• Mar 1st 2012 at 3:30PM
  • 87

Over at Chevrolet HQ, the bubbly is flowing like high-octane unleaded. Of all the sports cars sold in the U.S. in 2011, 30 percent were either a Camaro or Corvette. Woo hoo! *POP!*

Take that, Ford Mustang! Take that, Dodge Challenger! Take that, um, Hyundai Veloster? and Honda CR-Z? Yeah, Camaro trounced all y'all! Beat Mustang by almost 18,000 cars and the Dodge Challenger by, wow, more than 48,000 units! And don't even think about lining up your CR-Z next to a Camaro, 'cause you'll get smoked!

In the big-ticket sports car class, the Corvette is still king. In fact, nearly as many Vettes were sold in 2011 as the Porsche 911, BMW 6 Series and the Z4 combined.

But back to the Camaro. Why is the (at minimum) 323-horsepower Camaro listed alongside the relatively anemic 122-hp Honda and 138-hp Hyundai? Smoke and mirrors from Chevy? Maybe, but probably not. They're all two-door coupes... except for the Veloster which has three. They're also all available in red and considered compact cars by the EPA.... except for the CR-Z, which is a two-seater. More likely, the three are in the same GM target market of 25-40-year-old males... who want to get 40 mpg while going 150 mph with the convenience of a hatchback?

We give up. Feel free to peruse the press release after the break.

Show full PR text
Chevrolet Ranks as Top Performance Brand in U.S.
Corvette and Camaro accounted for one in three sports car sales in 2011

DETROIT – Chevrolet is America's favorite performance brand, with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States in 2011.

Chevrolet accounted for 37 percent of the sports-car segment last year, selling 88,249 Camaros, which surpassed its nearest competitor, the Ford Mustang, by more than 18,000 units. That lead is expected to increase when the new Camaro ZL1 goes on sale this month.

Chevrolet accounted for 28 percent of the luxury-sports-car segment in 2011, selling 13,164 Corvettes. Currently the only domestic car in the segment, Corvette more than doubled the sales of its nearest competitor, the Porsche 911.

Top 5 Sports Cars by 2011 Total Sales and Market Share

1. Chevrolet Camaro - 88,249, 37%
2. Ford Mustang - 70,438, 29%
3. Dodge Challenger - 39,534, 16%
4. Honda CR-Z - 11,330, 5%
5. Hyundai Veloster - 9,284, 4%

Top 5 Luxury Sports Cars by 2011 Total Sales and Market Share

1. Chevrolet Corvette - 13,164, 28%
2. Porsche 911 - 6,016, 13%
3. BMW 6-Series - 3,903, 8%
4. BMW Z4 - 3,479, 7%
5. Mercedes SLK - 3,220, 7%

"With the addition of the Camaro ZL1, there are only a handful of brands in the world with two cars that can match the performance, technology, and excitement of Corvette and Camaro," said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. "Unlike many competitors' performance cars, the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1 are appropriate for both daily drivers and track use from the factory – with standard coolers for brakes and drivetrain."

"And we challenge any company to bring two cars to compete with the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1, dollar for dollar," Reuss said. "They will discover what enthusiasts already know – that Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette are the world's best performance cars for the money."

To demonstrate the capabilities of the Corvette and Camaro, Chevrolet recently tested full-production models with no performance modifications on the "Grand Course" at Virginia International Raceway. The Grand Course configuration is a challenge for production cars because it requires prodigious power, precise handling and tenacious grip to record a fast lap.

In a 2012 Corvette ZR1, equipped with new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, Corvette engineer Jim Mero lapped the Grand Course in 2:45.6 – faster than the published lap time for any production car.

In a 2012 Camaro ZL1, Camaro engineer Aaron Link lapped the Grand Course in 2:52.4 – more than six seconds faster than the published lap time of a 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 on the same track.

Car and Driver Magazine, which conducts the annual Lightning Lap shootout at Virginia International Raceway, called the track "the nearest thing to the Nurburgring's fabled Nordschleife."

"The Grand Course at VIR is an excellent test of all-around vehicle performance," said Reuss. "Like the Nurburgring, a single lap at VIR tests every aspect of a car, including power, brakes, steering, tire grip and chassis balance. To break a three-minute lap on the four-mile Grand Course is an incredible accomplishment for any car."

The Corvette ZR1 is the most powerful vehicle Chevrolet has ever produced, with a supercharged, 6.2L, LS9 V-8 delivering 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. Of all mass-production companies, Chevrolet is the leader in carbon fiber use, with the lightweight material used for structural components on the ZR1 including the front fenders, hood, roof, front splitter, rocker panels and floor pans. With a curb weight of 3,353 pounds, the ZR1 features a power-to-weight ratio of just 5.2 pounds per horsepower. As a result, the ZR1 is also the fastest Chevrolet ever produced, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 205 mph. The Corvette ZR1 starts at $112,575, including destination.

The Camaro ZL1 is the most-powerful Camaro ever produced, with a supercharged, 6.2L, LSA V-8 delivering 580-horsepower, and 556 pound-feet of torque. It is also the most-sophisticated Camaro ever, with exclusive performance technologies including Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Ride suspension. Other standard performance features include six-piston Brembo brakes, and coolers for the rear differential, brakes, and transmission. As a result, the ZL1 is also the most-capable Camaro ever, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, reaching a top speed of 184 mph, and lapping the famed Nurburgring in just 7:41.27. The Camaro ZL1 starts at $54,995, including destination.

Both Corvette and Camaro have also recently been recognized by IntelliChoice as the best overall value in their segments – further evidence that consumers get more performance for their money from Chevrolet.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Bryant Keith
      • 3 Years Ago
      the only vehicles i would consider a sports car from this list would be the Z4 the corvette and the 911
        Bryant Keith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryant Keith
        saying that a car is better because its sells more is like saying a strip steak is better than a filet because you get more cow.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fantastic cars, but GM corporate culture is arrogant, and its core fanbase is full of classless buffoons, as evidenced by responses below. Of course GM knows this, hence the PR statement directed at people with an IQ barely above 50 but less than 80.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am in the market for a newer low miles pony car and right now I just can't hardly even consider the Camaro. I am a huuuuge LS fanboy, and much prefer the Tremec over the glass Getrag in the Mustang, but I just can't get the 2011 Mustang out of my mind. I would gladly pay the price difference for the Mustang to have a TR6060, but want the 5.0 instead of a Shelby. Maybe the Camaro will rub me the right way on a test drive, but at least right now it's a distant 2nd to the Mustang.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's all about the drive in the end. I've gotten really worked up over stats and photos and all kinds of things, only to drive a couple cars and realize it's a really easy decision. Something like pedal placement, visibility, seating position, sound, steering feel can make all the difference in the world, and make all the numbers moot.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I took a test drive of both with V8's, the 5.0 GT and the SS, and everywhere that the Camaro left me utterly disappointed, the Mustang was absolutely beautiful. I could care less about visibility, since these are cars you drive to look cool, but in the Camaro you can't see a traffic light once you're the 2nd car at the intersection. That's one way to lose to a Mustang. Most importantly, the Camaro wallowed around the road and felt like my Buick to drive, where the Mustang was very tight and composed, and felt like a tossable car, even though the GT probably isn't the best for curves. Both were easy to drive, and both transmissions felt great and had good clutch feel, although the Mustang had a quicker learning curve on the clutch. Drive both. I drove a Challenger R/T 6-speed and was surprised when the thing had a turning radius as tight as my '02 Si. That car has the most personality.
          • 3 Years Ago
          TY for not only testing more than one of the mentioned and debated vehicles, but also for providing a quality post of your feedback on them.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Once you drive the Camaro do comeback and tell us what you think. Personally, I wouldn't buy one. That may change once it goes over to the Alpha platform but the current car is too full of bad compromises.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Highest sales does not equal best product. If that is the case McDonalds must make the best food in the world.
      Bruce Lee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Uhh...the Corvette is a luxury sports car? I'm not sure where the luxury part comes in.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Genesis Coupe HAD to have outsold the Veloster. Right?
      • 3 Years Ago
      In this day and age of political correctness people just seem to throw around terms to anything.I've heard Jeremy Clarkson refer to the BMW M6 and SLS AMG Roadster as muscle cars and even the 300 SRT-8 does that make them muscles cars in the traditional sense no.
      Dean Hammond
      • 3 Years Ago
      hold it, that means two out of three arent.....lol
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thing is the vette is a very, very good sports car and definitely delivers the best performance per dollar *but* it could better. It will never have the panache of Porsche (they can begin by spinning it off of Chevy) *but* GM needs to concentrate more on the details. A perfect example is the seats. How do you sell a car with this much performance and not have proper seats as at the very least an option? I'm sure GM engineers knew the seats were sub par but GM management made the call to "run whatcha brung". I'd much rather hear GM tells us, the consumers, that they know what our gripes are with the vette, lay out how they're going to remedy them, and most importantly follow through. Leave the bragging and false bravado to someone else.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love the 'Vette, but it's not what I would call luxury. It has always been the best bang for the buck, but the cheapness shows in the build quality and materials used. Best example I can think of at the moment is the rear panel, where I can poke it in and it pops back out like one of those jar safety caps that pop up when you open it. Doesn't stop me from lusting after one tho.
      Joe Dirt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well this confirms my hypothesis...One out of three people drive a POS!
      • 3 Years Ago
        • 3 Years Ago
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