When Chevrolet launched the Camaro ZL1 1LE, it made a point of setting a time with it around the famed Nurburgring in Germany. But apparently that’s the only European tarmac the hard-core pony car ever will see.
The track-focused Camaro ZL1 1LE lapped the 12.9-mile circuit 13.56 seconds faster than the standard ZL1, thanks to its extreme aero kit. But those air-bending carbon fiber bits also are the reason Chevy can’t sell the 1LE in Europe, according to Maxim.
The 1LE’s front splitter and dive planes are crucial in generating grip, but as Motor Trend first revealed, they also don’t adhere to European pedestrian safety laws. And when you look at them, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to understand why.
The Camaro ZL1 1LE admittedly isn’t the first performance car to run into trouble with the differences between pedestrian safety laws in the United States and across the pond.
The new $2.8-million Bugatti Chiron had a similar issue, though because it was designed in Germany, it was the U.S. laws that it didn’t comply with. Bugatti, however, rather than not sell the car in the stateside — as it’s one of the largest markets for supercars and hypercars — added hideous rubber bits to the rear bumper of U.S.-bound examples.
Chevy obviously doesn’t have the luxury of changing the profile of the aero elements, as that would massively alter the car’s aerodynamic properties. So it seems the Camaro ZL1 1LE’s trip to “The Ring” will be it’s only European adventure.
All photos via Chevrolet
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