Real Fast Fotography captured this Camaro making the rounds in the Detroit metro area. For those not familiar with GM’s bewildering array of trim names, the 2018 Camaro SS 1LE had the company’s 6.2 liter V8, good for 455 horsepower and the same number of pound-feet of torque. The 2018 RS 1LE, just one letter off, has the track package with a 335-horsepower V6 instead.
The flat black hood minimizes reflections, never good on the track — which is where it’s meant to be, with magnetic ride control, an electronic limited slip rear differential, five levels of traction control, huge Brembo calipers, and extra-sticky, three-season tires. The car has various fluid coolers to keep up with track abuse, and buyers can get Recaro seats and a data recording system that includes cameras.
The SS 1LE, according to Motor Trend, could keep up with the Nissan GT-R NISMO and Porsche 991 GT3 on the track, and could beat the Ferrari 458 Italia. As for the RS 1LE pictured above, it should be able to take the curves even faster, given the lower weight up front, but won’t have quite the same track times, with a 0-60 time (roughly five seconds) over a full second longer than the big-engined SS. On the other hand, if you want a car that handles stunningly well, the RS 1LE delivers it at a reasonable price.
What can you expect for the 2019s? There will be new 20-inch wheels, LED taillights, more safety gear, and a new engine — the 2-liter turbo four, pushing out a respectable (but lower than the V6) 275 horsepower. That’s a 60-hp drop from the 2018, but you still get excellent cornering, which must be great for autocrossing. The company dropped a good deal of the Camaro’s extra pork, so the power drop isn’t as bad as it sounds, and the four-cylinder likely has a much broader torque curve than the V6, as well.
The author of Dodge Viper, Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles, and The Rise and Reinvention of Chrysler Minivans, David Zatz has been writing about cars and trucks since the early 1990s; he also writes on organizational development and business at toolpack.info and covers Mac statistics software at macstats.org. His latest book, for kids, is Meet the Jeep.
David has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. You can reach him by using our contact form (preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304.