2012 Chevrolet Camaro
Starting MSRP $23,280–$54,095
The Camaro is Chevrolet's affordable rear-wheel-drive performance car. Offered in coupe and convertible body styles, the Camaro is available with V-6 or V-8 power. A high-performance ZL1 edition powered by a 580-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 joins the lineup for 2012. The Camaro competes with other retro-inspired muscle cars, including the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang.
New for 2012
The standard 3.6-liter V-6's output has increased to 323 hp, up 11 hp compared with the 2011 model. This is also the 45th anniversary of the Camaro, and Chevrolet has created a 45th Anniversary Package that features hood and deck stripes, badging, unique 20-inch wheels and a special-trimmed interior.
The Camaro's interior also gets some changes for 2012. There are new instrument graphics and a new steering wheel. A new Rear Vision Package includes a backup camera, which should help compensate for the Camaro's poor rear visibility when reversing.
LS and LT models now come with a rear spoiler, and a new FE4 suspension is available for the SS coupe. The suspension features specially tuned dampers and new stabilizer bars, and coupes with the FE4 setup have 20-inch aluminum wheels.
The Camaro has a retro theme that borrows from previous models, including a long hood and short rear deck. The front end features a honeycomb grille, and the rear has aggressively styled fenders with slits shaped like gills. The back has four rounded taillamps, similar to the ones found on the Corvette.
An available RS appearance package includes high-intensity-discharge headlamps with integrated halo rings, a rear spoiler, unique taillamps and 20-inch wheels. Exterior features include:
- Available 18-, 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels
- Standard power mirrors
- Standard rear spoiler
- Optional power heated mirrors
- Optional auto-dimming driver-side mirror
- Optional fog lamps
The retro theme continues on the inside. The instrument panel has been updated for 2012, but there's also an available auxiliary instrument panel near the shifter that indicates oil temperature, oil pressure, battery voltage and transmission fluid temperature. Interior features include:
- Cloth or leather upholstery
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard power windows, locks and keyless entry
- Optional USB port for MP3 player
- Optional heated front seats
- Available head-up display
- Newly available power height-adjustable front-passenger seat
Under the Hood
Camaro LS and LT models have a V-6 engine, while the V-8 is exclusively found on SS models. When paired with an automatic transmission the V-8 features GM's Active Fuel Management system, which turns off four cylinders under light loads.
The Camaro has three suspension settings: LS and LT models get a sport-tuned suspension, the SS convertible gets the FE3 setup and the SS coupe uses the new FE4 performance suspension. SS models also get large Brembo-brand brakes and adjustable electronic stability and traction control settings, and manual-transmission versions feature Launch Control. Mechanical features include:
- 323-hp, 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 with 278 pounds-feet of torque
- 400-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with 410 pounds-feet of torque (automatic SS)
- 426-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 pounds-feet of torque (manual SS)
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional six-speed automatic
All Camaros come with OnStar, with one free year of GM's Safe and Sound Plan, whose features include monthly email alerts, automatic crash response and roadside assistance. They also get six months free of the Directions and Connections plan. Standard safety features include:
- Side curtain airbags (coupe)
- Front side-impact airbags
- Daytime running lamps
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
- Traction control
Chevrolet debuted the droptop version of the Camaro for the 2011 model year. Like the coupe, the Camaro convertible is available with V-6 or V-8 power and a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Chevrolet teased Camaro enthusiasts with a convertible concept, and the production version doesn't look much different from the concept. It retains the sleek, wide stance of the coupe and is offered with a choice of 18-, 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels.
Convertibles are less rigid than their closed-roof counterparts. To counteract that, the Camaro convertible gains structural reinforcements like a tower brace under the hood, a reinforcement brace for the transmission, and underbody bracing.
Chevrolet says the Camaro convertible's power soft-top takes just 20 seconds to lower — pretty quick for a large top. It latches at the windshield with a single lever, and the canvas top has sound-deadening material and a glass rear window with a defogger. The soft-top also maintains the silhouette of the coupe's metal roof when raised. Back to top
If people doubted Chevy would let the Mustang Shelby GT500 go unchallenged for long, they were wrong. The new Camaro ZL1 aims straight for the Shelby GT500 with its 580-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 556 pounds-feet of torque.
All that power is routed to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with three different modes: Drive, Sport and Manual. The manual transmission also comes with Launch Control. The Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension is standard, and it includes three modes: Tour, Sport and Track.
Distinctive front-end styling sets the ZL1 apart from regular Camaros, and the aluminum hood has a carbon fiber insert. The unique look helps channel air to the front brakes to help keep them cool. High-intensity-discharge headlights and 20-inch wheels are standard.
The interior is only available in black and features heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos on the head restraints, Bluetooth connectivity, a Boston Acoustics premium stereo, rear parking sensors and a backup camera. Back to top
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