2010 Chevrolet Camaro V6 – Click above for high-res image gallery

We knew General Motors wouldn't take the rampant boasting coming from Ford about its more powerful and efficient 2011 Mustang V6 lying down. According to the crews at Modern Camaro and Camaro5, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro will boast a number of features that should help put the Bowtie's six-pot back on top. First and foremost, it appears that GM has directly contacted these enthusiast websites with some select tidbits about the 2011 car, with Camaro5 going so far as to post a short letter credited to a number of GM folks tied to the program – Cheryl Pilcher, John Fitzpatrick, Adam Denison and Scott Settlemire. Of primary importance in the note is that the Camaro's base V6 will now boast a total of 312 horsepower – beating out Ford's offering by seven ponies. That should allow GM to resume bragging that it has the most powerful entry-level muscle car out there, even if the bump in grunt doesn't make up for the fact that the Camaro weighs in at 282 pounds heavier than the Mustang. (See here for an explanation on why that really matters.) Nor does the forum claim to know what the new EPA fuel economy rating of the '11 Camaro V6 model will be after its engine's gets upgraded.

Both websites also say that buyers will be able to pick up any trim level in Chevrolet's new eye-searing Synergy Green – a color that was previously limited to the 1LT car. If the forum is to be believed, GM has also made the Camaro's heads-up display standard equipment on all 2LT and 2SS models.

If true, the changes aren't exactly earth shattering, but they should be enough to keep the Camaro near (or even at) the front of the muscle car pack for now. We would have liked to have seen The General put its pride and joy on a serious diet for 2011, but we won't exactly thumb our nose at a little extra horsepower, either. We'll be on the horn with Detroit today to confirm these claims. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

UPDATE: Official press release from Chevrolet added after the jump that confirms everything above. One note: There were no actual changes made to the Camaro's V6 engine that resulted in a power increase. Rather, Chevy says the current 304-hp rating was conservative and a new SAE certification resulted in 312 hp. So that means anyone who bought a 2010 Camaro V6 shouldn't feel shortchanged, as their engine is just as powerful as the 2011 model that will start production on June 7th.


Related GalleryThe Joy of Six: 2010 Chevy Camaro V6 RS

[Sources: Modern Camaro, Camaro5]

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Chevrolet supports Camaro's consumer momentum with exciting updates for 2011

312 horsepower for V6, expanded availability of Synergy color and heads-up display new for 2011

The 2010 model year proved to be a very successful and exciting year for the segment-leading Chevrolet Camaro. For the 2011 model year, Chevrolet looks to expand the car's popularity among consumers with the introduction of additional features.

"We are pleased with Camaro's success in the market during its first year of production," said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Chevrolet Marketing. "The 2010 model year has been a banner year for us, and we plan to build on this momentum."

Horsepower increase for V6 engine

The 2011 Camaro V-6 engine completed SAE certification testing and is now officially rated at 312 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 278 lb-ft of torque at 5100 rpm. This rating is eight horsepower higher than the previous year and also marks an increase in torque from the 2010 rating of 273 lb-ft.

"The 304 horsepower in the 2010 Camaro was actually a conservative rating on our end," said Tom Sutter, GM V-6 chief engineer. "But we knew already that this award-winning engine produced at least the amount of power we stated, but now we've gone the extra step in certifying the engine for this application and have verified an additional 8 horsepower."

The 3.6-liter V-6 with variable valve timing (VVT) and direct injection employs four independent cam phasers to change the timing of valve operation as operating conditions such as rpm and engine load vary. The result is linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (maximum horsepower per liter of displacement) supporting overall engine response and drivability. When combined, direct-injection and VVT enable an unmatched combination of power, efficiency and low-emissions in gasoline V-6 engines.

SAE certification is a voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee. This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. Chevrolet was the vehicle brand to begin using the procedure.

Synergy color to be made available across the lineup

Earlier this year, Chevrolet introduced the Camaro Synergy Special Edition which is based off the concept displayed at the 2009 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The Synergy Special Edition is limited to a 1LT model, but the Synergy Green exterior color will be made available on all trim levels for a limited run during the 2011 model year.

"When we looked at the overwhelmingly positive reaction we received from SEMA attendees and consumers on Synergy Green, making the color available across the board was pretty much a no-brainer," said John Fitzpatrick, Camaro Marketing Manager.

Customers will be able to order this color for a manufacturer suggested retail price of $325.

Head-Up Display

Already available on the Chevrolet Corvette, the 2011 Camaro will become the second Chevrolet vehicle to offer the popular Head-Up Display.

Camaro's Head-Up Display will include:

* Vehicle speed
* Tachometer
* Compass
* Outside air temperature
* Manual Paddle Shift Gear Indicator (if equipped)
* OnStar Turn-by-Turn
* Audio functions
* Phone information
* Selected gear
* Turn signal indicators
* High-beam indicator signal
* Vehicle messages

"Head-Up Display has been a very frequent customer request" said Cheryl Pilcher, Camaro Product Manager. "People familiar with the HUD system simply love it. It truly enables drivers to keep their eyes on the road."

Production of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro begins on June 7, 2010.