• Nov 3, 2008
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Chevy Camaro LS7 Concept

As the Official Vehicle of SEMA, we knew we'd see several variations of the Chevrolet Camaro on display, but the details had us aching to see them in person. While each has their own unique appeal, the LS7 Concept stood out most. Designed to be something of a throw-back to the glory days of the muscle car era when anyone in the know could walk into their local Chevy dealer and check the COPO box to order up a race-bred, fire-breathing 427 V8 in the engine bay, this LS7 Concept shows what 2010 Camaro shoppers might be able to do with a massive letter-writing campaign. The LS7, as its name implies, features the GM Performance Parts LS7 Crate motor tuned to produce 550 horsepower thanks to a number of GMPP performance accessories. As we told you in the preview, a Tremec six-speed manual handles shifting duties, Brembo brakes make it stop, 20-inch custom wheels help it look the part, and a lowered ride height gives it the final touch. As good as all that sounds, it looks even better in the metal, especially in the concept's Victory Red paint. Check out the press release after the jump and the gallery below for desktop wallpaper-sized shots.

Photos copyright ©2008 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.

Press Release:

Camaro LS7 Concept – the spirit of COPO lives with a GM Performance Parts LS7 crate engine that delivers more than 500 hp

LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet introduces a quartet of stunning concepts based on the all-new, 2010 Camaro at the 2008 SEMA Show. The concepts join regular-production and accessorized models, along with a dream collection of vintage Camaros – including rare COPO, Indy Pace Car and early Z28 models – to mark the introduction of Chevy's re-born sports car. The Camaro is the official car of the 2008 SEMA show.

Each of the concepts represents a different interpretation of the new Camaro's performance, styling and personalization possibilities, from no-holds-barred high-performance to carefully crafted, street-savvy customizing.

"The new Camaro is a 21st century sports car for the young and young at heart," said Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet. "Wherever your automotive passion lies, the Camaro complements it with world-class design and an exciting driving experience. The concepts unveiled at SEMA accentuate those qualities and trigger the imaginations of countless enthusiasts."

In addition to the concept and classic Camaros, a production 2010 model showed off the range of appearance, performance and convenience accessories that will be available from Chevrolet when the car hits dealerships early next year. The accessories allow customers to personalize their vehicle with genuine Chevy components that are designed, tested and warranted to the same standards as the Camaro itself.

As for the Camaro concepts, they show the extreme possibilities of what the new sports car can offer. See below for highlights on all four vehicles.

Camaro LS7 Concept: Designed to highlight the capability of the new Camaro as a weekend bracket warrior, the Camaro LS7 Concept combines the power of a GM Performance Parts' LS7 crate engine and targeted bolt-on upgrades to deliver the wheels-up spirit of the legendary COPO Camaros.

Made famous by Chevy dealers like Don Yenko and Fred Gibb in the late 1960s, the COPO cars were ordered for one thing: drag racing. They were quickly outfitted after delivery with the requisite tires, safety equipment and other accessories necessary for competition in popular Stock-class drag racing series.

The LS7 Concept honors the COPO ethos with features such as drag strip-ready rubber on the rear wheels – and unlike many of the stripped-down racers from 40 years ago, this strip-ready competitor serves double duty as both a racecar and a daily driver.

The LS7 crate engine (part number 17802397) uses a high-performance replacement camshaft from GM Performance Parts (part number 12480033) to help it produce approximately 550 horsepower. Complementing upgrades include GM Performance Parts-developed headers and air intake system that will be offered at the Camaro's launch in early 2009. The LS7 also is modified with a wet-sump oiling system; the production engine features a dry-sump system that requires an external oil tank.

Backing the LS7 engine is a production Tremec 6060 six-speed manual with a GM Performance Parts Hurst shifter. Additional drivetrain details include:
  • Brembo four-wheel disc brake package
  • Lowered ride height
  • Custom 20-inch wheels
  • Driveshaft safety loop
  • GM Performance Parts exhaust system

The Camaro LS7 concept is painted Victory Red, with matte black accents on the hood and taillamp panel. "LS7" logos are strategically placed and warn those in the know this Camaro means business when the Christmas tree lights count down to green. It's all business on the spartan interior, too, with base trim and few accessories to minimize overall mass for a quicker elapsed time.

Although the Camaro LS7 Concept is just that – a concept – its duplication by enterprising enthusiasts and racers is enabled by GM Performance Parts' LS7 crate engine package. It delivers a fully assembled, production version of the engine, complete from the intake manifold to oil pan. An oil reservoir for the standard dry sump system and GM Performance Parts' LS7 engine controller (part number 19166567) are all that's necessary to get the engine running in an enthusiast's project vehicle – well, that and a chassis capable of handling more than 500 lb.-ft. of torque!

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      can someone PLEASE PLEASE care enough to tint the windows on their concept cars. These cars look silly without tinted windows while trying to look menacing. If it were me id tint every window including the front. Its a show car make it look cool.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The reason they don't tint the windows is purposely so people can see inside the car. Often times they'll park cars out on the show floor with locked doors. They don't want people in the car for various reasons, but they do want them to be able to see inside.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Government should take control of GM so gas guzzlers like this are not built. Personal sport coupe's are a selfish indulgence in time's like this and another reason why the capitalist whore's can't be cast out of Washington fast enough.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thank you Stalin. May I have my ration of bread for today so I can go home and feed my family?

        Since personal sport coupes are evil, should we all be driving school buses? How about big SUVs, those seem to be doing well now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey DJ, Boats are selfish indulgences as well. Perhaps the govt should outlaw those. That would have an even greater impact on oil consumption since people would then be forced at gunpoint to sell their trucks they once used to tow the boats.
      • 6 Years Ago
      People like you are trying to turn the United States into the soviet union. Capitalism works and it is the only viable option. Socialism has never worked on a large scale due to human nature. Also your comment about the capitalist pigs in washington is completely true. Except giving them the right to limit what kind of car i drive is giving them even more power over me. That is what socialism does.
      • 6 Years Ago
      People like you are trying to turn the United States into the soviet union. Capitalism works and it is the only viable option. Socialism has never worked on a large scale due to human nature. Also your comment about the capitalist pigs in washington is completely true. Except giving them the right to limit what kind of car i drive is giving them even more power over me. That is what socialism does.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For the Love of God, please buy a body with some sort of adequate dynamic range. Seriously. the car should not look like a micro machine due to the utterly woeful quality of the cam. How is it you guys take such extraordinarily beautiful shots outside and such woefully tragic inside, like the SD Auto Museum gallery.

      That or get a new photographer, that the carpet would be so well in focus and provide so much detail while the car we're all interested in seeing is a fuzy embossed mess. fail.

      Great site, keep up the good work, just fire this photog or trash the crappy body being used for something capable like a 50D.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If that is your idea of a free country please leave.
      If I knew who you were i would deport you myself.

        • 6 Years Ago
        well actually I have been thinking about relocating somewhere, where my ideas and values would be more appreciated, Denmark maybe. But then I got to thinking...I like the USA, it just needs to change some. It needs to be more in line with progressive country's like Sweden. Using a modified version of their social welfare system would be good for the US creating a social and economic equality. Everyone equal. No poor, no ultra rich. This is why I feel cars like the Camaro are not needed. Sure they are good looking fun to drive cars but not feasible for the masses. One or two types of cars would be sufficient. Mass transit will fill the need for many, limited auto ownership for those proving a need for a car or truck. People can live on 20-30% of their income with an efficient social system, take away car and insurance payments and that is a lot of money to spend how you want. Americans need to stop being selfish, and get over their ego's. It's not all about you. Thankfully, we will take the first step toward just this type of economy when B Obama becomes the 44th President and a liberal super majority takes control of congress.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I bet GM will turn this into a production model.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SWEET! I would like to see them take and put a turbo 4.2 in it instead of the 3.6l. GM was working on one for the Trailblazer rated at 400bhp 400 ftlb/tq. Not that I would ever balk at an ls7. It would just be nice to see a mid end sleeper/screamer.

      Hey dj, go to China! maybe we could be alittle more to the left but you are wacked. dj? dubb jerk? dikjiz? what is it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Do want.
      • 6 Years Ago
      stop saying the ls7 will be put in the z28. Just stop.

      SS is and has ALWAYS been HIGHER up the trim level than the z28. The last camaro went v6 > z28 > SS . The ss was a z28 (base corvette engine) but with special badging, wheels, and maybe 20hp bump in power. The trans am which was a clone of the camaro was z28 = firebird v8 and ss = trans am with ram air.

      again. IF a z28 is made, it will be slower than SS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. But with today's economic climate, I don't really see GM caring about competing with a specialty mustang. I say we count our blessings that we got the SS. Magazines are saying the v6 Camaro with 300 hp is already a blast to drive and that is it almost even with the v-8 mustang! The SS with the ls3 bumps power up FIFTY % to 422 hp. It is already stepping on the toes of the base corvette and an even higher performing camaro would put a base vette to shame, something GM has always been very careful not to do.

        I think GM's thinking on showing the ls7 concept is that you can do it yourself if you really need that much power. After all, if you can afford a 50k+ camaro and you are an enthusiast, they probably figure you will get a reputable shop to drop in any of the monster crate engines they offer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ss's from 96-02 were mainly apearance packages. I believe those ss did have some suspesion work and exhaust work but both ss and z28 were identical in performance. The ss might have had 15 more hp but the bigger wheels for the ss evened that out. If gm where to come out with a z28 the would wanna follow the corvette line which in fact the z cars are top dogs like the z06 and zr1. But whatever they call it, hopefully it will kick gt500s ass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll have mine in black please.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should bring back the COPO idea. Make it so you can special order an LS7, LS9, LSA, LS4, LNF turbo 4cyl, and/or a multitude of other non-engine options. Instead of doing a separate model, just do it on an order by order basis and charge extra for those that want custom options. Basically a GM custom shop, similar to Bentley's Mulliner. I doubt it would be a huge money maker, but it might get GM some more fans and it would make a lot of picky customers, like myself, happy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The only problem with that rather cool idea is the complication of emissions testing. Certifying a motor for street legal use in a new car is a complicated and expensive procedure, something which GM isn't going to go through for a few dozen specially ordered models. You might see the LS7 or LS9 in a Z28, COPO or SS427 special edition, but getting stripped down, cheap and stealthy models is probably too much to ask for.

        However, that wouldn't stop GM from making non-street legal racing models similar to the Drag Pack Challengers and Mustangs. Considering that the drag strip was where most of those COPO cars wound up anyway, that would be a reasonably cool alternative.
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