Chevrolet Camaro (2009) undisguised

Published: 14 February 2008

Shorn of nearly all its disguise, this is our best glimpse yet of Chevrolet’s Camaro. We’ve snapped this front-engined, rear-wheel drive coupe cold weather testing with only light disguise around the grille and lights.

With Ford’s facelifted Mustang out testing, and the Dodge Challenger recently launched, GM’s car tzar Bob Lutz has called for the gloves to come off, literally. Chevrolet’s Camaro will now run around without disguise. It’s a plan to keep the public interested because the Camaro won’t be launched until the start of 2009. That probably means a Detroit Motor Show debut in January, because it would be a brave GM that took a V8-powered coupe to the eco-conscious LA Auto Show. 

How much has the production Camaro changed from the concept?

Very little thank goodness. Of course it’s less curvaceous with fewer sharp jutting lines but it stays true to the 2006 Detroit concept. GM should be most proud of the interior though, which we’ve snapped before. After the disappointment that was the Dodge Challenger’s interior the twin cowelled dials and four auxiliary readouts look very smart.

Click 'Next' below to read about the Chevrolet Camaro's V8 engine

It’s a muscle car. There’s going to be a V8, right?

Of course. The 2006 concept was shown with a 6.0-litre V8 from the Corvette, designated LS2. With 400bhp from six litres it seems a good choice but the 2008 ‘Vette now has an LS3 engine. With 6.2 litres and 424bhp it wouldn’t be a bad choice either.

However, in order to differentiate the Corvette from the Camaro we expect the new boy to keep the LS2 engine. The Camaro will also come with a V6, but GM has said nothing with regards to capacity or power output.

But GM has said the Camaro will compete head on with the Mustang. That means we can expect a V6 with just over 200bhp to take on the 210bhp 4.0-litre V6 'Stang. Expect prices to start at just under $20,000. That’s a faintly ridiculous £10k, but buy the V8 version from an importer and your bill will be near £40,000.

A Camaro that fills the gap between 200 and 400bhp coupes is a possibility but Chevrolet will concentrate primarily on the convertible version. Based on the 2007 Detroit concept, don't expect this drop-top until 2010 as GM gauges reaction to the hard top.

By Ben Pulman

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

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