Competition watch: Chevy counters BOSS with Camaro 1LE

There are surely celebrations around the fire barrels of trailer parks nation wide this week as news of a new Camaro to beat the BOSS 302 Mustang echoes through the clothes lines. Chevrolet has announced the new 2013 Camaro 1LE which the company says can exceed 1G of lateral acceleration on the skid pad.

The package which is available only on Camaro SS coupes with a manual transmission and can be outfitted for under $40,000 which undercuts the BOSS 302 by a good margin price wise. Chevrolet says it even plans to get the Camaro 1LE approved for the SCCA Touring Class too.

For 2013, all Camaro SS models including the 1LE will feature standard variable-effort electric power steering and an available dual-mode exhaust system. Both features were introduced on the ZL1. Additionally, 2013 Camaro LT, SS and ZL1 models are available with Chevrolet’s color touch radio with MyLink infotainment system.

The Camaro SS 1LE still isn’t quite up to the power level of the BOSS 302 however. Its 6.2L LS3 V-8 is rated at 426 horsepower. The 1LE does have a specific version of the Tremec six-speen manual transmission however, the TR6060-MM6. Paired with a numerically higher 3.91 final-drive ratio, the close-ratio gearing of the transmission is tuned for road-racing performance.

The 1LE also features exclusive, monotube rear dampers instead of the twin-tube dampers on SS models. The new hardware allowed engineers to tune the 1LE suspension to focus on optimal body-motion control while preserving much of the ride quality and wheel-motion control of the Camaro SS.


Other changes to optimize the 1LE for track-day use include:

- Larger, 27-mm solid front stabilizer bar, and 28-mm solid rear stabilizer bar for improved body control
- Higher-capacity rear-axle half shafts to cope with increased levels of traction
- Strut tower brace for improved steering feel and response
- ZL1-based 20 x 10-inch front and 20 x 11-inch aluminum wheels
- 285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 tires front and rear (identical to the front tires for ZL1)
- ZL1 wheel bearings, toe links and rear shock mounts for improved on-track performance
- ZL1 high-capacity fuel pump and additional fuel pickups for improved fuel delivery during high-cornering

Visually, the 1LE package for 2013 is distinguished by its matte-black hood, front splitter and rear spoiler – as well as the 10-spoke ZL1-based wheels, which are finished in black. The functional front splitter and rear spoiler contribute to the car’s on-track performance by helping to reduce aerodynamic lift at high speeds.

Inside, the 1LE package incorporates the ZL1’s flat-bottom steering wheel, trimmed in sueded-microfiber and designed for easier heel-and-toe driving on the racetrack. The quick-acting, short-throw shifter from the ZL1 is also trimmed in sueded microfiber.

Chevrolet has not yet announced whether they would offer the 1LE with the popular WT1 “white trash décor package” with includes a primered front fender, mis-matched wheels, a blue passenger side door and duct tape seat patches. More information when it becomes available.

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TMN Staff

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