2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE: Chevy Sharpens Its Lead Pipe – Ignition Ep. 179

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On this episode of Ignition presented by Tire Rack (http://www.tirerack.com), Jonny Lieberman heads to the Okanagan Highlands in north central Washington State to check out the most track-focused Camaro to date, the all-new ZL1 1LE. Packing the same 650hp supercharged 6.2L V-8 as the β€œnormal” ZL1, the 1LE version adds better aerodynamics and aero bits that produce real downforce, race car–derived Multimatic spool valve dampers, and special R-compound tires from Goodyear. After bashing the big Camaro around some backroads, Lieberman bumps into none other than Randy Pobst, who convinces him to head to a new racetrack in Osoyoos, Canada, called Area 27. It’s there that the two of them put the ZL1 1LE through its paces before Lieberman hands the car over to Pobst so the pro race car driver can set a hot lap. How’d the car do, and how did both Lieberman and Pobst like driving it? Watch and find out!
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(tranquil orchestra music). (water bubbling). (birds singing). (car engine revving). (upbeat music). - hi there. i'm up in nowhere washington. near the canadian border. driving the brand new chevrolet camaro zl1 1le. before i can tell you what. the 1le version is like,. let me refresh your memory about the zl1. (car motor revving). (tires squealing). (rock music). (computer beeping). (birds singing). (computer beeping). the 1le moniker is camaro's shorthand. for tracked-up versions that. can stop and turn better. though there's no increase in power. currently chevy will sell you a v6 1le,. a v8-powered ss 1le and now this,. the rip-snortin' 650 horsepower zl1 1le. (car engine revving). how do you tell if the. camaro you're lookin' at. is part of the 1le family . the telltale sign is a blacked out hood. other than that, the body is. the same, same grill opening,. but the grill itself is more aggressive. in fact it flows more air. why do you want more air . well more cooling, more arrow,. whatever you want to do. with clean air, you got it. (car engine revving). they also removed the drls,. the daytime running lights,. which saves seven pounds. in fact this car is 60 pounds. lighter than a regular zl1. by removing those dlrs,. the openings are bigger,. so you can now flow more. air into the intercooler,. into the brake ducts, whatever. you want to do with it. speaking of air flow, up. front you've got that giant. splitter flanked by those. insane canards or dive planes. in fact they're so aggressive,. you can't sell this car. in europe, because it'll fail. pedestrian safety standards. how cool is that . i mean that's reason enough. to buy the car right there. (car engine revving). moving to the back, you. have that giant rear wing. which was codeveloped by pratt and miller,. and that's chevy's race. partner for le mans. at 150 miles per hour,. this thing creates pounds of down force. you might be thinking, when. will he ever need that . well if you watch the. nurburgring lap video,. you'll see that the zl1 1le goes. over 155 miles per hour four times. and over 165 miles an hour. three different times,. so there's that. also don't forget, this. freak is a 650 horsepower. force of nature. 150 miles an hour will happen. (car engine revving). number one rule of business. is know thy customer,. and chevy knows that track. rats like nothing more. than adjustability. even if the cars don't need it,. they love to tinker and adjust their cars,. so there's three places. you can adjust the 1le. you can raise and lower the. ride height by 10 millimeters. although i would suggest. against lowering the ride height. 10 millimeters if you're. on the street, track only. but if you want to. break your splitter off,. hey it's a free country, do what you like. out back the stabilizer. bar has three positions,. neutral, understeer, oversteer. why would you want understeer . i'll tell you somethin'. high-speed stability is. increased by more understeer,. so sometimes you want it. but hey if you're a real though guy,. put it into oversteer mode. plus also every track is different. you do want to set a car up. based on the track it's on. the final and coolest part. of the 1le's adjustability. is camber and lots of it. normally the car has negative. 1. 7 degrees of front camber. however if you jack it. up, remove three bolts. from the blue, anodized,. aluminum camber plates. and rotate 'em half a. turn, you suddenly have. up to 3. 7 degrees of negative camber. though chevy thinks negative 2. 7 is best,. but hey do what you like. now it's true 3. 7 degrees. is hell on your tires,. but again man it's your car, destroy 'em. speaking of tires, the zl1 1le rides. on the new goodyear eagle f1 supercar r3,. and it's the first race. compound street tire. that goodyear's every sold. their target of course was the. michelin pilot sport cup two,. and from where i'm sittin',. they basically got there. (car engine revving). (rock music). the most significant difference. between this car and the regular zl1,. if you can call that monster. regular, are the shocks. they're made by a little company. in canada called multimatic. they're referred to as dssvs. or spool valve dampers,. and you will find them on f cars, the aston martin 177,. the new ford gt and this here camaro,. and it is exotic, advanced. race car technology. the big advantage with. spool valves is this,. the same damper at low speeds. can do a completely different. compression and reroute. profile than at high speeds. so you can actually tune. the damper to make sure. that the wheels are in. contact with the ground. as much as possible no matter the speed. they are nonadjustable. in the traditional sense,. so you do give up a little. bit of ride quality,. but again this is a track car. you want to give that up,. so you can get more control. (car engine revving). (lively orchestral music). i was being too kind. over rough surfaces, the. zl1 1le's ride sucks. especially when the rear. dampers run out of travel. stay away from potholes. and then chevy took those awesome dampers. and hard-mounted them to the body. there's no rubber in the. suspension, there's no bushings. it's just metal on metal, and it's severe,. and it's abnormal, and it. really makes this thing. an uncaged race car, and. that's totally cool with me. (engine revving). (lively orchestral music). this car, it is so. analog, it's so sheened. you drive, you're doing everything. (engine revving). (lively orchestral music). and like when you get it right, just yeah!. yeah!. (energetic orchestral music). it's just awesome (yells). what a machine, what a beast. it's way too much for this road. i've got to find a race track. (engine revving). you can tell that we must. be really close to canada,. and that the people are really friendly,. because this whole area is. infested with hitch hikers. there's one right there. (gravel crunching). bobandy . randy!. - [randy] jonny. - what are you doing here . - i was on my way up to this. great new race track in canada,. just over the border, it's called area 27. i got in a little hot. water, and now i'm walkin'. - well what a coincidence. because both fate. and our script would have it,. i'm in search of a race track. - can i ride with ya . - [jonny] yeah. - can i drive . - you always say that. - [randy] thanks jonny. - [jonny] yeah, yeah, yeah. - [randy] this is my lucky day. - [jonny] yeah, yeah, yeah. (engine revving). (climactic music). (rock music). (engine revving). (tires squealing). all right, we made it to a race track. randy let me ask you,. you spent a lot of time. trackin' the zl1, the regular car,. if you can use the word. regular to describe that thing. - [randy] yes. - how does this one differ. from the regular zl1 . - it's got more race car in it. it's a lot firmer suspension. - so you notice that the multimatic dssv,. or as they're called spool valve shocks,. they make a big difference compared. to the magnetic dampers on the dl1. - yes they do. they're very firm. the car is completely controlled,. no sense of body roll, squat, dive. everything is so controlled. (rock music). - what do you make of. these tires, 'cause these. are the tires that goodyear. developed to compete. with the legendary michelin. pilot sport cup two. - well i think the grip. is very good jonny. it's a tire that is,. feels kind of safe, right . - so what are you feeling as. a dominant characteristic,. the understeer, oversteer, neutral . - the car seems to be. extremely well-balanced to me. it's stable, so it's got. enough understeer to be stable,. but not enough to be. annoying or frustrating. i mean that's a lot of. power to put down jonny,. and it's a sign that the. goodyears are working, look. (engine revving). that's second gear or flat. out 650 pound-feet of torque,. and it just bites. - yeah it really does. - [randy] just bites. - the car gets serious all of a sudden. (engine revving). what do you make of. the brakes on this car . - you know what, the. car stops really well. i'm not feeling fade. the tire grip is amazing in braking. i've really got a really. short stopping distance. (rock music). - okay, so tell me about the arrow. we do know that we've got. 300 pounds of downforce. at 150 miles an hour. - yeah, yeah. - right . so to honestly say. we're feeling downforce,. we need to be going well over 100. (rock music). (tires squealing). - so we need to be at the. nurburgring to really take. full advantage of what. this car's capable of. - oh it'd be a good set. up for the nurburgring. - even though we're. not in the nurburgring,. maybe it's time for you to. set a hot lap in this car. - yes, please. - okay but not here. how about at mazda raceway laguna seca . - oh yeah, i know a line there. - [jonny] before we leave. canada, i should mention that. randy was able to beat the. camaro engineer who set. the nurburgring lap on area. 27 by a tenth of a second. after only half a day on the track. as for knowing his way around. mazda raceway laguna seca,. well randy has set and. broken the production car. lap record there close to 20 times. here he goes. (car engine revving). (suspenseful orchestral music). to put one minute 34. seconds in perspective for you,. the lap record for a. production car back in . was 1:34. 43 set by a corvette zo6. an audi r8 v10 plus is seven hundredths. of a second quicker, hundredths!. last year's best driver. car winner, the mid-engine,. carbon-tub mclaren 570s ran a 1:34. 58. remember the fifth-gen. camaro z28, the supertrack. focused freak with one speaker. and no air conditioning . it can only muster a 1:37. 82 and costs. about $4,000 more than the zl1 1le. what chief engineer al. oppenheiser and his team. have achieved with this. fiend is remarkable. again a camaro, any. camaro, is quicker around. mazda raceway laguna seca. than a mclaren, any mclaren . do you believe it . i don't even know if i. believe it, and i was there. the zl1 is an ear-shattering,. full stack of a car to begin with. the 1le version grabs the. knob and cranks it past 11. the only lame part of the. new camaro zl1 1le is this. this x sticker, and. really it's just stupid. the good news is it peels right off. (car engine revving). .
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