It’s a short video, but a great one worth watching. So interesting to me, in fact, that I decided to give it its own blog entry today (instead of making it an afterthought to the Camaro in India news). The video gives a quick glimpse in to the durability testing and design that went in to the Camaro, and some discussion from the Camaro engineers themselves in relation to it. If you’re a Camaro nut like I am, it will be a very worthwhile two minutes.
Month – January 2011
With India’s economy enjoying sustained growth for more than a decade now, and their automotive industry being amongst the leaders of that growth, it makes sense the sports car market within the country has begun to see a great deal of life and vibrancy. Already, European supercar companies have imported their brands to India for the country’s wealthiest businessmen and women to get their hands on (Maserati, Ferrari, and Koenigsegg are just a few of the names) that it made sense that Chevrolet’s most prized and well-reviewed vehicle would be joining them. Starting later this year, GM has announced that the Chevrolet Camaro will become available within the Indian market.
The vehicle will be entering in interesting territory. Chevrolet has already built a decent consumer base within the country, and there’s a market opening for a more affordable sports car to step in and fill. Currently, for a true sports car feel and appearance, the high-end European automotives are the only real thing available, and their vehicles tend to be priced so highly that they’re well outside the range of the average consumer. Even with the importation fees and and taxes (which typically raise the cost of an American automobile entering the Indian market by %110), the Camaro will still be a much more affordable sports car than its competitors within that market. This greater affordability (while still expensive, no doubt) will open up an all new, potential sports car buying client base that has previously been untapped within the Indian market. If this calculated risk pays off, GM could find themselves holding a very strong stake in a very quickly evolving automotive market–a move that will reflect positively upon their future prospects worldwide. Of course, the risk doesn’t seem to be too extreme, as the incredible styling and construction of the Camaro have made it an immediate hit anywhere and everywhere it has been made available.
Typically GM buys a few Superbowl ad spots and distributes them amongst their various vehicle lines(even though they took a 2-year hiatus during the economic recession while they rebuilt their company’s economic standings), but this year the Chevrolet will be their only focus. Chevrolet has purchased five 30-second commercial spots during the big game (and an additional 30 second post-game spot), and will use that time to advertise their Cruze, Volt, Silverado HD pick-up truck, and their new Camaro Convertible. As for what these commercials will be is still a mystery, as Chevrolet has not followed the suit of some competitors who have begun sharing their Super Bowl ads on websites like Youtube. Being the biggest marketing stage in the country (and, arguably, the globe), you can be certain that new advertisements are being made for each of the vehicles to highlight their most desirable aspects. In addition to these commercials, Chevrolet has also put together a deal with the Super Bowl itself, and will be handing over the keys to a brand new Camaro Convertible to the MVP of the big game.
This specific advertisement spot, the Super Bowl MVP gift, may be an even bigger deal than the commercials, honestly. The commercials have to be fantastic to really stand out from the Super Bowl crowd–which will be littered with other vehicles, as well snack foods, paper products, website services, and other items–but by giving the keys to the Super Bowl MVP, Chevrolet is allowing the Camaro Convertible to stand alone, separate from the crowd, and be judged less on the commercial and more on the beauty of the vehicle. Also, knowing that the Super Bowl MVP will be driving a Camaro will certainly raise interest towards it among that team’s fanbase, who will undoubtedly view either that Steeler or Packer as a bit of a hero.
Of course, the decision to advertise Chevy products only (and ignore Cadillac, Buick, and GM) is the most interesting aspect of this entire deal. It makes business sense, as Chevrolet makes up over 70% of GM sales, but also leaves some of the company’s most desirable vehicles (most notably, for me at least, the Cadillac CTS-V) out of the lurch. While the majority of the Cadillac, Buick, and GM line-up lacks the press and popularity that really necessitate a Super Bowl ad spot, a few of their vehicles could really benefit from such, especially again the CTS-V which has gotten lots of press for its style, luxury, and incredible performance. Whatever the case, GM is approaching the Super Bowl with a renewed excitement after their hiatus away from it (a hiatus that broke up a 15-year run of Super Bowl advertisement), and you should expect the Camaro Convertible to compete against the Budweiser Clydesdales, Doritos snack explosions, Hyundai sheep, GoDaddy’s half naked women, and others for being amongst the big events most memorable commercials.
The speculation has been rampant about the 2012 Camaro Z28 and how it seemed to have a hood vent in the spy photos from numerous sources. Well, as of about a week ago, dealers were confirmed nationally that production on the new “HP Edition” Camaro Z28 will begin on January 1st, 2012. It will feature the louver/slat design that was seen in the leaked/spied photos over the past couple of months. It was brought to our attention by a couple of members on the camaro5.com forum (Luce MI and macalot) that the hood on the new Camaro bears a very striking resemblance to the hood on the CTS-V race coupe by Cadillac. It seems that there are a few similarities between the two cars that have been noted by Car and Driver- namely the 6.2 liter LSA powerplant, which is rated at 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque. Sounds like good stuff to us. The brakes quite possibly are also a close variant of the mammoth stoppers found on the CTS-V. The exterior styling is confirmed by Chevy to have a more aggressive grill and possibly a number of smaller aesthetic touches such as a slightly more sculpted rocker panel, and rear fascia sporting quad exhaust tips. Until the real pictures come out… keep an eye on this guy. It’s sure to be a mean one…
Pictures are property of their respective owners and are for informational purposes only. 2012 Camaro Prototype pictures from caranddriver.com and CTS-V Race Coupe pictures from camaro5.com.
Continuing the tradition that has been founded since the Camaro returned for its 5th generation iteration, the Indy 500 pace car will once again be a Camaro. Only, this year, there’s a bit of a difference. The 2011 Indy 500 Pace Car will be a Convertible SS Camaro special edition, done up specifically for the event itself, in white and orange with leather interior trimwork, built specifically to hearken back to the 1969 Camaro pace car model. In addition to the pace car, another 50 special edition Chevrolet Camaros will be created for the Festival Commission, as this year’s Indy 500 will act as the 100th anniversary for Chevrolet and the Indy 500.
Here’s the official press release concerning the Indy Pace Car:
DETROIT – A special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible will serve as the official pace car of
the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials made the
announcement at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic auto auction, where a bidder will have
the opportunity to purchase the first of 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee cars.
The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet chosen to pace “The Greatest Spectacle In
Racing®” and the seventh Camaro. Adding to the rich heritage is the fact that 2011 will mark the
100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500, as well as the centennial year of Chevrolet.
Chevrolet will donate full proceeds of the auction to the David Foster Foundation, a charity
devoted to supporting families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. David
Foster, the 15-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter, founded the organization
in his native Canada.
The pace car, along with the matching festival cars, features a Summit White exterior accented
with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front
seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument
panel trim. The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes.
The color combination is similar to the design used on the 1969 Camaro Indy pace car –
replicas of which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.
“It’s an honor for Chevrolet to pace the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, especially
during this landmark year,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “This is also
a great opportunity for us to build on Camaro’s strong momentum, while supporting an important
The auction for the commemorative edition pace car takes place Saturday evening, Jan. 22,
during SPEED’s live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson event. The vehicle carries lot number
1284 and bids can be submitted at the auction in person or online by clicking this link for a 2011
absentee bidder registration packet:
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet name have long been associated with
one another beginning with Arthur, Louis and Gaston Chevrolet’s participation as competitors in
the Indianapolis 500,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus. “It is
fitting in this 100th year for both brands that we reinforce that relationship through this year’s
Camaro pace car, which resembles what many argue is the most famous pace car in IMS
history, the 1969 Camaro. We are looking forward to seeing this car on track, pacing the
greatest 33 drivers in the world on May 29.”
Pace car details
Equipped with a 400-horsepower (298 kW) V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission,
the actual pace car for the race requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in
front of the racing field.
All 50 of the Festival Committees cars will be SS convertible models fitted with the 2SS
equipment package, offering the following standard features:
- – Four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers and hydraulic assist
- – StabiliTrak electronic stability control
- – Competitive/sport mode that enhances on-track performance
- – Performance Launch Control (with the manual transmission) that optimizes hardacceleration
- launches for quicker, more consistent performance
- – Twenty-inch polished aluminum wheels and performance tires
- – Head-up instrument display
- – Center console with auxiliary gauge package.
Along with the 2SS equipment, the cars feature the RS package, which includes HID headlamps
and unique tail lamps.
The Camaro Convertible delivers coupe-like driving dynamics, with the unmatched fun of open
air driving. The Convertible model contains an enhanced structure designed to eliminate the
traditional compromises of open cars, such as cowl or steering wheel shake. The goal is a
convertible that drives like the coupe. All the powertrain and suspension elements of the existing
Camaro Coupe carry over unchanged in the convertible. The top has a smooth, tailored fit, with
acoustical foam in the headliner that helps deliver a quiet ride with the top up.
Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to eliminate common
convertible maladies of cowl and steering wheel shake. They include:
- – A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
- – A transmission support reinforcement brace
- – Underbody tunnel brace
- – Front and rear underbody “V” braces.
The power-folding top retracts in about 20 seconds. It is built in partnership with the same
manufacturer as the Corvette convertible top, and operates in a similar manner. That means it
folds in a simple “Z” pattern and latches with a single, convenient handle located at the center of
the windshield header. Other convertible models in this segment still offer convertible tops with
dual latches, forcing drivers into two-hand operations reaching across the car.
The regular-production versions of the 2011 Camaro Convertible will begin arriving in Chevrolet
dealerships in February, opening a new chapter in the Camaro’s ongoing 21st century rebirth.
Even before the introduction of a convertible model, Camaro ended 2010 as the sales leader in
its class in the United States for the first time since 1985.
Chevrolet’s pace car heritage
Louis Chevrolet, who founded the brand with William “Billy” Durant in 1911, was a racer,
mechanic and pioneering engineer. He raced in the early years of the Indianapolis 500, which
also started in 1911, and served a luminary of the event in the years after he retired his racing
helmet. That included driving the official Indianapolis pace car, which was developed by Indy
500 founder Carl Fisher, who believed a rolling start was safer than a standing start. The first
Indianapolis 500 featured a pace car driven by Fisher.
The first Chevrolet selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car was the 1948 Fleetmaster Six.
The brand would go on to lead the racing pack more than any other manufacturer.
The list of
Chevy pace cars includes:
- 1948 Fleetmaster Six
- 1955 Bel Air
- 1967 Camaro
- 1969 Camaro
- 1978 Corvette
- 1982 Camaro
- 1986 Corvette
- 1990 Beretta
- 1993 Camaro
- 1995 Corvette
- 1998 Corvette
- 1999 Monte Carlo
- 2002 Corvette
- 2003 SSR
- 2004 Corvette
- 2005 Corvette
- 2006 Corvette
- 2007 Corvette
- 2008 Corvette
- 2009 Camaro
- 2010 Camaro
- 2011 Camaro
I really enjoy sharing articles with you concerning certain products I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in person, and this newest one is one of the coolest. Created by the folks over at Innovative Vehicle Solutions, the Camaro Havoc body kit for the Camaro is, without question, one of the coolest, and most well put together body kits I’ve seen for a Camaro. We’ve had icy weather where I live all week, but yesterday it was nice enough finally that I decided to take the Camaro out for a spin (she hadn’t had a chance to stretch her legs for a couple of weeks, thanks to the weather, and I was worried about her a little bit). While navigating less than savory road conditions, however, I came across another Camaro owner who was, admittedly, doing the exact same thing I was. Only, their Camaro looked different: a lot different. I managed to corrall them in to a gas station parking lot to get a chance to talk to them, and I quickly found out why – the Havoc body kit.
The thing looked fantastic. It was sleek and aggressive, and really highlighted the best aspects of the Camaro’s curves in an undeniable way, and I knew I had to do some more research. The thing, you see, I’m always pretty skeptical with body kits. I’ve seen some (Extreme Dimension’s line of Duraflex body kits) where the quality is atrocious, and the pieces don’t hardly ever fit in the proper way. I’ve seen others, like some of the complete dry carbon kits that are out there, where the price really is not justifiable ($12-14k for a complete body kit, in some cases!). Yeah, sure, dry carbon is strong and lightweight, but is it worth the money. Of course, upon seeing the Havoc kit, I was certain that it would probably reach the upper echelon of pricing for non Dry Carbon body kits, but was pleasantly surprised when I found its pricing online.
The kit itself is cool and sleek, and the black chrome wheels, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler were the obvious highlights of it for me. The side rockers and front chin were also great looking, don’t get me wrong, but their greatest aspects were their subtlety and poise, as opposed to the truly powerful look the other body pieces gave the vehicle. The kit seemed to be designed flawlessly, also, as each body piece fit perfectly flush against the vehicle, and nowhere was there any sign of an installation struggle (on some Duraflex kits I’ve seen installed bits of nothing can be seen between the vehicle body and the aftermarket pieces, which lend itself to a very obvious sense of poor production). The Camaro I had the pleasure of spending some time checking out had had its kit installed and painted at a body shop local, and they had done a fantastic job with the vehicle. The striping continuation, apparently purchased as part of the Havoc kit, blended the Rear Spoiler in perfectly with the Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Striped Camaro. All in all, the body kit itself was impressive, and while I may not purchase the entire thing immediately, I’m definitely going to invest in a Camaro Havoc Rear Spoiler and the Havoc Rear Diffuser for myself (I’d like to do the entire kit, but may wait off a bit. The Camaro Havoc Wheels would be the obvious next purchase, and at just around $1000 they’re more affordable than most wheel kits I see out there). If you’re in the market for a body kit for your Camaro, I would definitely check out the Havoc kit, as this thing is a work of art that compliments the best aspects of the Camaro in a very impressive manner.
On a side note, the Camaro I saw didn’t have the Camaro Havoc interior installed, but it appears that IVS also has a complete interior leather upholstery set. The kit would need to be upholstered by a local shop, but the look of the kit is fantastic in the pictures I’ve seen of it. The two-tone, complete leather kit looks like the sort of interior modification bit that could really spice up the Camaro’s appearance and turn some eyes. Ultimately, I think it depends upon the quality of the leather itself to see if it’s worth the money, but if the quality of the rest of their products is any indication, the interior upholstery kit has to be pretty nice.
Another interesting thing to note is the Rear View Back-up Camera System that IVS offers. Again, I didn’t see it installed, but it looks like a really nice addition for the Camaro (especially if you have a rear diffuser installed). I imagine that’s another modification piece I’ll be certain to get for my baby, too.
That’s right, this bad boy’s officially official now! Earlier this week Chevrolet called together representatives from its various Dealerships to have a little chat with them, and one of those dealerships (one Ms. BeckyD from Rodger’s Chevrolet) has decided to share the good news with the Camaro loving public. The Z28, or the ‘HP Model’ as they refer to it in house, will be an absolute monster, outfitted (officially now) with a 6.2L Supercharged engine (can anyone say LSA?) and a lot of other goodies, and will begin its production in Janurary of 2012. The official news is that the Z28 will have these wonderful performance modifications with it:
- 2012 Camaro Z28 production begins January 1, 2012
- Internally referred to as the “HP Model”
- 6.2L supercharged engine
- Magnetic Ride suspension
- 285F / 330R tires
- Hood design to have louvre/slat design seen in spy photos (dealers in attendance were shown a gray Z28 model)
- Slight (not major) updates to the interior, with some brighter trimwork
Let’s consider some of these things real quick. The 6.2L Supercharged engine is almost, without question, the same LSA that’s in the Cadillac CTS-V. That LSA puts out 556HP in the Cadillac, and is easily good for a lot more. Maybe Chevrolet will tune it down a little bit for the Z28 release, maybe not, only time will tell, but either way the Camaro-loving crowd now has knowledge of the engine’s incredible potential. The next thing on the list might be the most exciting of them all: Magnetic Ride Suspension(MRC, or Magnetic Ride Control as it’s typically known)! MRC utilizes magneto-rheological fluid0based actuators in the suspension to provide the vehicle with a powerful, adaptive, and incredibly responsive race suspension that offers the vehicle an enhanced range of soft-to-firm damping capabilities, as well as real-time traction control functions. MRC is the same type of suspension system used in the Corvette and the CTS-V, and has been praised world-round for its incredible feel and responsiveness. The tires mentioned are incredibly intriguing as well, as a 285/330 configuration is just sick. The Camaro, currently, can’t fit larger than 315 in the rear without having the wheel protrude from the well a bit, either, which means that the Z28 will almost undoubtedly be outfitted with widened rear quarter-panels as a means of fitting those wheels comfortably within the vehicle’s body. The wider wheels (which are comparable to the wheel widths found on Corvettes) should really provide the Camaro Z28 with the grip necessary to hold the road as it pushes all 556(maybe) of its HP through the wheels and to the pavement. Ultimately, with the combination of GM’s greatest race technologies and their greatest looking body, the Camaro Z28 should end up an absolute monster of a vehicle that will tear apart its competition with relative ease.
For close to a quarter-century Ford has maintained a stronghold on the American Pony Car market with its Mustang, but 2010 was the year that all changed. In the first full year of sales for the Camaro revival, the Mustang was unseated from its throne.
In 2010, the Camaro sold 81,299 to the Mustang’s 73,716. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not only a victory, but a solid one at that. Of course, neither vehicle was ultimately hurting, as each saw their sales increase from the year prior. The Camaro by an impressive 32%, and the Mustang by 11%. This should not come as any news, however, as the Pony Car race has bolstered, and even been a large part of the revitalization of the American automotive industry. This is surprising, as it comes at a time when lawmakers are trying to push the American public towards the antithesis of the Pony Car-smaller, more fuel efficient, less powerful vehicles, like the Chevy Volt.
Of course, Ford contributes their loss in the sales race to the fact that this was the first full year of sales for the Camaro. This accreditation lacks the foresight of the fact that the Camaro performed this impressive feat with basically only two models on sale. The Mustang, however, had 7 vehicle models in its line-up. With the release of the Camaro and Camaro SS Convertibles this year, as well as the Z28 in the near future, one might speculate (with relative safety) that the Camaro will begin a new reign atop the vehicles sales race in their class. Further proof towards this are the numerous accolades and awards that have been bestowed upon the Camaro since its release. Whatever the case may be, 2010 was a great year not just for the Camaro, but for American Pony Cars in general, and the future only looks like it will be even brighter.