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.
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!