SEMA 2009: Chevy Unveils Four Custom Camaros, Including Twin-Turbo V6 Designed by Jay Leno
Along with a host of wild and wacky Camaros at the General Motors booth at SEMA, the General also built five in-house muscle cars that are noticeably more subtle. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t as impressive. In fact, one of the most original Camaros of the dozens on display at SEMA is included in this bunch. Called the “Jay Leno Camaro” this car was designed by the famous late night prime time comedian himself. At first it doesn’t look all that special, but in true Leno style, the real surprise is under the hood. There you’ll find a V6 in place of the big 6.2-liter V8. That might sound underwhelming, were it not for the two Turbonetics T-3 turbochargers that help boost the V6 engine to about 425-hp (the same as the Camaro SS). Under normal driving conditions, the engine gets V6 fuel-economy, but when required it delivers performance like the V8.
Next up is the Camaro Synergy, which, believe it or not, is a color that Chevy will offer for the Camaro in 2010. Much of the rest of the car’s add-on parts can also be bought though your local Chevy dealer, including the 21-inch wheels, ground effects kit, Cyber Grey Rally hood stripes and a cold air intake. Chevy also plans to offer the rear spoiler in the near future. Along with these modifications, the Camaro Synergy also gets a Pedders coilover kit, Brembo brakes and a custom Jet Black and Synergy Green interior.
Another favorite of ours is the Camaro Chroma, in Summit White with a nice silver stripe package. All the parts on this car are either currently offered through GM or will be offered in the near future. Those parts include a set of 21-inch wheels, a “Blade” rear spoiler, a ground effects package, rear fender graphics and a new front grille. There’s also a cold air intake, shorty headers and a performance exhaust, as well as a Victory Red engine cover and Hurst short throw shifter.
The Camaro Dusk concept is designed to be sporty and sophisticated, with much of the car’s highlights being inside the cabin. The interior gets a stunning Jet Back and Sedona leather treatment that really helps class-up the car. It also features plenty of convenience options for younger buyers with a Boston Acoustics sound system, an iPhone cradle and WiFi connectivity. Outside there’s a custom ground effects package that Chevy says may enter production. Other highlights include a set of 21-inch BBS wheels, a lowering kit and an SS spoiler. To help give the car’s exterior a more premium look, many of the exterior details have also been painted to match the color of the wheels.
Finally, there’s the Camaro Graphics car, which will showcase one of four potential new grahics packages on each of the four days of the SEMA Show. Chevy launched a graphics campaign in October to let customers and enthusiasts choose the next graphics package and this car is being used to showcase the four finalists. Chevy also launched a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chevycamaro) dedicated to the campaign where you can vote for your favorite.
GALLERY: The Jay Leno Camaro
GALLERY: Camaro Synergy
GALLERY: Camaro Chroma
GALLERY: Camaro Dusk
Official release after the jump:
The Jay Leno Camaro
Powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6L direct injected V-6 that is standard in Camaro LS and LT models, Leno’s Camaro blends high performance with surprising efficiency in a racing-ready package. A pair of Turbonetics T-3 turbochargers blows through a custom air-to-air intercooler, force-feeding the engine about seven pounds of boost and lifting its horsepower level to about 425. That’s about 40 percent greater than stock and in normal driving (when the turbochargers aren’t making boost), there’s virtually no penalty in fuel economy over the non-turbocharged 3.6L engine.
“Jay’s Camaro offers style, performance and efficiency in a big way,” said Dewar. “It delivers the power of a Camaro SS on demand, but with the fuel economy of a V-6.”
Supporting upgrades for the turbo system include a larger-capacity Be-Kool radiator and a custom exhaust system, as well as a Centerforce-supplied clutch and pressure plate for the six-speed manual transmission. The tubing for the turbo system is powder-coated blue. The powertrain was designed to deliver consistent, controllable power for both the street and race track. In fact, road racing was a primary mission for the car during its development.
Additional vehicle also support its racing intent:
* Brembo six-piston brake package
* Pedders coil-over lowering kit
* New front fascia with custom fog lamps and integral brake cooling vents
* Air extractor-style hood
The exterior styling of Leno’s car is the most radical of all the Camaro concepts at SEMA. The front fascia and hood are one-off creations, as are the unique upper and lower grilles and the ground effects package (including a rear diffuser). The heritage-inspired vent styling in front of the rear wheels has been replaced with functional brake cooling ducts.
The Camaro Synergy concept previews a new Synergy Green production exterior color that will be offered on a special-edition Camaro in the first half of 2010. It also features a host of the latest Camaro accessories offered through Chevy dealers. They dramatically enhance the performance appearance of the car, demonstrating the personalization possibilities open to Camaro owners. Designers took liberties with the accessories, creating a totally unique package. Details include:
* 21-inch wheels, with a black center finish and polished rim
* Ground effects kit
* Cyber Grey Rally hood stripes
* High wing rear spoiler (future accessory)
* Performance air intake
The ground effects include pronounced rocker moldings, a rear diffuser-type styling piece and a front spoiler. They, along with the rear wing spoiler and rally stripes, are finished in the production Cyber Grey color, although the ground effects and spoiler can be painted to match the exterior of the car. The Rally stripes are adhesive-backed and are offered in grey, black or white. They’re part of a broader range of heritage-inspired graphics that also include “hockey stick” stripes for the front fenders.
Chevy designers further enhanced the concept with a Pedders coil-over lowering kit and a set of large, Brembo brakes, as well as color-coordinating the Jet Black interior with Synergy Green accent stitching, piping and other accents. The lowering kit, brakes and interior accents are not among the accessories offered for the Camaro, but represent common and popular aftermarket upgrades. Chevrolet will gauge public interest in the features for possible inclusion in future accessory offerings.
It looks like the custom creation of a tuner shop, but the Camaro Chroma simply demonstrates how carefully selected accessories available through Chevy dealers can create a look like nothing else. The Camaro Chroma is based on an SS/RS model in Summit White and uses a combination of current and not-yet-released components, including:
* A new silver stripe package
* 21-inch wheels (future product, with silver-painted spoke centers and a Victory Red stripe)
* “Blade” rear spoiler (future product)
* Summit White ground effects package
* Rear fender vent graphics
* Accessory front grille with body-color outer frame (future accessory)
“With its silver graphics on the Summit White paint, this car has a tailored, tone-on-tone appearance that is simultaneously racy and subdued,” said Todd Parker, design manager, GM Accessory Studio. “It is a sophisticated-looking car that is easily duplicated by any customer, because all of the parts are available to build it.”
From a performance standpoint, the Camaro Chroma’s standard LS3 V-8 engine is equipped with current accessories, including a performance intake, shorty headers and performance exhaust system. There’s also a Victory Red engine cover and a Hurst short-throw shifter for the six-speed manual transmission, as well as red-painted Brembo brake calipers.
Inside, the black-and-grey leather seats feature red accent stitching, as do the shifter boot, floor mats and door trim. Accessory inserts for the dashboard and door panels (in silver) are also included as available accessories.
“What’s great about the Camaro Chroma is it speaks to the almost unlimited possibilities that the accessories offer,” said Parker. “You can build your Camaro mild or wild, but build it your way.”
Inspired by the style of young, urban professionals, the Camaro Dusk concept rolls with a contemporary tuner aesthetic. It is understatedly aggressive looking, with a lowered ride height, new 21-inch wheels, the rear spoiler from an SS model and a custom ground effects package.
“This is a car with an international flair, bringing the Camaro to a place it hasn’t traditionally been,” said Parker. “It is a very tailored look that is stylish and sophisticated, but with a distinct American accent.”
The ground effects package includes a racing-inspired front splitter, rocker extensions and a rear diffuser. They are prototype parts that may enter production as dealer-available accessories at a later date; the same goes for the 21-inch wheels from BBS. Many of the details, such as the taillamp and fog lamp bezels, match the finish of the wheels, lending a more premium look to the car.
The Camaro Dusk’s body is painted Berlin Blue, while the ground effects are painted a contrasting color. Additional performance items include the exhaust system and Brembo brakes from a Camaro SS (with painted calipers). The interior is trimmed in stylish Jet Black and Sedona, with complementing features including footwell lighting, premium door sill plates and other details.
Today’s young professionals expect advanced technology and premium audio options and this concept delivers with a crisp, well-tuned Boston Acoustics sound system, WiFi connectivity and a convenient cradle for an iPhone.
Camaro designers dreamed up half a dozen proposals for accessory graphics packages, with the intent of soliciting feedback from Camaro enthusiasts for possible production. Chevrolet then launched the graphics campaign in mid-October, asking Camaro fans on Facebook to pick their favorite design.
The top four designs were produced and brought to the SEMA Convention, where a Silver Ice Metallic Camaro will wear each contender on a different day. At the conclusion of the convention, after thousands of enthusiasts see the graphics on the car in person and on Facebook, another round of voting will occur. The top vote-getter will be considered for future production.
“Camaro has thousands of fans on the various social media sites and this is a great way to demonstrate that Chevrolet is connected to our customers,” said Dewar. “With so many great designs to choose from, we’re sure the voting will be close, but whatever the outcome, the real winners will be the customers who personalize their Camaro with the winning graphics package.”
The Camaro Graphics display vehicle will be located prominently in the GM display during the SEMA Convention, starting on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. At the close of the convention each day, the graphics package will be changed.
All of the proposed graphics packages can be viewed and voted on by logging onto Camaro’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/chevycamaro.