It would be hard to find somebody who doesn’t like the new 5th generation Chevrolet Camaro. After the last generation Camaro production was stopped back in 2002 most of American muscle car fans secretly [or not] waited for the next and modern Camaro to come. It was logical to guess, that the 5th member of Camaro family will have styling features that are familiar firstly to the 1st generation Camaro, then to the last generation Mustang, Charger and even concept [at that time] Challenger – more edges and more angular, but muscular looks. And finally it went on public sale in April 2009 as 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
One more Pony is back. Yeah!
Camaro Concept stole the 2006 North American International Auto Show. Strangely, the real American deal was designed by Sangyup Lee born in South Korea. It was based on GM’s Zeta platform and was powered by 366 cubic [6 liter] 400 HP LS2 V8 engine which had Active Fuel Management system. The transmission – T-56 6-speed manual, the suspension – 4-wheel independent one. During the next year – 2007 – Camaro Convertible Concept was revealed to the public. It seemed that the differences were roof and paint only, but there were something more: subtile interior changes were made, rear fenders matched the convertible body tale, rear spoilers were reshaped. It all worked perfect to create a new Camaro Convertible image. The other big thing back in 2007 was the Transformers movie where Camaro played a yellow Bumblebee character. Movie cars were built by Saleen that used the actual molds of concept car and… Pontiac GTO [?!]. Yes, Bumblebee Camaro is heavily modified Pontiac GTO with Camaro concepts interior-exterior.
5th generation production
The spring of 2009 was full of joy for those, who dreamed to buy the new Camaro – after a minor delay Camaro went on sales. Even though final development was done in Australia [GM Holden], production itself is being done in Canada. Convertible body production is planned to start in the begining of 2011. Camaro Coupe was offered in 5 trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT, 1SS and 2SS.
The LS and LT trims had 3.6 liter [217 cubic] LLT V6 which produces 304 HP. The SS with manual transmission had 6.2 liter [376 cubic] LS3 V8 engine which pumped outrageous 426 HP while automatic version was powered by GM L99 that developed 400 HP. The L99 engine had Active Fuel Management system that let the engine run on 4 cylinders in order to improve fuel economy. SS trim also had Brembo brakes, Competitive/Sport modes, launch control besides the standard independent 4-wheel suspension, variable rate power steering, traction control, etc.
The RS appearance package was offered with Lt and SS trim and included HID headlamps, spoiler, RS tail-lamps and wheels. There’s also a famous Transformers SE appearance package which includes Autobot shield on side panels and wheel center caps, interior changes, Transformers logo on doors’ sill plates and the one embedded into hood, and of course – rally stripes. Synergy SE package was introduced in 2009 SEMA Show – it’s mostly about the limited edition synergy green exterior color, some green interior stitches. No big deal, to tell the truth. All in all, over 61.000 Camaros were sold in 2009.
It may look strange, but since 5th gen Camaro birth in 2006 as a concept, lots of special concept versions were built:
2008 Camaro LS7 Concept features LS7 engine with massive 550 HP, Tremec 6-speed manual, Brembo brakes, Hurt shifter, custom 20-inch wheels, lower ride, etc.
2008 Camaro Dale Earnhard Jr Concept – the SS Camaro was tuned to run E85 petrol and has a few minor exterior changes.
2008 Camaro GS Racecar Concept was inspired by blue and yellow Trans Am series Camaro – lots of carbon fiber, LS3 V8, Tremec 6-speed manual gearbox, custom exhaust, etc.
2008 Camaro Black Concept – flat matte black coupe with red “halo rings” in HID headlamps, darker grille, dark-tinted taillights, black interior and 3.6 liter V6.
2009 Jay Leno Camaro – it was specially built for this famous petrol head. It is 3.6 liter V6 but has additional pair of turbochargers that let Jay’s Camaro produce 425 HP with almost no fuel loss.
2009 Camaro Chroma – silver stripes, “Blade” rear spoiler, fenders, LS3 V8 engine, Hurst short shifter, 6-speed manual, etc.
2009 Camaro Dusk Concept – aggressive looks, lowered ride, rear spoiler and diffuser, front splitter, premium audio system, etc.
2009 Camaro Graphics Concept – Chevy launched graphics campaign in order to get some graphics packages. The winner will probably see his package in future production.