Previewed earlier this year in illustration form, factory photos of the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS with 1LE Package have now surfaced showing the car all of its high-performance glory. On sale late this year when the rest of the Camaro line arrives in dealers, the race-inspired 1LE Package will be available on any Camaro SS coupe fitted with a manual transmission and complements distinctive cosmetic touches with a comprehensive suspension and driveline tweaking that transforms the already potent 426-horsepower SS hardtop into a track-day virtuoso.
Offering a lower-cost but seriously engaging alternative to the awesome Camaro ZL1 with its 580-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the 1LE package borrows a number key components from that range-topping variant, including wheel bearings, toe links, rear shock mounts, monotube rear dampers and ZL1-based 20-inch staggered-width light alloy wheels wrapped in Z-rated 285/35 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 performance rubber. Other welcome handling upgrades include a front strut-tower brace, bigger anti-roll bars and beefier halfshafts, changes that collectively sharpen its responsiveness and allow the car to corner at over 1.0g with out wreaking havoc on ride compliance.
While not upping pony count or adding to the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated SS engine's 420 lb-ft of peak torque, 1LE Package option also brings a unique 6-speed close-ratio Tremec performance transmission as well as deeper 3.91:1 rear differential in place of the standard 3.45:1 cog, changes that ensure even brisker acceleration off the line and out of corners.
Visual changes included in the 1LE upgrade are both cosmetic and functional, the former netting a matte-black hood and black-finished alloys, the latter bringing aero-optimized front/rear splitters that reduce lift at higher velocities. The ZL1 influence also makes its presence felt inside the 1LE cabin in the form of a flat-bottom steering wheel and a short-throw shifter, both trimmed in a grippy faux-suede microfiber.
Unfortunately, opting for the 1LE Package will preclude one new-for-2013 feature that is only being offered on LT, standard SS and ZL1 models: the Camaro's first in-dash factory GPS navigation system. This new navi fully integrates with the 7.0-inch screen on the available color touch radio with Chevy MyLink Infotainment system and OnStar.
Still no final word on pricing for the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe with 1LE Package, but Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, assures that it will start under the $40,000 mark and be "one of the most affordable, most capable track-day cars offered by any manufacturer."