• Jan 9th 2006 at 1:00PM
  • 878
You would think Autoblogger Chris Paukert were at a Hollywood movie opening instead of a car show when he arrived at the Camaro debut. In his own words:

More pomp and circumstance than any other debut I've yet seen this week. Full-on local marching band; parade of vintage Camaros; 250 hardcore Camaro buffs; Dr. Jack Arute (Motorsports Commentator); Leeanne Tweeden, who is a celeb for some reason or another; guys with LCD monitors strapped to their backs; absolute crush of humanity; lots of cheering.

GM Media was offering ear plugs due to the roar of the vintage Camaros. Nothing could be done, though, about the intoxicating smell of their exhausts.

But the "star" of the show stood proudly while cameras flashed around it. The Camaro concept features GM's 6.0L LS2 V8 producing 400 ponies and delivering over 30 mpg on the highway thanks to Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation). The tranny is a proper yet modern six-speed manual. 21-inch wheels up front and 22-inchers in the rear keep this (future) blast from the past on the road.

More specs from the press release and pics after the jump.


-    Thoroughly modern interpretation of the classic sport coupe
-    Dramatic design, responsive performance
DETROIT – Combining dramatic design and exciting performance, the Chevrolet Camaro Concept recaptures the spirit of one of the most popular sport coupes of all time and redefines the Camaro for new generations of fans.

The Camaro Concept embodies the performance and passion that have made first-generation Camaros some of the most sought-after collector cars, updating the formula with a fuel-efficient powertrain, sophisticated chassis and contemporary design execution. The goal is to make the sport coupe relevant to younger enthusiasts while retaining its appeal to its current fans. 

“Millions of people of all ages fell in love with the Camaro for all of the right reasons,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, global design (pictured). “Camaros were beautiful to look at and offered performance that could rival expensive European GTs. Yet they were practical enough to drive every day and priced within the reach of many new car buyers.”

Though only a show car at this point, the Camaro Concept is intended to explore customer reaction to design and engineering elements that might lead to an all-new version of the Camaro. 

The long hood, short deck and wide stance of the Camaro Concept leave no doubt that it is a serious performance car. Those looks are backed up by a 400-horsepower aluminum small-bock V-8, a six-speed manual transmission, and a sophisticated chassis with four-wheel independent suspension.

Like its forebears, the Camaro Concept would be practical enough for everyday use. It features fuel-saving features like Active Fuel Management™ cylinder deactivation technology, yielding highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or better. Its overall size is a comfortable fit for city streets and suburban parking lots, and its back seat provides occasional seating for two adults.

Lean, muscular design

Because of Camaro’s powerful heritage, the GM Design team chose a theme that pays homage to the original Camaro, while being instantly recognizable as an all-new car. 

Said Bob Boniface, director of the Warren Advanced Design Studio, “The fact that the Camaro has been out of production for a number of years made it particularly important that the Camaro Concept honors the Camaro heritage in the right way.”

The 1969 Camaro, considered by many to be the best first-generation design, was a significant inspiration. But as GM design teams in Warren, Mich., worked on alternatives for the Camaro Concept, they also turned to the latest Corvette and to aircraft like the YF-22, seeking a design that encompasses the spirit that made the 1969 Camaro great, but interprets that spirit in a fresh, exciting way.

“The overall proportions, long hood and powerful fender forms say, ‘This is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive performance vehicle,’ ” said Tom Peters, design director, rear-wheel drive performance cars. The prominent front grille and hood bulge hint at the power of the Corvette-derived V-8 engine. Large wheels and tires, exposed high-performance brakes and prominent fender shapes signal that the Camaro Concept has the handling and braking to go with the powertrain.

The cockpit of the Camaro nestles between sharply defined fender forms, a design element inspired by fighter planes and the new Corvette. And like any high-performance vehicle, the clean, purposeful design is integral to the aesthetic. “The Camaro Concept isn’t just a styled shape,” said Peters. “The design incorporates what the vehicle needs to perform to its optimum level.”

The same purposeful design is reflected in the interior of the Camaro Concept. The gauges and splash of orange trim hint at classic first-generation Camaros, but the overall design and execution reflect the no-nonsense functionality that drivers expect from a high-performance Chevrolet sports car.

Performance for the real world
The Camaro Concept features the latest generation of GM’s legendary small-block V-8.  The 6.0-liter LS2 engine features an aluminum block and heads for light weight, and Active Fuel Management™, which shuts off four cylinders to save fuel when the engine is lightly loaded. This concept version of the LS2 is rated at 400 horsepower, yet it could also deliver more than 30 mpg at highway speeds.

The Camaro Concept’s six-speed manual transmission provides a wide spread of ratios for aggressive acceleration off the line, confident passing and merging and efficient highway cruising.

Modern sports cars are about more than just straight-line speed, so the Camaro Concept features a sophisticated rear-wheel drive chassis. Its independent front and rear suspension features progressive-rate springs and gas-pressurized dampers. Four-wheel vented disc brakes with 14-inch rotors provide confident stopping under all conditions.

Enhancing both the performance and appearance of the Camaro Concept are unique five-spoke cast alloy wheels, 21 inches in the front and 22 inches in the rear.   

An American icon
Designed in the mid-1960s, the first-generation Camaro captured the optimism of an era.  The Baby Boomers were in their teens, rock-and-roll and Motown ruled the airwaves, and American culture was sweeping the globe.

Like the Impala, Chevelle and Sting Ray, the new Camaro showcased Chevy’s strength of bringing stylish, high-quality cars to a mainstream audience. Its dramatic proportions and graceful lines recalled both the Corvette and the Italian Gran Turismo cars of the era. And its powertrain lineup, which soon included both the potent Z-28 small block and big block 396s and 427s, gave the Camaro the performance to go with its looks.

But what really made the Camaro an American icon was that it was accessible to millions. Chevy sold more than 699,000 Camaros in its first three years. So for every Z-28 taking the checkered flag at the track, there were thousands of less exotic Camaros cruising the drive-ins, picking up the groceries, or taking the family on vacation.

“The Camaro Concept is designed to have that same broad appeal, with unmistakable style, spirit and performance,” said Welburn.

Vehicle type:    two-door, four-passenger rear-wheel drive sport coupe
Wheelbase (in / mm):    110.5 / 2806
Length (in / mm):    186.2 / 4730
Width (in / mm):    79.6 / 2022
Height (in / mm):    53 / 1344
Track (in / mm):    63.8 / 1620 front; 63.3 / 1607 rear
Engine:    6.0-L V-8 LS-2, 400 hp / 298 kw, with Active Fuel Management™
Transmission:    six-speed manual T56
Suspension:    four-wheel independent: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear, progressive rate coil springs, gas-pressurized dampers
Brakes:    four-wheel disc, 15” rotors with four-piston calipers
Wheels:    cast aluminum, 21” front, 22” rear
Tires:    275/30R21 front, 305/30R22 rear

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Bob van kampen
      • 9 Years Ago
      Nice concept car,but a retro camaro it's not.May sell to the "now" generation but after owning numerous first and second generation camaro's I wouldn't buy one as it missed it's mark.
      Jim Moore
      • 9 Years Ago
      Build it and I will own one! I love this car and it would kick the you know what out of the Mustang as it should! Just make sure the interior is not cheap looking as the rest of the car is fantastic!!!
      Nancy Carroll
      • 9 Years Ago
      I need one of these!!! My last 3 cars have been Camaros and I have beeg going into withdrawel for what my next car would be.
      • 9 Years Ago
      the front end looks like it came from a chrysler they definetly need to do something about that otherwise i love the car.
      Pedro Carriaga
      • 9 Years Ago
      It looks ok but,I myself am a Pontiac man when are you going to finally bring back the Firebird the Firebird always was more eye catching than the Camaro it was youre mistake to replace it with that non sporty looking GTO it was an embarssment to the original muscle car as we knew it what where you thinking!!!!!
      david frye
      • 9 Years Ago
      You've done a great job capturing the flavor of the Camaro. Hope it comes to pass!
      • 9 Years Ago
      It's pathetic. In pure G.M. style, they have once again chosen to be a follower, not a leader. In trying to recreate something from the past, they have missed yet another chance to do something really great.

      While the bodywork may appeal to the eye of the masses, the fact remains that this car is so out of touch with the future personal transportation. Once again, G.M. sabotages the success of it's future by completely missing the real direction of the automobile.

      Throughout history, the American automobile industry has turned to styling to generate revenues. While i applaud the creativity of the designers, i question the competence of the management. If they put as much or more effort into things that are really groundbreaking, things that address real concerns such as safety and ABANDONING FOSSIL FUEL POWERED ENGINES THAT ARE POISONING OUR ATMOSPHERE, then they would do much to secure the future of the automobile industry in this country.

      How much money is it going to take to bring this car to market? And how much money do they plan to make off it? Apparently, the goal of G.M. is to ensure that it's stockholders never make any money. While the idea of the Camaro may be nice, the execution makes it a dinosaur before it even comes to life.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Holy crap. Renderings people had posted online didn't even come close to nailing the design of this concept, and I am certainly glad for it. The renderings looked like updated versions of the 68 Camaro. This, though. My God is it handsome. This is probably the most emotive design GM has displayed as a Chevrolet model in the last 10 years, if not more.
      It is certainly not my cup of tea, but I'll be damned if I'm not thoroughly impressed. Forget the Challenger or Mustang. The Camaro is MEAN!
      • 9 Years Ago
      if it can't beat the Mustang, don't bother
      Camaro Chick
      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree with the first comment. BUILD THIS CAR!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!! I still love my 67' but this car is gorgeous!!!
      Alvin Lee
      • 9 Years Ago
      Is this what I've been waiting for? A Challenger look a like. I love the Camaro to be disappointed like this I really wanted to be knocked off my feet. Chevy needs to do better in its designs.
      D Kossin
      • 9 Years Ago
      Clean some lines and give a grey/black option in the interior. Ill await the independent road tests, and the unbiased tests in Consumers Reports, but it looks like a good idea for all those age 50 guys that were too young for the 1st generation. Powerful aluminum V8, ind. susp. 4 big discs- I can dig it baby!
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