Seven Questions With Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser On The 2017 1LE Page 2


Where did you test the 1LE during development?

We use our Milford Road Course, or MRC, as our benchmark. We do go to Nurburgring. We do go to VIR [Virginia International Raceway]. We went to Willow Springs. They have different straightaways, different braking performance, different needs for downforce. We go to several tracks around the world. It helps us create the best balance for the car. Most of our times are generated off of our two-minute track at MRC.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

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What are the differences in handling characteristics versus non 1LE models?

Well, the lateral capability is much better. They are outfitted with an engine cooler, oil cooler, transmission cooler, rear dif cooler, front outboard coolers. So the motor compartment and all of the moving bits have a lot lower running temperature on the track. We improved the oiling system on the V-6 and the V-8 to prevent oil pullover on the track. The grip is 0.97 on the V-6 and it's a 1 g car on the V-8. The tire setup. Goodyear has a really keen understanding of what the Camaro needs for the combination of cold-wet handling versus dry-track handling. The fact that we've upped the size of the tires--305s give you a huge tire patch. And you combine that with the eLSD, which also works well with the Performance Traction Management and the setup with the steering, so the eLSD provides the maximum tire patch.

The fifth-gen 1LE is probably a little more raw. It isn't for anybody. It kinda harkened back to a '60s muscle car. It was a stiff ride. The difference here is you feel like you're in a track car because you've got this great Recaro performance seat.

Will some of these parts be available for other Camaros?

We have the benefit of having the Chevy Performance Parts group now. Our intent is that if you bought a car before this came out, we're going to be offering a lot of these parts as performance accessories. We're seeing if we can do performance parts kits that we can actually sell as 1LE kits for your non 1LE car.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V

2016 Cadillac ATS-V

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What would you say to the performance enthusiast who might say this is the Cadillac ATS-V that I want?

It's a completely different customer. Cadillac customers don't really cross-shop the Camaro. We do hear that a lot, though. Some of the media outlets have said that is the car that the Cadillac could have been. This car here is purely geared for the weekend track enthusiast, the person who likes to go out in the country and really rip it up, or anyone who seriously gets into racing. The ATS-V is more for the luxury car buyer who really wants that performance that we can get out of the engine. We actually share the brakes. Having the same underpinnings of the car, the Alpha architecture, allows us to share parts.

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