 275's and 305's? Or 275's and 295's? Can they really be lighter than the 8.5" and 9" staggered wheels with 245's and 275's on the SS's?

10" in front 11" in back. 285's all around. I did a swap from my ss wheels to the 1le's setup and it averaged 5.5lbs less per corner with the bigger 1le setup.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:31 AM   #25
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They're 9.5" and 10" staggered on big tires, right? What are they, 275's and 305's? Or 275's and 295's? Can they really be lighter than the 8.5" and 9" staggered wheels with 245's and 275's on the SS's?
They are 20x10 fronts and 20x11 rears with 285 tires all around. The weight difference is from forged aluminum wheels on 1LE vs cast aluminum on reg SS.
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