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2019 Chevrolet Camaro 2.0T 1LE: A 1LE for the Masses

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 4/9/2018 GREG FINK
2019 Chevrolet Camaro RS 1LE

We’re big fans of Chevy’s fantastic V-6 and V-8 1LE Camaros, so we welcome the news that the entry-level Chevrolet Camaro 2.0T will be offered with the package for the 2019 model year. Equipped with the brand’s 275-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, the Camaro 2.0T 1LE brings track-ready gear to a wider audience thanks to a starting price that will undercut that of the Camaro V-6 1LE.

Like the V-6 version, the 2.0T 1LE rides on more athletic suspension taken from the Camaro SS. Codenamed FE3, the setup features larger front and rear anti-roll bars, rear toe links with stiffer cross-axis ball joints, more rigid rear cradle bushings, and revised dampers.

Related video: 2019 Camaro shows its controversial new face (Provided by Roadshow)

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Additionally, the Camaro 2.0T 1LE includes a pair of beefy four-piston Brembo front brake calipers, a set of staggered 20-inch summer-rated Goodyear Eagle F1 run-flat tires, and auxiliary coolers for the engine, transmission, and limited-slip differential. A six-speed manual is the only gearbox offered.

Performs as Expected

Chevy allowed us time behind the wheel of a prototype Camaro 2.0T 1LE on a small road course at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, although we were waved back in after a couple of laps, getting barely enough time to settle in with the car, yet alone the track.

Still, our brief stint pushing the camouflaged Camaro around the circuit indicated that the 2.0T 1LE will perform as expected, in that it offers the agile handling and prodigious grip of the Camaro V-6 1LE tempered by the lackluster forced-induction four.

Devoid of character and languid in its responses, the 2.0-liter turbo isn’t the engine we’d choose for our Camaro. At least it offers some weight reduction; with less mass on the front axle, the 2.0T gives Chevy’s pony car near-perfect front-to-rear weight balance. As in the Camaro V-6 1LE, the 2.0T 1LE’s chassis and steering are communicative and controlled in their responses.

It’s a Looker

The entire Camaro lineup is treated to styling updates for the 2019 model year, with revisions to the headlights, taillights, and front and rear fascias. 1LE-specific touches include a black hood, black mirror caps, and a mildly tweaked front bumper with a larger front splitter. Inside, the 1LE package spruces things up with a flat-bottom microsuede steering wheel and available Recaro sport seats. Meanwhile, the driving-mode switch mounted on the center console can now engage a new Track mode.

Pricing has yet to be announced for the 2019 Camaro 2.0T 1LE, but we expect the model will start at less than $32,000, which would undercut its V-6 counterpart by roughly $1500.

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