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The Chevrolet Camaro is an automobile manufactured by General Motors (GM) under the Chevrolet brand, classified as a pony car and some versions also as a muscle car. It went on sale on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year and was designed as a competing model to the Ford Mustang. The car shared its platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced for 1967.
Four distinct generations of the Camaro were developed before production ended in 2002. The nameplate was revived on a concept car that evolved into the fifth-generation Camaro; production started on March 16, 2009.
Before any official announcement, reports began running during April 1965 within the automotive press that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang, code-named Panther. On June 21, 1966, around 200 automotive journalists received a telegram from General Motors stating, "...please save noon of June 28 for important SEPAW meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow...(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet public relations – SEPAW secretary." The following day, the same journalists received another General Motors telegram stating, "Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28...(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet public relations SEPAW secretary." These telegrams puzzled the automotive journalists.
On June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference in Detroit’s Statler-Hilton Hotel. It was be the first time in history that 14 cities were connected in real time for a press conference via telephone lines. Chevrolet general manager Pete Estes started the news conference stating that all attendees of the conference were charter members of the Society for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive World and that this would be the first and last meeting of SEPAW. Estes then announced a new car line, project designation XP-836, with a name that Chevrolet chose in keeping with other car names beginning with the letter C such as the Corvair, Chevelle,Chevy II, and Corvette. He claimed the name, suggests the comradeship of good friends as a personal car should be to its owner and that to us, the name means just what we think the car will do... go. The Camaro name was then unveiled. Automotive press asked Chevrolet product managers, what is a Camaro? and were told it was a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.
According to the book The Complete Book of Camaro: Every Model Since 1967, the name Camaro was conceived by Chevrolet merchandising manager Bob Lund and General Motors vice president Ed Rollett, while they were reading the book Heath's French and English Dictionary by James Boïelle and by de V. Payen-Payne printed in 1936. In the book The Complete Book of Camaro, it states that Mr. Lund and Mr. Rollett found the word camaro in the French-English dictionary to mean friend, pal, or comrade. The article further repeated Estes's statement of what the word camaro was meant to imply, that the car's name "suggests the comradeship of good friends, as a personal car should be to its owner".
The Camaro was first shown at a press preview in Detroit, Michigan, on September 12, 1966, and then later in Los Angeles, California, on September 19, 1966. Public introduction of the new model was on September 26, 1966. The Camaro officially went on sale in dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year
skip a bit........(RjT)
Fifth generation: 2010–2015
The Camaro received a complete redesign, and new platform for the 2010 model year/fifth generation. Based on the 2006 Camaro Concept and 2007 Camaro Convertible Concept, production of the fifth-generation Camaro was approved on August 10, 2006. The Oshawa Car Assembly plant in the city of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada began producing the new Camarowhich went on sale in spring of 2009 as a 2010 model year vehicle.
Following the development of the Zeta architecture and because of its position as the GM global center of RWD development, GM Holden in Australia led the final design, engineering, and development of the Camaro. Production of the coupé began on March 16, 2009, in LS, LT, and SS trim levels. LS and LT models are powered by a 3.6 L (220 cu in) V6 producing 312 hp (233 kW) for the 2010 & 2011 model mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic with manual shift. The SS is powered by the 6.2 L (376 cu in) LS3 V8 producing 426 hp (318 kW) and is paired with a 6-speed manual. The automatic SS gets the L99 V8 with 400 hp (300 kW). The RS appearance package is available on both the LT and SS and features 20-inch wheels with a darker gray tone, halo rings around xenon headlamps, a unique spoiler, and red RS or SS badges.
On April 1, 2010, the Camaro was named the World Car Design of the Year at the World Car of the Year Awards.
In late January 2011, the production of 2011 Camaro Convertibles started. The first going to Rick Hendrick via Barret-Jackson Car Auction. Convertibles had the same options as the coupé (engines, RS, SS, etc.). The Camaro convertible added an aluminium brace over the engine assembly, and under the transmission. Due to the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, certain pigment colors were not available to make certain colors.
On November 2011, the export version (excluding Japanese version) of the Camaro was introduced after a two-year delay. The delay was due to the unexpected domestic demand. The export version included different tail lamps with integrated reverse and amber turn signal lamps, larger external rear view mirrors with integrated side turn signal repeaters, a rear bumper without reverse light inserts, and other changes as to comply with ECE regulations.
The 2012 model year marked the 45th anniversary of the Camaro and commemorated with a model available only in "Carbon Flash Metallic" paint. The 45th anniversary edition Camaro also included a unique stripe package, red, white, and blue interior stitching and 45th edition exclusive 20-inch wheels. The V6 was updated to a 3.6 L "LFX" engine producing 323 hp (241 kW). The SS model received an upgrade to the suspension system. All models received the RS spoiler and taillight details, steering wheel-mounted volume and radio controls, and Bluetooth connectivity controls as standard. The 2012 ZL1 Camaro included a 6.2 L LSA supercharged V8 producing 580 hp (430 kW). The LSA motor is the same used in the Cadillac CTS-V and made it the fastest production Camaro to date. Other features included a 2-stage exhaust, the addition of suede seats, steering wheel, and shift knob, as well as ZL1-exclusive 20-inch aluminum wheels. In 2012 Chevrolet unveiled the production of the 2013 Camaro ZL1 Convertible.
On December 19, 2012 GM announced that the Camaro would return to being made in the United States, as production of the Camaro would be shifted to the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan, citing "lower capital investment and improved production efficiencies" as "key factors" in the move. This move is expected to start in late 2015 or early 2016.
At the 2013 New York Auto Show, Chevrolet unveiled a line-up of 2014 Camaros with a refreshed body style and the return of a Z/28 model. The 2014 Camaro received many upgrades, most notably to the exterior front and rear of the vehicle. The front end of the new Camaro received a slimmer grille along with a larger lower fascia and new fog lights. The taillights took styling cues from the original first generation Camaro. The RS appearance package incorporates LED's into both the headlights and taillights. The Z/28 model features a high-performance 7.0 liter LS7 V8 engine that produces 505 hp (377 kW), the same engine used in the Z06 Corvette. The new Z/28 features upgrades intended to improve lap times, and as the original Z/28, air conditioning is an option. The Z/28 model retains only one speaker for the seat belt chime, the rear quarter glass has been thinned, rear seats have been thinned, and most of the sound deadening has been removed in an effort to reduce weight inside of the vehicle.
Sixth generation: 2016
Chevrolet will reveal the sixth generation Camaro on May 16, 2015 at Belle Isle Park (Michigan). The new car will be built on the GM Alpha platform and will be available for the 2016 model year.