We just spent a full week with the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Turbo, essentially a Camaro powered by the turbocharged 2.0L I-4 LTG engine and mated to a six-speed manual transmission with some go-fast hardware as part of the 1LE handling package. Though we tried taking the Camaro to the handling course, the venue wasn’t available during our time with the car, so we did the next-best thing: we took it to the drag strip to see how it measured up in the standing quarter mile.
Now, before you take to the comments section, let us note that the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Turbo was never intended to be a drag strip monster. Instead, it’s much more of a road and track car thanks to a plethora of performance handling upgrades as part of the 1LE package.
Among the upgrades is a rear limited-slip differential, Brembo 4-piston brakes, an upgraded suspension system, plus with bigger wheels and stickier tires. The 1LE package also gives the baby Camaro some neat visual cues, such as a satin black hood, blacked-out front lip and rear spoilers, and 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels.
Furthermore, the use of a four-cylinder engine versus a V6 or a V8 means the Camaro 1LE Turbo is lighter than its siblings, weighing in at a svelte 3,430 pounds. That’s a whole 358 pounds less than a Camaro SS powered by the atmospheric 6.2L LT1 V8.
Power on the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Turbo goes unchanged versus a standard Camaro turbo – ringing in at a healthy 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. For its part, Chevrolet claims the boosted muscle car will pounce from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds.
We were impressed by the car’s handling and composure on the road, but also by its straight-line performance. While the 2.0L I-4 LTG engine relies heavily on boost to provide power – pulling hard between 3,000 rpm and its 5,600 rpm power peak – the 1LE turbo puts the power down cleanly and efficiently.
Our quarter mile time was executed during a hot summer day, with ambient temperatures being 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a 62 percent humidity index. Tests were performed between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m Eastern time with the car running on 92 octane premium fuel while fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 RunFlat tires measuring 245/40ZR-20 in the front and 275/35ZR-20 out the rear.
After four quarter mile runs, our quickest time was 14.1 seconds @ 103 mph. Those are solid numbers for a sports car sold under the $35,000 mark, especially one that was never meant to win any trophies at the drag strip but was engineered for the handling course instead.
That said, if one really wanted to make the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Turbo a champ on the 1320, then a more aggressive tune plus some minor upgrades to the intake and exhaust components should make it noticeably quicker.