Chevrolet Switching From ZL1 to ZL1 1LE for 2020 Nascar Cup Series

Chevrolet is entering a new model in the Nascar Cup Series for 2020. Gone is the barely recognizable sheet metal and carbon fiber effigy of a Chevrolet Camaro, replaced by an equally barely recognizable sheet metal and carbon fiber effigy of a slightly different Chevrolet Camaro.

The automaker’s Nascar racer Camaro ZL1, which has been entered in the top Nascar series since 2018 is being replaced by a ZL1 1LE for 2020. You’d be forgiven if you can’t tell the difference between the two, because a Nascar Camaro and a real Camaro have about as much in common visually as a roadgoing Camaro and a Ford Mustang.

The street-car 1LE differs from the standard ZL1 in a number of important ways that make it a better performance car. Things like lighter wheels, new Multimatic spool valve dampers, even thinner rear glass and a fixed rear seat that all help trim 50 lbs from the standard ZL1, and the aerodynamic package is boosted by a special rear wing and dive planes on the nose.

But none of those things will be found on the Nascar version, which has no rear seats, no glass anywhere, rules-specific wheels, and an aero package that is probably much better than any road car.

So what’s the difference between the two for the Nascar Cup Series? Well, there looks to be a large 1LE sticker on the left corner of the bumper. And there seems to be a new vent on each side of the large main “grille.” Other than that, as far as we can tell is the main difference is that Chevy wants to move some more 1LE-trim cars, and is maybe hoping this will steer you to them. Especially the turbo-four 2.0 1LE version.

Chevrolet drivers have won Nascar’s top series 37 times since the series inception, though not since 2016. Perhaps this thoroughly revised new car will change the brand’s fortunes.

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