Third generation Camaro was the first one built without front sub frames and leaf-spring rear suspension. Modified MacPherson system held up front, and back was based on a long torque arm and coil springs. Third generation was also the first one to introduce factory fuel injection, 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmissions, 4-cyl engines and a variety of hatchback bodies. This was all-new and much lighter and a bit smaller.
1982 Camaro had 3 engines in 5 different variations: 4 cylinder 151 cubic [2.5 liter], 173 cubic V6 [2.8 liter] and 305 cubic V8 [5 liter] engines with 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic gear box. Packages: Sport Coupe came as standard Camaro and had 4 cylinder engine by default [others were optional] and was very basic model. Berlinetta had a 173 cubic V6 as a base engine [with V8 as an option], softer suspension, full instrument package and better body insulation, aluminum wheels, Berlinetta badges, some changes in head and tail lights and custom cloth interior. The Z28 package came with 4-barrel V8 or optionable cross fire injected 305 cubic [5 liter] V8, light-weight hood, a bit different front nose, 3piece rear spoiler and some grounding moldings all around the car. Z28 was also the Indy Pace car in 1982.
A few changes were made in 1983 production muscle cars: 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual gear boxes, and most important – Hight output 305 cubic [5 liter] V8 with Quadrajet carburetor. This engine was only available with 5-speed manual transmission.
The big things in the next year, 1984, were: all digital dashboard in Berlinetta package, 305 cubic cross fire injection engine production stop, 700R4 transmission instead of 3-speed automatic. 1985 Camaros received new deeper nose, IROC-Z package and tune port injection 305 cubic engine [215 HP, available only in Z28 and IROC-Z packages]. This engine ment more power for petrol-heads. IROC-Z was described as “Camaro that thinks it is Corvette”. Berlinetta was discontinued in 1986 while other packages got some minor changes.
1987 Camaro had finally got the convertible body, and 350 cubic [5.7 liter] V8 with 225 HP. 350 cubic engine as only available in IROC-Z package and only with automatic transmission but had no visual exterior differences from 305 cubic IROC-Z package.
Bye bye carburetor
Year 1988 were the first one when Camaro had no carburetors. Some exterior swaps were made too – basic sport coupe got Z28’s looks, wheels were painted in gold color, carburetor equipped 305 cubic engine was totally replaced with throttle body injection 305s that had 5 HP more. Rally Sport package changed sport coupe in 1989 Camaros, TPI engines got better fuel injectors that made Camaros more powerful. 1LE IROC-Z performance package was given to public: 305 or 350 cubic engines, optional axle ratio, special disc shocks, special alloy mesh wheels. Only 111 were produced.
To be continued…
1990 – 173 cubic [2.8 liter] engine was replaced by 3.1 liter one that had 10 HP more. The last year for 3rd generation was the next year after IROC-Z was discontinued – 1992. Time for next generation to come.