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SEMA 2016: Chevrolet Camaro Turbo AutoX Concept is Purpose-Built for Autocrossers

A cone-hungry SEMA concept we can get behind

SEMA can be such a tease. Las Vegas’ aftermarket auto show has the tendency to simultaneously bring out the worst and the best from automakers, often in the form of over-designed, over-modified concepts that won’t get within 100 miles of a production line. Conversely, OEMs sometimes roll out some concepts that we hope to see hit dealer lots. This year, Chevy makes a big splash with a slew of special one-off Camaros, including this cone-hungry Camaro Turbo AutoX Concept.

Whereas the V-6 and SS models have already received the track-tuned 1LE treatment, this is the first time Chevy has shown some love to the entry-level model. Underneath the stripped hood of the AutoX beats the familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, albeit with a bucket of extra get-up-and-go.

The little four-banger breathes easy through a “concept” cold air intake system and the ECU sports a fresh tune to boost power. Around back, a Chevrolet Performance exhaust system pipes the four-pot growl through four-inch outlets, reducing backpressure by an impressive 14 percent.

No word on how much extra power these upgrades provide, but with the stock powerplant pushing out a sturdy 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a figure north of 300 hp. Naturally, power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. A special “concept” short-throw shifter keeps gear changes quick and clean.

Building on an already stout platform, the AutoX Camaro is fitted with stiffer springs, upgraded dampers, beefier stabilizer bars, aggressive suspension links, and a “concept” strut tower brace under the front hood. Visually, the AutoX is dropped by 0.75 inches compared to stock. A fresh set of bespoke 20-inch wheels wrapped in sticky Goodyear rubber hides massive 14.6-inch two-piece rotors in the front.

Aside from performance upgrades, the AutoX packs a few cone-friendly features as well, including a function front tow-hook and the all-too-necessary GoPro camera mount. Inside, suede and carbon fiber accents pepper the cabin, most notably on the flat-bottomed steering wheel and carbon fiber instrument panel insert. A five-point harness hangs off a bolt-in harness bar behind the driver.

The Camaro Turbo AutoX will likely remain a concept, but we have a sneaking suspicion a portion of those “concept” performance parts will snake their way into a GM Performance catalog in the near future.

 

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