2014 Chevrolet Camaro
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Fall 2013
Expected Pricing: $25,000 to $55,000
Two souped-up versions of Chevy's rear-wheel-drive pony car debuted at the March 2013 New York International Auto Show: A sporty 2014 Camaro SS and a track-ready 2014 Camaro Z/28. It's a preview of what's to come, as the entire Camaro lineup is slated to be updated for 2014.
Refreshed styling on the 2014 Camaro is the most significant since the fifth-generation car launched for the 2009 model year. Proportions have been tweaked to create a wider, lower appearance, with a narrower upper grille and a larger lower grille.
On the Camaro SS, a functional hood vent pulls more air into the engine and aids aerodynamics. In back, there's a redesigned rear diffuser, and the Camaro's previously squarish tail lights (which appeared in almost identical form on the all-new Corvette) are gone, squished and stretched into wide, short rectangles.
The Camaro SS is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 good for 426 horsepower. Details on options are scarce, but we surmise most will carry over from the 2013 model, like the 1LE handling package, which includes race-ready suspension, tires and other hardware upgrades.
Perhaps the biggest news is the return of the Z/28. Introduced in 1967, the first Z/28 was launched as an SCCA racecar. The upcoming 2014 Z/28 is a street-legal track star that's faster and 300 pounds lighter than the current Camaro ZL1. It uses the small block, naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V8 that's found in the Corvette C6. Official specs haven't been confirmed, but Chevrolet boasts the Z/28 will crank out at least 500 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 will be mated only to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The standard 19-inch wheels are lighter and offer better performance than the 20s found on the Camaro SS and ZL1 models. Tires are huge 305/30ZR19 Pirelli PZero Trofero Rs. Stopping is courtesy of big Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.
A bevy of aerodynamic bits help to make the Z/28 as slippery and hunkered down as possible. They include a giant front splitter, side fender flares, extended rocker panels, an underbody panel and a rear spoiler.
Inside, a flat-bottomed steering wheel comes standard, as does manually adjustable Recaro sport seats that use five-point racing harnesses in lieu of standard seat belts. Air conditioning is optional, allowing true enthusiasts to save as much weight as possible.
The Camaro Z/28 will go head-to-head with the Ford Mustang Boss 302, which in its current incarnation makes 444 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque via a 5.0-liter V8.
Other variants expected to join the Camaro lineup include a new base coupe that will be powered by a V6 engine, as well as a new convertible.
The ZL1 will remain the most powerful of the bunch, and if Chevy's recent updates are any indication, the next version will most likely be lighter and even more powerful than the current model's 580 hp.
Pricing hasn't been announced yet for the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro lineup, but we guess most models will see a slight increase over 2013 prices, starting at around $25,000 for the base. The new Z/28 will most likely stay on par with Ford Boss 302, at around $42,000. The line-topping ZL1 will continue to be the most expensive model, which currently starts at $54,350. All 2014 Chevrolet Camaro models are slated to hit dealerships later this year.