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The ZL1 1LE May Have Been Built For Road Courses, But 650 HP Makes For Great Straight Line Speed, Too

Camaro ZL1 1LE

The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is, for all intents and purposes, the spiritual successor to the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28, especially since we’re not getting one anytime soon. That means the ZL1 1LE is an uncompromising road course warrior, and is unquestionably the most capable pony car on the market today. Some will argue that the 760 horsepower 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is about to steal this crown, but nobody can say for sure until the comparison tests start trickling in.

It also turns out that the Camaro ZL1 1LE is pretty darn good at the drag strip, too, as evident from this video from Johny Bohmer Proving Grounds in Florida. It’s a factory-stock ZL1 1LE at that, so it gives a great indication of what the car is capable of right out of the General Motors Lansing Grand River Assembly plant.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

On paper, this particular Camaro ZL1 1LE is equipped with a six-speed manual – the purist’s choice. Though it’s not necessarily the fastest off the line, especially compared to the optional 10-speed automatic that has become available in the range-topping Chevy pony car as of February. The six-speed is tasked with sending all 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels of the super Chevy, which weighs in at over 3,800 lbs. The tires appear to be stock, as well.

The video below, which is just over a minute and thirty seconds long, demonstrates the half-mile capabilities of the ZL1 1LE in a single take. According to the video, the track sits at sea level, and the humidity was just over 60 percent at the time of the 10AM run. At the end, the Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE managed a trap speed of 141 mph, despite the slippery start. A time wasn’t given. We’re curious to see what’s possible with a model equipped with a 10R90 ten-speed, but until then, this is all we got.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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