Muscle cars have been always been super-fast in a straight line, but they had a tendency to fall short whenever they approached a corner. Well after nearly 50 years of making muscle cars, Chevy decided to change that.
The 2017 Chevy Camaro 1LE had a 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 and a six speed manual transmission. The V8 shouts at you whenever you touch the throttle just like the old days of American muscle. The transmission feels good, it’s heavy but not heavier than anything else in its class. But my favorite thing about the transmission is the automatic rev match. When you shift into a lower gear, the car automatically matches the engine speed so that each downshift is as smooth as butter.
The interior is another great part of the 1LE. I drove a previous generation Camaro recently, and was disappointed at the fact that most of the parts were shared with a base model Chevy Malibu. The 1LE feels totally new and fresh, as well as utilitarian. The AC vent controls are the vents themselves which helps simplify the dashboard. The seats feel great and help keep the driver in place through harsh cornering. The gauges are simple and easy to read.
The 1LE is a track-oriented package. It comes with bigger brakes, enhanced aero, better suspension, and a couple other bells and whistles to help on track day. The only thing it’s missing is a supercharger, which can be found on the ZL1. But I have to say, unless you’re a track veteran, a supercharger is not necessary. With the shouty V8, upgraded suspension, and auto rev matching the 1LE makes you feel like the king of the trap on lap 1.
The 1LE was one of the coolest cars I’ve driven this year. It’s packed with technology and handles better than any muscle car has been before. My faith has been restored in Camaros. Now I just need to drive a mustang that isn’t horrible…