Here’s a quick question: What’s the difference between the Camaro ZL1 LE and the Ferrari 488 GTB? If you said about $175,000, you’d be right. But there’s another key difference — and it’s one that has to have the engineers in Maranello fuming.
Because the weapons-grade Bow Tie is faster around Germany’s notorious Nürburgring than Ferrari’s latest mid-engine V-8 exotic.
Now, it’s important to note that being quick around what Formula 1 legend Jackie Stewart famously dubbed the “The Green Hell” doesn’t carry any official weight. It’s not an award from J.D. Power, and frankly, a lot of consumers might well think Nürburgring is Wienerschnitzel’s arch rival. But enthusiasts know that the ‘Ring is where manufacturers from around the world come to prove their hottest car’s mettle, and for those in the performance game, the bragging rights which come with posting a blistering lap on YouTube are worth more than any trophy.
We’ve been curious to see what the ZL1 LE since we first learned of its existence, and while we were surprised at how quick it was on the circuit, the track-ready monster’s specs suggest we shouldn’t have been.
Under the hood, there’s a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 that pumps out a whopping 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, and to make sure there were plenty of brains with the brawn, Chevrolet threw a slew of go-fast goodies at its top-tier Camaro. Along with trick Multimatic DSSV dampers to keep it planted in the corners, the ZL1 LE sports loads of downforce-inducing carbon fiber aero bits, including a massive rear wing, and it’s shod with flypaper-sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber. That means this beast is about as far from the Camaros of old as a bottle rocket is from the Space Shuttle. It’ll corner like a cat on carpet.
Another cool thing about the ZL1 LE? It comes with a good old-fashioned manual transmission and that’s what Chevy’s ace test driver set a 7:16:04 time with. Viva the stick! You can watch the run below, and if you’re looking to actually put a ZL1 LE in your garage head to your AutoNation Chevrolet dealer pronto. These cars are going to disappear like free beer.