Although billed as a 1967 model, the very first Chevrolet Camaros actually launched in the summer of 1966 -- making now the perfect time to celebrate the muscle car’s 45th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Chevrolet is foregoing cake in favor of a special-edition Camaro package and a litany of upgrades for all Camaro models.
The 45th Anniversary Special Edition is an option package that can be applied to either the V-6-powered Camaro 2LT or the V-8-powered 2SS model, and is available in both coupe and convertible forms. The 45th Anniversary cars are painted Carbon Flash Metallic and receive a large red-and-silver stripe. Dark-silver 20-inch wheels, HID headlights, and dark-silver fog- and taillight surrounds are also among the exterior upgrades.
The jet black interior is offset with white dashboard and door-panel accents, along with red, white, and blue accent stitching on the leather seats, steering wheel, shifter, armrests, and center console. There is, of course, a smattering of 45th Anniversary logos for the steering wheel, door sill plates, dashboard, and front fenders. The package launches this summer and will first be displayed publicly on April 15 at the Camaro5Fest II meet in Arizona.
Aside from the celebratory trim package, all 2012 Camaros receive tweaks for the 2012 model year. The car’s base 3.6-liter V-6 engine has been modified to produce 323 horsepower, up 11 horsepower over last year. Among the tweaks to the so-called LFX engine are a new, quieter fuel pump; stronger and lighter connecting rods; retuned intake camshafts paired with larger intake valves; and a redesigned cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold. Chevrolet spokesman David Caldwell said the changes will slightly alter the V-6 Camaro’s exhaust note, but fuel economy ratings will remain largely unchanged.
Powertrain for the Camaro SS remains unchanged, but SS coupes will now come standard with a new FE4 suspension package. According to Chevrolet, the handling pack provides “flatter cornering, a more neutral balance during hard turns, and minimized understeer.” Inspired by the suspension tweaks performed on the new Camaro ZL1, the FE4 package consists of retuned dampers, new solid anti-roll bars (23 millimeters in front, 24 millimeters rear), and 20-inch aluminum wheels.
Finally, the Camaro gets a few visual tweaks, with a mildly redesigned instrument panel and steering wheel, while a trunklid spoiler and the high-trim taillights -- previously an RS exclusive -- are now standard across all models. A new Rear Vision package adds a backup camera, which has a small display integrated into the rearview mirror. It’s a great idea for a car with such obscured rear sightlines.
Pricing for the 45th Anniversary, FE4 suspension, and Rear Vision packages will all be announced at a later date.