Chevrolet has come out fighting to boost its place in the market, presenting its latest Camaro in a dazzling range of special versions. Top of the range is a startling track-ready road racer, powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre direct-injection V6. The two Turbonetics T-3 turbochargers blow through a custom-made air-to-air intercooler, force-feeding the engine with about 7lb of boost. That raises the power to around 425bhp, 40% above standard. A Chevrolet spokesman claims there is almost no penalty in fuel economy in normal driving conditions.
Specification of this Camaro roadburner includes a larger-capacity Be-Kool radiator and a custom-made exhaust system, plus a Centerforce clutch and pressure plate for the six-speed manual transmission. The tubing for the turbo system is powder-coated blue. The car is claimed to be genuinely fit for road and circuit use, road-racing being a main aim during development.
It also has Brembo six-pot brakes and integral brake cooling vents built into new front styling, and a Pedders coil-over lowering kit. Radical restyling of the exterior includes an air-extractor style bonnet, unique upper and lower grilles and a ground-effect package with rear diffuser. The first customer for this model is celebrated American collector, Jay Leno.
Chevrolet claims that the success of its new Camaro can be judged by the large number of tuning and special equipment companies which have stepped forward to offer customised versions. The company says it is flattered by that but is now also offering its own range of concept Camaros. In addition to Leno’s road-racer, there are several more concept models available.
One is the Camaro Synergy concept, offering a new, limited-production green exterior colour for spring 2010 and accented with a selection of production accessories and non-standard touches. Then there’s the Camaro Chroma, an SS-based concept which includes accessories which might become standard in future. It has a silver body-stripe package, future-product 21-inch wheels and rear spoiler, plus a Summit White ground-effect package.
Third is the Camaro Dusk, which incorporates current and proposed accessories to create Chevrolet’s idea of what the company calls ‘the contemporary tuner aesthetic’. Finally, through Camaro Graphics, six proposed accessory graphics packages can be viewed online, with the public invited to vote on their favourites. This will give Chevrolet some pointers to future production packages.
Inside, the cabins of both new models boast sports seats with ’R‘ logos, black and silver highlights, a new three-spoke black leather sports steering wheel with contrasting stitching, and revised white backlit dials with electric blue needles (more subtle than it sounds).
The new Camaro concepts have been unveiled at the SEMA Convention in Las Vegas, America’s annual aftermarket extravaganza.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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