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Chevrolet Camaro (2009) spied

Published: 08 January 2008

The muscle car wars are set to reignite. Ford’s Mustang is here, Dodge recently released teaser photos of its Challenger SRT-8, and now CAR Online has caught not one but two Chevrolet Camaros out in the open. And with the interior completely undisguised.

Snapped in Europe on the back of a car transporter, the two-door four-seat coupe is expected to go on sale at the start of 2009, a rather tardy three years after the concept was first unveiled at Detroit.

But in the move to production reality the Camaro has changed mercifully little. Our snappers managed to get inside the cars and while the concept car bling has gone, the base architecture remains much the same. We particularly like the four auxiliary dials by the (cheap-looking) auto ‘box. The three-spoke rim is also very cool, but it remains to be seen what the overall quality of the Camaro’s interior is like.

Does it still look like a proper muscle car on the outside?

Indeed. The clean, crisp lines remain pretty faithful to the concept's. The nose is still heavily disguised but will keep the concept’s aggressive look, while our pictures reveal the faux vents ahead of the rear wheels.

The biggest departure for the production car is the roof which tapers inwards at the C-pillar, giving the glasshouse a sleeker look.

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The big question. What does it run?

The Camaro will definitely have the Corvette’s LS2 6.2-litre V8 producing 424bhp. There’s no word yet on whether it’ll also inherit the Z06’s 7.0-litre unit, or the ZR1’s supercharged lump for an SS version.

However, a V6 starting at under $25,000 is a must for Chevy to compete with the Mustang. The current ‘Stang starts at just $19,250 (£9750) but GM will justify a slightly higher price because the Camaro will be underpinned by a more sophisticated suspension set-up; there’ll be no live axle here.

The Chevy uses GM’s global rear-wheel drive chassis, developed by Holden in Australia – the car transporter on which we snapped the Camaro also featured a few Holdens, all heading north for some cold-weather testing.

The Camaro will go on sale in 2009 soon after the facelifted Mustang, and a convertible version based on the 2007 Detroit Motor Show concept will follow in early 2010.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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