story by Jim Campisano, photos and video courtesy of General Motors
We got a sneak peak at Chevy's 2010 Camaro SEMA cars on the Monday before the show opened in Las Vegas at a luncheon hosted by Ed Peper, GM North American Vice President, Chevrolet. The cars included a Dale Earnhardt Jr. edition, an LS7-powered Camaro from GM Performance Parts and a Grand Am road-racing version. All were heavily stylized with parts that will be available through Chevy dealers once the car goes on sale.
"The new Camaro is a 21st century sports car for the young and young at heart," said Peper. "Wherever your 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."
The LS7 Concept and the Camaro GS Racecar concept had the large crowd on its feet. The LS7 was build, in theory, to highlight the capability of the new F-body as a weekend bracket racer, and was stuffed with a GMPP LS7 crate engine with a special GMPP cam, drag tires, and other bolt-ons. Upcoming GMPP parts included headers and an air intake system.
"The LS7 Concept honors the COPO ethos with features such as drag strip-rady 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 daily driver," according to the GM.
Frankly, we would not object if Chevy built a production version of this concept. Call it SS427 and sell 'em by the truckload.
The Dale Jr. concept was an SS modified to run on E85 with a more aggressive tune to take advantage of that fuel's higher octane. It, too was fitted with GMPP' new headers, a 6-speed with the optional Hurst shifter, a Brembo brake setup and lowered ride height.
Exterior upgrades include a Chevy Accessories grille, round effects and rear diffuser, a Chevy Accessories exhaust, a dovetail rear spoiler reminiscent of the second-gen's '71-up Z28 piece and 21-inch wheels inspired by those on the Camaro Convertible Concept car from two years ago.
The Camaro GS Racecar Concept pays homage to the late Mark Donohue's Trans-Am-winning Z/28 from '68 and '69, and it is an early prototype for the Grand Am Koni GS Racing class. Built with assistance of Riley Technologies, it shows what GM could do if it built a roadrace-series-ready Camaro to compete with Ford's "Boy Racer" Mustangs. Let's hope so!
It comes with a race-ready suspensions, a seam-welded production Camaro body, carbon fiber hood, trunk lid, doors and fenders, a production LS3 engine with solid engine mounts, three-inch exhaust, a racing aluminum radiator and transmission and diff coolers, among other features Think Chevy will offer these? Let's just say the car conforms to GS rules as is.
The Black Concept is perhaps the meanest looking of the quartet, with dark wheels, a matte-black hood, HID headlamps that had the outer rings glowing in red, along with the Chevy Accessories ground effects kit. The rear spoiler, which was also seen on the LS7 Concept, will be optional on the production SS. Chevy also showed a yellow V6 model fitted with 27 dealer-available accessories.