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Chevrolet Camaro SS (2009)

Published: 11 April 2008

Chevrolet is now testing its Camaro in Europe. CAR Online snapped this prototype, thought to be the SS version, testing at the Nurburgring and on the switchback roads in the Eiffel Mountain region.

Why could this be the SS version? There are new – and rather bright – red brake callipers and GM is expected to produce a sports version of the Camaro. It would probably run either the Corvette Z06’s 7.0-litre V8 or the ZR-1’s 6.2-litre supercharged V8.

Chevy Camaro: a recap

GM, late to the muscle car party behind Ford and Dodge, showed a Camaro concept at the 2006 Detroit Motor Show. A convertible version showed up 12 months later.

The coupe will go on sale at the start of 2009, following a motor show debut that will likely be at Detroit 2009. To launch the car Stateside in 2008 would mean a Los Angeles debut and it would be a brave GM that took a muscle car to that eco-conscious auto show. Production of the convertible has yet to be confirmed but expect it to keep its concept car looks, just like the coupe snapped here.

The Camaro sits on GM’s global rear-wheel drive platform and the headline engine (for now) is a 6.2-litre V8. It’s the same unit found in the new Corvette and there it produces 424bhp. Expect over 400 horses for the Camaro so it’ll match the BMW M3 in a straight line. There will also be a V6, that’ll start at under $20,000. That’s sub-£10k in British money... Dream on!

Click 'Next' below to read the rest of our Chevrolet Camaro SS scoop

So why’s the Camaro at the ‘Ring?

Because while the small block engine might give the Camaro grunt for the straights, GM needs to make this thing handle in the corners. These are the first shots of the Camaro being driven properly: previously we’ve snapped it on the back of delivery trucks or plodding around in the snow but the ‘Ring is a real dynamic (and endurance) test.

There’s still a light disguise on this car’s lights but Camaros have been running around sans-camouflage for a while. Apparently GM’s car boss Bob Lutz ordered the removal of disguise to keep people interested in the Camaro.

It featured in the Transformers movie but there’s still a wait until the production car arrives. And in the meantime we’ll have the new Dodge Challenger, and the revised Mustang is also just around the corner.

And what’s that behind the Camaro in CAR's scoop shots?

Pontiac’s G8 GXP super-saloon. It’s basically the American version of the HSV-tuned Holden Commodore. The UK of course has a version in the shape of the Vauxhall VXR8 but both us and the Aussies make do with a 6.0-litre V8. The Yanks get the 6.2-litre that is in the Camaro and the revised Corvette, but in the GXP it’s expected to have 402bhp and 402lb ft, pending final SAE certification.

It’ll be on sale later in 2008 Stateside, but not over here. Ever.

By Ben Pulman

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

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