In the beginning there was a swelling personal coupe market and yet it was also muscle car era! 1st Gen: your choice between 2 Chevy inline-six engines. at a minimum 140 hp. Or you could pump up to a range of V-8s, ranging from 200 hp in the Small Block to 375 hp in the 396 Big Block. Or you could put in a special order for the COPO options, and get a 427 cubic inch heavy breather.
(1970 – 1981) THEY TOOK MY MOJO AWAY
2nd Gen took the full bore of the Arab oil embargo with its regulatory changes like unleaded fuel and stranglehold on fuel economy. Engine compression, horsepower and torque were sacrificed.
By 1975, the most intimidating V-8 was a very docile 155 hp.
(1982-1992) I ROCKED THE PART, I KEPT THE FAITH
3rd Gen started auspiciously with the Z28 Motor Trend Car of the Year! …because it handled well. In 1985, the rollicking IROC-Z was introduced. The car looked like eighties rock music, and GM continued to tinker and adjust and adorn. Fuel injection breathed new life into the V-6 and V-8 engine families. By 1990, the Camaro 350 TPI (Tuned Port Injection) got the Camaro back to 1973 performance with 245 hp.
(1993-2002) AMERICAN DREAM SPROUTED ON FOREIGN SOIL
4th Gen. The base engine matriculated to a 200 hp version of the renowned 3.8L V-6 – pretty much giving you most of what the prior gen V-8 models achieved. And then in 1998, the “LS1” Small Block V-8 shot to 305 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque – to rival performance from anything from the muscle era.
In 1997, you could pick up the Z28 SS, ripping 330 hp out of its Corvette-sourced LT4 engine. Click here to get more the feeling.
But the eyes of youthful citizens of the USA were beginning to drift. They tuned into the east and to the west for performance satisfaction.
(2010-2015) RIP VAN WINKLE SLEEP DID US GOOD!
5th Gen. After wandering lost from a black hole, the Camaro roared back with a sophisticated DOHC V-6 able to giddy-up to 323 hp – while achieving 30 mpg on the highway. Dramatic re-styling to combat the restyled Mustang and Challenger. And that leads us … on the cusp of the upcoming 6th Gen.