The days of singling out American muscle cars as hopeless handlers are well and truly over.
Case in point is the performance of the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE on what’s arguably the world’s toughest race track: the Nürburgring.
The 650-horsepower Detroit special has lapped the 12.9 miles of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:16.04. This makes it one of the fastest rear-wheel-drive cars in the world.
Some of the big names it’s outmatched include the Ferrari 488 GTB and the 997-series Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Ahead of it still, at least as far as rear-wheel-drive production cars are concerned, are the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package (7:14.64), 991-series Porsche 911 GT3 (7:12.7), previous-generation Dodge Viper ACR (7:12.13), Gumpert Apollo Sport (7:11.57), and the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
The AMG still holds the record for rear-wheel-drive production cars with its time of 7:10.92 set in 2016. Meanwhile, the all-wheel-drive Lamborghini Huracán Performante holds the production car record time of 6:52.01 set in 2016.
Nevertheless, the Camaro ZL1 1LE can be yours for just $69,995, which is a fraction of the price you’ll need to pay for those other cars. And it's got a good ol' 6-speed manual transmission.
Introduced at the 2017 Daytona 500, the 1LE package adds more aggressive aerodynamics to the Camaro ZL1 and a helping hand from a set of Dynamic Spool Valve dampers (DSSV). Without all of the upgrades, the Camaro ZL1 still pulls an impressive sub-7:30 time.
Yes, we know what you're thinking. If the top-dog Camaro is this fast, what's the upcoming Corvette ZR1 going to do?