We’ve long held a soft spot for the high-performing Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE. True, even though the Camaro is right at home in the Stop Light Grand Prix with a 0-60 time of just 4.1 seconds, it might not exactly be the first, or even second thing, that tends to pop into people’s minds when they think about the cars they would like to drive to the limit around a challenging road course. But that’s because they’ve never climbed aboard the 1 LE.
Even here at Automobile, quite some time had passed since we last had a chance to help a Camaro SS 1LE stretch its considerable legs. So we rang up our resident driver extraordinaire and told him Chevy was shipping one to him and his satellite outpost at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
What did he find when it arrived? For $51,790, you get a rip-roaring, normally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 that sounds absolutely apocalyptic as it cranks out 455 horsepower and a matching 455 lb-ft of torque. At 3,685 pounds, the Camaro is no lightweight, but its outstanding brakes and suspension setup allow it to do things that only a few years ago defied the laws of physics.
The $7,000 1LE track pack includes a matte black hood, front splitter, and rear spoiler, the latter two helping the car eliminate aerodynamic lift. You also get upgraded brakes, with six-piston Brembos up front and four-piston versions in the rear, plus 20-inch wheels all around, wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires. The result is a hilariously good time on the track, thanks to impressive apex speeds and a chassis that laughs off curb attacks while doing so. With an out-of-the-box lap time that puts in within about 4.5 seconds of cars costing three or more times as much, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE featured in this episode of Pro Racer’s Take represents a seriously solid street-to-track value.