We watch Mustang very closely here at TMN, but also the top competition of the Chevrolet Camaro. In the often prideful wars between Detroit automakers for performance supremacy, Chevrolet rolls out the 2012 Camaro with some new improvements including a more powerful base V6 engine. In addition to a new 45th Anniversary special edition, a new FE4 suspension package and reworked interior top the list of upgrades for 2012.
While last year’s power increase for the V6 Camaro was just a software trick. The 2012 Camaro gets a genuinely revised version of the 3.6 liter DOHC V6 that now puts down 323 hp. The direct injected V6 now known as the “LFX” is some 20 lbs lighter than the outgoing engine. While power is up Chevrolet claims the 30 mpg highway efficiency number remains the same. The engine features new heads and intake, revised cam profiles among other key changes.
As the Camaro was introduced in 1967, Chevrolet is offering a 45th Anniversary Edition for 2012. The anniversary package will be offered for both coupe and convertible body styles. The package will have unique 45th Anniversary hood and deck stripes, badges, unique 20″ wheels, special interior and exterior trim touches and body color roof molding just to name a few.
Also offered for 2012 is a new “FE4 suspension”. This new package is directly aimed at the criticism that the Camaro handles sloppy and slow compared to the Mustang. The high performance suspension option includes retuned front and rear dampers, solid front (23 mm) and rear (24 mm) stabilizer bars, and 20″ aluminum wheels and P245/45R20 front/P275/40R20 rear tires (SS).
If you have sat inside the Camaro one of the first things you noticed is the strange interior ergonomics and ugly steering wheel. For 2012, Chevrolet replaced that steering wheel with a more normal design and revised the instrument cluster. A new rear view camera is available to which provides a video display in the rear view mirror.
While Camaro has been outselling the Mustang pretty handily in the past couple of years, Chevrolet has made it clear they plan to keep the fight up. Ford? Now its your turn.