The Chevy Camaro marks its 45th birthday in 2012 and the company has produced an anniversary edition of the popular pony car in the form of a juiced-up convertible.
This latest incarnation of the celebrated Camaro — the fifth generation of a car that was introduced in 1967 and billed as a “Mustang eater” — already has established itself as one of America’s most popular cars and, with enhancements for the 2012 model year, that popularity is only going to grow.
Camaro is available with either V-8 or V-6 power. New for this year is an improved version of the 3.6-liter Direct Injection V-6 engine. It has a new cylinder head design with an integrated exhaust manifold and an improved intake port design with larger intake valves in the cylinder heads. It delivers 323 hp at 6,800 rpm (11 more hp than 2011) and it’s 20.5 pounds lighter for more efficiency and better performance. And while more powerful than the old engine, the 2012 powerplant delivers an impressive 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
Two 6.2-liter V-8 engines are offered for the Camaro SS — the 400 hp L99 is mated to vehicles with an automatic transmission, while the 426 hp LS3 is paired with cars with a manual gearbox. All Camaro models can be equipped with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with TapShift.
As in previous years, Camaro is available in three models — LS, LT and SS — and later this year the high-performance Camaro ZL1 will make its debut, which Chevy literature calls “the most technologically advanced car ever developed in its segment.”
Also new this year is a FE4 performance suspension package for the SS coupe, and there are several new interior and technology improvements. Interior updates include a revised instrument panel with new instrument graphics and trim and a new steering wheel design. Driver and passenger seats have six-way adjustable settings with power recline front seats standard on LT and SS models.
The 45th anniversary Special Edition package is available for the LT and SS models. It includes all the vehicle upgrades for 2012, with additional unique design elements inside and out. It comes standard in Carbon Flash Metallic (black), with red and silver rally stripes on the hood and deck-lid, 45th Anniversary graphics on the stripes, special fender badges, new 20-inch wheels in deep silver, RS-style taillight lenses, a rear spoiler, HID headlights, body-color roof molding and a special-trimmed interior.
Base price on the 45th anniversary Special Edition Camaro with V-6 power and automatic gearbox is $36,910.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.