The 21st century revisiting of the pony car wars has stirred up a corporate competition not seen since the 1960s. Much in the same way tech-savvy Apple fans eagerly await the newest iPad or iPhone, the changes amongst the Detroit 3 pony cars may appear subtle to non-enthusiasts but ignites the desires of the faithful followers. In 2012, while Chevrolet celebrates 100 years of automobile manufacturing, their popular Camaro will record 45 years since the Ford Mustang fighter was rushed into production for the 1967 model year.
At the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, the hyper-powered Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was introduced as the model line-up’s new flagship. Along with the 550 horsepower hot rod ready for 2012 release, the Camaro ZL1 firmly mounts stronger competition against other top-ranked V-8 performance cars. For 2012, the performance offense runs deeper in the Camaro line than the V-8 engine.
A part of the Chevrolet Camaro since inception, the six-cylinder model in previous generations was valued only as an economy runner. However, thanks to direct injection and much better mechanical refinement, the current V-6 powered incarnation of the Chevrolet Camaro earns a reputation as a very stout performer. For 2012, the six-cylinder engine is upgraded to the all-new LFX design holding little in common with the previous powerplant other than a 3.6 liter displacement size. The 2012 Camaro’s LFX engine features redesigned cylinder heads, a composite intake manifold, new fuel pump and a restructured valvetrain. The improved LFX engine is good for 323 horsepower (an 11 horsepower enhancement over the 2011 model year Camaro V-6) without sacrificing fuel economy projected at 30 miles per gallon highway.
Promising 323 horsepower from a six-cylinder engine in 2012, the number attached to the Chevrolet Camaro is evermore impressive in historical context. In 1967, the inline-6 powerplant found in the base Chevrolet Camaro produced a meager 140 horsepower. For the 35th anniversary year (2002 which was also the final year for the 4th generation Camaro), the 5.7 liter LS1 V-8 engine achieved 325 horsepower inside the last Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Horsepower for Camaro SS models remain the same in 2012 (400 horsepower with the automatic transmission and 420 horsepower with the 6-speed manual) but the car adds more dynamic handling thanks to a suspension upgrade option. Called the FE4 package, the advancements include retuned shock absorbers as well as solid stabilizer bars on the front and rear corners of the Camaro SS. Completed with 20-inch aluminum wheels on performance tires, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS armed with the FE4 performance handling suspension is track tested for better body control and response through cornering.
2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition
A special 45th anniversary Chevrolet Camaro will also be presented to customers for either the coupe or convertible of the base Camaro or the SS trim level model. Found on the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Centennial Edition, the 2012 Camaro 45th anniversary model shares the Carbon Flash Metallic exterior paint job. Decked with silver striping and red, the center of the special edition Chevy Camaro’s hood features graphic details mirroring the look of the cowl induction hood on later 2nd generation Camaro models. On a jet black interior, stitching in red, white and blue proves eye-catching. White door inserts and instrument panel also works to contrast the shadowy ride. Dark silver 20-inch wheels and lighting bezels, rear spoiler as well as HID headlamps are standard inclusion on the special edition 2012 Chevy Camaro. Of course, the application of specialized 45th anniversary badging is promised on the outer and inside surfaces.
Another changes coming to the wide range of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro includes a new rear spoiler, Crystal Red Tintcoat exterior colouring and a Rear Vision Package with rear-view camera is found in the equipment list. While many of us realize this 45th anniversary of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro as somewhat tainted by a 7-year absence, the chance to pay tribute to an American motoring classic is a worthy celebration at any time.
Information and photo source: General Motors