2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

Chevrolet introduced the 2019 Camaro earlier this year and one of the biggest additions to the lineup was the Turbo 1LE which joins the family as the entry-level performance model.

While performance model and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rarely go hand-in-hand in a muscle car, The Fast Lane Car recently took a spin in the entry-level 1LE to see if it was worth your consideration.

Before when get into their findings, lets recap what makes the Camaro Turbo 1LE so special. Chevrolet says the model leverages the performance and weight savings allowed by the turbocharged engine which produces 275 hp (205 kW / 278 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. The model is significantly lighter than other 1LE variants, but it’s also significantly less powerful than the Ford Mustang which comes standard with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine producing 310 hp (231 kW / 314 PS) and 350 lb-ft (474 Nm) of torque.

Thankfully, the Turbo 1LE isn’t totally reliant of its turbocharged engine to earn performance creed. Instead, engineers equipped the model with an assortment of upgrades including an FE3 suspension which features larger stabilizer bars, specifically tuned dampers, stiffer rear cradle bushings and cross-axis ball joints. The car also has a flat-bottom steering wheel, a Brembo braking system and 20-inch wheels wrapped in summer-only tires.

These are certainly nice upgrades and they’re paired with a six-speed manual transmission. So are they enough to make you forget about the more powerful Ford Mustang?

Maybe, maybe not. TFLC’s Nathan Adlen says the Turbo 1LE doesn’t feel all that different from the rest of the Camaro lineup, but he likes the gearbox and says it’s an excellent package overall.

 

  • Nordschleife

    This front end has yet to grow on me but good luck Chevy. I hope it has grown on others that want and can buy it.

    • Jay

      I guess you’re with me on liking the old front better than the new one.

      • Belthronding

        count me in

    • ErnieB

      It’s better than the ss one though.. but it’ll get some getting used to ..

    • Mike anonymous

      I personally don’t think any version of the Camaro that had come out pre-2014/2015 Camaro has been able to stack up to the 5th generation Camaro (shown below in concept and production form).

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/83de9436052eb8c5c83462155441c30132587759ff8bbd42cd1a861830a8fcaa.png

      It was an iconic design, and there is a reason it was loved by quite just about everybody. It was muscular, wide, & good-looking. It was not until ford reveled their updated mustang (which in my personal opinion is the best generation of the mustang to come out this century) back in 2014,.. Chevrolet has felt the need to “catch-up” to ford (where previously they were ahead of the pack in many areas).

      This does not just apply to the Camaro, but to their trucks as well.

      The 5th gen Camaro didn’t receive any sort of design change (since it’s design as a concept vehicle in 2007) to 2014, nearly 10 YEARS.

      Now it seems as though they are coming out with a “redesign” (or “facelift” large enough to consider it that) every 1-2 years. People seem to be loosing interest in the Camaro, and in my honest personal opinion, the Camaro (with the 6th generation) has really lost it’s spark, and the magic that made it one of my favorite vehicles on the road.

      I think that they should have done their best to bring the design below to production.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4325bc4e695980a050e4c114d591b39592ae24dba6ce4775453b8ebab23566e.png

      This would have been a proper (in my opinion) successor to the 5th generation Camaro. (Like the 5th, it wouldn’t need a facelift every few years, it would be iconic, and good looking enough for 5th gen owners to want to upgrade,.. maybe even steal some mustang customers). To be honest it wouldn’t be too late to introduce this as a production model, and GM has shown that the headlights and etc are completely possible and practical for a production vehicle (just add the regular for lights below).

      I just feel as though not only has the attention to design, but quality, detail, etc, been lost with the Camaro, but I feel that it’s lost it’s magic. And I REALLY hope that one day, not only the Camaro, but Chevrolet as a whole will get that spark back.

      • samurai

        The 6th Gen Camaro ist pretty much the direct production version of the Transformers 4 Concept: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28c88d8ce1bc2c625002752a64230669b0642704628f23d576683cc9f7f1e972.jpg

        2019 SS is almost identical to the Transformers 5 Camaro. And the base 2019 Camaro now got a lot of the 5th gen look back with the bigger upper grille.
        Of course all is up to personal opinion, but I love the look of the current Camaro SS. It’s a good mix between bold muscle car and modern sportscar. If you are looking into a sportscar it is pretty though to beat, while Dodge and Ford are still not quite there.

        • Mike anonymous

          Now I would agree with you on it being “basically the production version of the transformers 4 concept”, but if I did, I would be lying.

          The only similarities between the (pre-2nd-facelift) 6th-gen Camaro would be the grille shape and the inspiration it took for the design of the headlamps, which could have actually looked exactly as they did on the concept if Chevrolet wanted to (As you see with some of their new vehicles).

          The T4Concept was actually built from the (pre-2014/2015) 5th Generation Camaro (who’s design was around a decade+ old).

          The (pre-2nd-facelift) 6th-gen Camaro, not only has a completely different interior, but a completely different exterior as well (neither of which were based on the T4Concept apparently (from what I’ve heard the company say)).

          ————

          With that said (and although I was pretty disappointed with the 6th generation upon it’s initial release… BUT) current generation it a MUCH needed improvement, and I actually like it a lot too.

          I just don’t think it’s as nice as 5th generation. And my point is that while it’s good,.. it could have been great and could have been the best without question.

          ————

          Lastly regarding ford not quite being there (when it comes to the mustang) I will have to second you on that. I think that not only in power, but design, quality, (and the fact that I know the car in invest 20k+ into won’t feel “last year” 2 years after a purchase), makes the current generation of the Mustang, better then the current generation of Camaro (when talking about the base models).

          And as for Dodge…. Well (I like their cars, they make great sports cars.. POWERFUL ones at that too)… don’t really have much else to say about dodge.

          ————

          But yeah if you take anything from this, it should be this; The Camaro is great, but I personally don’t think it’s a great as it was, or as it could have been. BUT I am hopefully that (no pun intended) the Camaro can be (without a doubt) the best again.

  • Enter Ranting

    Looks like Chevy found some old Corsica grilles in the back of the warehouse…

  • SteersUright

    Finally drove the Camaro SS, following a test drive of a Miata and then Corvette. The Miata was incredible fun, so agile and responsive with an incredible dramatic view of the curvy hood from the driver seat. Just wish it had a better soundtrack to match.
    The Corvette was epic. An absolute beast. Visibility and comfort were behind the Miata, but the engine stole the show and felt savage and nearly excessive for the street. It was so damn fast. Amazingly, it rode so well. Soft, composed. Totally surprised me.
    The Camaro SS just sucked in my opinion. The interior, especially the infotainment screen, looked ridiculously cheap. The car felt large, like a fast sedan, after the other two agile machines. Visibility was atrocious, and while it might be a champ on the track, on the street it just felt too big, heavy, and aloof. It felt as if the extra mass neutered that killer V8 that was so incredible in the Corvette. Perhaps I just like my sports cars lighter and with more feel.

  • Fabián Montiel

    Well, I’m starting to like this front end, but the SS one is utterly atrocious.

  • Gary C

    Unless it has the V8 I dont consider it a Camaro! Supercharged V8 is even better!

    • lagunas3ca

      ZL1

  • Gary C

    When will Chevy step up to the plate and put a turbo V6 at least as an option…I own Chevy Camaro Equinox and Silverado Crew but have to admit that Chevy has fallen behind Ford in HP and transmission options!

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