Well. It was only a matter of time until someone did it. With only roughly 750 examples being produced each year, the Camaro ZL1 1LE is a rare beast, but that doesn’t mean it needs to remain “stock,” does it? We don’t think so and neither do the guys over at Redline Motorsports—which is why we get along with them so well.
The aforementioned Camaro is already an amalgamation of “aftermarket” goodies and weight reduction crammed into the most capable Camaro platform of all time. It lapped the Nurburgring in a scant 7:16.04, all with the stock 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft on tap. Its advanced aero and Formula-1 inspired Multimatic spool valve dampers helped keep it glued to the pavement, but we knew we couldn’t be the only ones wondering what one of these just might be capable of when endowed with a little more grunt. Turns out, we weren’t the only ones.
Famed LS and LT tuners, Redline Motorsports out of Hurricane, Florida, not only have produced the world’s first 1,000hp ZL1 1LE, they’ve got another one on the way—and we hear it’s going to be even wilder than this beast. But lets not get off topic, as this particular 1LE is deserving of adoration in its own right.
In fact, Redline already had one of their own on order when a customer approached them with the black beauty before you and wanted to drive it straight from the dealership to their shop. And while we thought we were crazy about horsepower, this takes things to a whole new level. It takes a special type of person to take the most capable Camaro of all time straight to a shop to be made even more capable—but we’re certainly glad they did.
Once Howard Tanner, the owner and proprietor of Redline Motorsports, got his hands on the 1LE, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with the car. He hit up his friend, Dustin Whipple, for one of their brand new 2.9-liter superchargers to replace the undersized R1740 blower the car leaves the factory with. Fortunately, Dustin just so happened to be wrapping up the process of developing the new unit on his 2017 ZL1 mule car at the time (stay tuned for more details), and sent one right over.
While the factory supercharger is fine and well for the masses, it leaves something to be desired when higher boost pressures are required and it’s adiabatic efficiency begins to fall off. Tanner knew the Whipple would do a much better job of producing the levels of boost they would be stuffing down the LT4’s throat. Not to mention the Whipple’s improved intercooling would help rocket the direct-injected motor into the four-digit stratosphere. So off came the stock huffer.
While the new twin-screw supercharger was in transit, the team at Redline yanked the motor and prepped it to receive one of the shop’s PHASE 4 performance packages. This consists of a larger bumpstick, a few valve train upgrades—including dual valve springs and one piece stainless steel exhaust valves—, American Racing Headers headers and exhaust system, some methanol from ALKY Control, and of course the new huffer to top it all off.
Using HP Tuners, Tanner was able to gain access to the 2018 1LE’s E92 computer pretty quickly and optimize its parameters for the new combination—no sweat for one of the most renowned tuners in the country. Once the electronics were happy, it was time to hit the rollers.
Tanner tells us that the Camaro produced mid-range torque numbers that would make most modern diesels blush. On the street, Tanner said the car plants well with the factory-supplied Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar R3 tires which were specifically developed for use on the 1LE and measure in at a massive 305mm.
The end result? A dizzying 875.7 horsepower and ground-tearing 888.3 lb-ft of torque, making it the first 1,000 crank horsepower ZL1 1LE of all time. The most impressive part about the entire build just might be how easy the car is to live with on a daily basis, but as you can see, it produced enough torque throughout the rev range to help slow the earth’s rotation a bit if it so chooses. We have to believe that the owner is more than happy and is busy out there blowing the doors off of lesser ZL1 1LEs.
We asked Tanner what was next for the guys at Redline and he told us their next project is a 2.9-liter Whipple on a 2018 ZL1 convertible. Stay tuned as we follow along and see just how much power a simple blower swap is worth. He also mentioned that their new Krypton Blue ZL1 1LE was about to get some serious work, so stay tuned for that as well. It looks like Redline will be turning out some insane ZL1 1LEs in the coming months.