December 19, 2011
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The first car I fell for as a boy was the Camaro and today I own a second Gen RS. A fast, heavy, unsafe handling steel beast.

When I first heard about GM’s new Camaro concept I was excited but also suspicious. The company at the time was running on fumes, way too much borrowed money and too much borrowed time. So while GM was riding this perfect American recipe for financial disaster my questions were Many. Engineering? Parts? Design? R&d? These, and many other components to the developmental equation cost a FORTUNE for an auto manufacturer. So how does a financially irresponsible American motor company do it? Buy reaching into their international parts bins and piecing together a reasonable facsimile they can put the name CAMARO on. It’s built from a British Vauxhall and is based on GM’s Zeta platform, which underpins Australia’s Holden Commodore, the new Pontiac GTO as well as the Pontiac G8. A Frankenstein beast born in the fires of a global economic crash, we have today’s 5th generation, hmmm…. Camaro and it’s been received with mixed reviews and complaints of build, material and quality issues.

The LS and LT models are powered by a 3.6 L (220 cu in) V6 producing 304 hp (or 312hp for the 2011 model) mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic with manual shift.

The SS is powered by the 6.2 L (376 cu in) LS3 V8 producing 426 hp and is paired with a 6-speed manual. The automatic SS gets the L99 V8 with 400 hp.

The RS appearance package is available on both the LT and SS and features 20-inch wheels with a darker gray tone, halo rings around xenon headlamps, a unique spoiler, and red RS or SS badges.

For the 2012 model year, several changes have been made to the Camaro line. The “Jewel Red Tintocoat” color has been replaced by a color known as “Crystal Red Tintcoat” and the “Synergy Green” color option was removed. 2012 marks the 45th. anniversary of the Camaro. With this occasion, Chevrolet is producing a 45th edition model in a “Carbon Flash” color only. The V6 is updated to a 3.6L engine named “LFX” that has an output of 323 horsepower. The SS model has also received an upgrade to the suspension system, with an engine update in the makings. All Camaro models from 1LS to 2SS are now outfitted with standard RS spoiler, and Taillight details. Also, wheel-mounted volume and radio controls are standard, as well as Bluetooth connectivity controls. Some minor modifications, such as a revised steering wheel design and updated instrument panels keep the interior up to speed with the other updates. Chevrolet announced the new 2012 ZL1 Camaro, it will have a 6.2L LSA supercharged V8. The LSA motor is the same used in the Cadillac CTS-V and makes it the fastest production Camaro ever produced. Some other features include 2-stage exhaust, addition of suede to seats, steering wheel and shift knob, and LT1-exclusive 20″ aluminum wheels.

So then, it’s fast (not the fastest), it doesn’t handle very well, and its build quality is not so great. So it IS an AMERICAN MUSCLE CAR!! And I’ll accept it as a Camaro.