It has been a long time since the Bow Tie market had this kind of enthusiasm for an upcoming production vehicle. After an eight-year hiatus, the Camaro is back and looking sexier than ever. While some may have frowned on its long overdue status, there are plenty who feel that the timing couldn't have been better. And while the economy is reeling, car guys are still doing their thing, building an incredible number of first- and second-gen F-bodies and finding the means to enjoy them.
Personally, I know that it's getting more and more difficult to get into an early street machine, and with the availability of new production models, this is the end-all, cure-all answer to those itching to get into one of their own. The biggest difference: It's a clean slate, and you won't have to worry about budgeting away the rust-infested Sheetmetal. Instead, you can take full advantage of its sleek retro-induced lines and modern-day LS powerplant and be the first of the next generation of hot rodders.
Enough of the babble. Let's showcase four of the hottest fifth-gens from SEMA. These were built purely from a conceptual point, but have heavy influences, ranging from the infamous Donahue Sunoco road racer to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s rendition of a slick performance ride. For the fuel-conscious, there's a V-6 variant with stunning looks that'll make any owner the envy of the neighborhood.
As for us, there's very little convincing that needs to be done, and I'm already sold on it. Matter of fact, I believe the day has come to trade in my ride and do whatever I can to get into Chevy's latest road-scorcher. If you're wondering how easy it'll be to modify them, I've heard plenty of stories within the aftermarket that folks are already in the process of arming themselves with a host of goodies, ranging from exhaust systems to complete suspension packages and power adders. Sign me up!
Camaro LS7 Concept
By far my personal favorite, the LS7 Concept is themed for the performance-minded and the specialty aftermarket builders and is a prime example of what can already be accomplished with off-the-shelf, bolt-on components. Powering the late-model hot rod is a complete 550hp LS7 motor with an electronic controller from GM Performance Parts. It also features a wet sump oiling system conversion, which eliminates the production dry-sump assembly that requires an external oil tank. Expelling the fumes is a GMPP-developed set of headers and air intake that will be available in the months ahead. Additional features include a Tremec 6060 six-speed with a GMPP Hurst shifter, Brembo four-wheel disc brakes, a driveshaft safety loop, and a complete GMPP exhaust system. The wheels shown here are a custom set of 20s, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that they will be available as an option by the time the production models are released.