Year Of The Camaro
Recently, I had a rather interesting conversation with a good friend at GM. We're both obviously excited over how strong Camaro sales have been-kicking the Mustang to the curb for the first time in years. Also, the overwhelming response to the new Camaro is a positive movement on a number of levels. Consistent sales mean demand, and that demand will only help secure the production of our favorite hot rod for years to come.
Another positive is the whole trickle-down effect, where the added sales will also generate a whole new line of products, which in turn will employ an untold number of people all over the country. And for the end users, especially us enthusiasts, it provides a variety of cool products to choose from, allowing everyone to cater their new-era street machine to reflect their own personalities.
This is a win-win situation for everyone involved. One area, however, really puzzles us both: Why aren't we seeing more fifth-gen owners who aren't afraid to heat the hides and fly down the dragstrip or rip through corners at the local autocross scene? Sure, these cars are still relatively new, but it never stopped anyone before.
If you think about it, there's no denying the availability of aftermarket products. If you're looking for more horsepower for your LS3, everything from cold-air kits to programmers and power adders can be had with a phone call. If corner carving is your niche, then complete off-the-shelf suspension pieces from a number of reputable companies can easily transform any SS into an open-track or autocross ripper.
Case in point, I just saw one of the hottest examples of what can be had on a message forum. Without completely divulging his identity, this person lowered the stance, added a sick pair of sneakers, and topped it off with a supercharger with a mild blower cam. His efforts netted well over 600 hp and 550 lb-ft to the wheels! Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely in love with the new ZR1, but this guy's SS is a prime example of what can be had with a few select components.
Another thing that has really piqued my interest is GM's body-in-white program. For a minimal investment, you can order a complete shell, ready to be assembled. Keep in mind, these cannot be registered for the street, but it certainly offers a relatively affordable way to build a new car for track-only duty. The suspension will bolt right on, and it's only a matter of deciding on the components you want to outfit the body with. Seriously, tell me this isn't proof enough that GM wants to see people pushing the limits of the new fifth-gen.
The Mustang crowd has made it obvious that they're not afraid to modify their rides, and I say we need to do the same. If you own a new-era hot rod, send me your videos or images, and let's show the Blue Oval crowd what The General is capable of.
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