Combining dramatic design and exciting performance, the Chevrolet Camaro Concept recaptures the spirit of one of the most popular sport coupes of all time and redefines the Camaro for new generations of fans.

  • 2008 - 2009 Chevrolet Camaro
  • Year:
    2008- 2009
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    6-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    5970 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:

The Camaro Concept embodies the performance and passion that have made first-generation Camaros some of the most sought-after collector cars, updating the formula with a fuel-efficient powertrain, sophisticated chassis and contemporary design execution. The goal is to make the sport coupe relevant to younger enthusiasts while retaining its appeal to its current fans.

"Millions of people of all ages fell in love with the Camaro for all of the right reasons," said Ed Welburn, General Motors vice president, global design. "Camaros were beautiful to look at and offered performance that could rival expensive European GTs. Yet they were practical enough to drive every day and priced within the reach of many new car buyers."

The long hood, short deck and wide stance of the Camaro Concept leave no doubt that it is a serious performance car. Those looks are backed up by a 400-horsepower aluminum small-bock V-8, a six-speed manual transmission, and a sophisticated chassis with four-wheel independent suspension.

Though only a show car at this point, the Camaro Concept is intended to explore customer reaction to design and engineering elements that might lead to an all-new version of the Camaro.

After the Camaro went out of production in 2002, Chevy faithful immediately began creating rumors of its eventual return. Just as the success of the original Mustang spawned a cadre of pony-car imitators, sales of the retro-styled Mustang have generated quite a bit of interest in the segment. Detroit was host to two Mustang competitors, the Dodge Challenger and the Camaro.

Unlike the modern Camaro that bowed out in 2002, the concept Camaro is a car that is clearly inspired by the Camaros of the late 1960s. But the retro look is only skin-deep, as the Camaro has a fully independent suspension, a six-speed manual, and a 400-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation-now known as active fuel management in GM-speak. Speculation about a possible platform centers on GM’s rear-drive Zeta architecture that was shelved last year after being deemed too expensive.

Like its forebears, the Chevrolet Camaro Concept would be practical enough for everyday use. It features fuel-saving features like Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology, yielding highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or better. Its overall size is a comfortable fit for city streets and suburban parking lots, and its back seat provides occasional seating for two adults.

Lean, muscular design

Because of Camaro’s powerful heritage, the GM Design team chose a theme that pays homage to the original Camaro, while being instantly recognizable as an all-new car.Said Bob Boniface, director of the Warren Advanced Design Studio, “The fact that the Camaro has been out of production for a number of years made it particularly important that the Camaro Concept honors the Camaro heritage in the right way.

The 1969 Camaro, considered by many to be the best first-generation design, was a significant inspiration. But as GM design teams in Warren, Mich., worked on alternatives for the Camaro Concept, they also turned to the latest Corvette and to aircraft like the YF-22, seeking a design that encompasses the spirit that made the 1969 Camaro great, but interprets that spirit in a fresh, exciting way.

The overall proportions, long hood and powerful fender forms say, ‘This is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive performance vehicle,’ ” said Tom Peters, design director, rear-wheel drive performance cars. The prominent front grille and hood bulge hint at the power of the Corvette-inspired V-8 engine. Large wheels and tires, exposed high-performance brakes and prominent fender shapes signal that the Camaro Concept has the handling and braking to go with the powertrain.

The cockpit of the Camaro nestles between sharply defined fender forms, a design element inspired by fighter planes and the new Corvette. And like any high-performance vehicle, the clean, purposeful design is integral to the aesthetic. “The Camaro Concept isn’t just a styled shape,” said Peters. “The design incorporates what the vehicle needs to perform to its optimum level.

The same purposeful design is reflected in the interior of the Camaro Concept. The gauges and splash of orange trim hint at classic first-generation Camaros, but the overall design and execution reflect the no-nonsense functionality that drivers expect from a high-performance Chevrolet sports car.


Performance for the real world

The Camaro Concept features the latest generation of GM’s legendary small-block V-8. The 6.0-liter LS2 engine features an aluminum block and heads for light weight, and Active Fuel Management, which shuts off four cylinders to save fuel when the engine is lightly loaded. This concept version of the LS2 is rated at 400 horsepower, yet it could also deliver more than 30 mpg at highway speeds.

The Camaro Concept’s six-speed manual transmission provides a wide spread of ratios for aggressive acceleration off the line, confident passing and merging and efficient highway cruising.

Modern sports cars are about more than just straight-line speed, so the Camaro Concept features a sophisticated rear-wheel drive chassis. Its independent front and rear suspension features progressive-rate springs and gas-pressurized dampers. Four-wheel vented disc brakes with 14-inch rotors provide confident stopping under all conditions.

Enhancing both the performance and appearance of the Camaro Concept are unique five-spoke cast alloy wheels, 21 inches in the front and 22 inches in the rear.

An American icon

Designed in the mid-1960s, the first-generation Camaro captured the optimism of an era. The Baby Boomers were in their teens, rock-and-roll and Motown ruled the airwaves, and American culture was sweeping the globe.Like the Impala, Chevelle and Sting Ray, the new Camaro showcased Chevy’s strength of bringing stylish, high-quality cars to a mainstream audience. Its dramatic proportions and graceful lines recalled both the Corvette and the Italian Gran Turismo cars of the era. And its powertrain lineup, which soon included both the potent Z-28 small block and big block 396s and 427s, gave the Camaro the performance to go with its looks.

But what really made the Camaro an American icon was that it was accessible to millions. Chevy sold more than 699,000 Camaros in its first three years. So for every Z-28 taking the checkered flag at the track, there were thousands of less exotic Camaros cruising the drive-ins, picking up the groceries, or taking the family on vacation.The Camaro Concept is designed to have that same broad appeal, with unmistakable style, spirit and performance,” said Welburn.


  • Vehicle type: two-door, four-passenger rear-wheel drive sport coupe
  • Wheelbase (in / mm): 110.5 / 2806
  • Length (in / mm): 186.2 / 4730
  • Width (in / mm): 79.6 / 2022
  • Height (in / mm): 53 / 1344
  • Track (in / mm): 63.8 / 1620 front; 63.3 / 1607 rear
  • Engine: 6.0-L V-8 LS-2, 400 hp / 298 kw, with Active Fuel Management
  • Transmission: six-speed manual T56
  • Suspension: four-wheel independent: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear, progressive rate coil springs, gas-pressurized dampers
  • Brakes: four-wheel disc, 15" rotors with four-piston calipers
  • Wheels: cast aluminum, 21" front, 22" rear
  • Tires: 275/30R21 front, 305/30R22 rear
Mike Husleag
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (1024) posted on 05.24.2008

Make sure you get the six speed gearbox, not all gearboxs will fit any engine.

  (233) posted on 05.24.2008

k thanks. thats what i’m leaning towards...and maybe even buying the six speed transmission too. that way i can replace the 5 speed.

  (1024) posted on 05.23.2008

The VQ38 is a strong engine all right.

  (233) posted on 05.23.2008

yea idk... my other thought was buy an engine from a totaled 350z and put that in there... its a pretty decent engine as well and can handle alot of mods right

  (1024) posted on 05.22.2008

Why import the engine? Just use the one from the ZO6, that gives 28mpg.

  (233) posted on 05.22.2008

ok i figured i’d need an intercooler but the kit said one wasn’t included and it said it produced 400hp so yea. i figured i’d need one though.

i just dont want to have to go through the trouble of important and swapping out the engine...

its the work that discourages me rather than the cost lol

  (1024) posted on 05.21.2008

I doubt any turbo can produce 400hp on an engine with less than 200hp. But with 400hp, you would need an intercooler.

I honestly don’t know about the engine swapping though. I suppose a SR20 will make more sense.

  (233) posted on 05.21.2008

well that was my thought but then why would so many people be swapping the engine? or do you think that just not that many people have come across this turbo kit or that its really new or something..

my thought is that garret is a great turbo manufacturer so i dont doubt that they could actually get that hp out of the engine.

but i should add an intercooler too right... or is it saying that the turbo kit without a intercooler can produce 400 hp

  (1024) posted on 05.21.2008

Yeah, people do swap the engine but if you can get 400hp direct from the turbo, you don’t really need to, do you?

  (233) posted on 05.21.2008

but hey if i can push 400hp then i’d be happy. thats plenty for me

  (233) posted on 05.20.2008

ok cool thanks. i just wasn’t sure bc i always hear of people doing a SR20DET swap to make it like the nissan sylvia in japan and throwing out the old engine but i figure that with a 2.4 liter with more displacement it could get higher torque and such but just a lower rpm redline plus the KA24DE is an iron block from what i have read so i would assume it could handle alot of hp with blowing a cylinder head


  (1024) posted on 05.20.2008

Well, the Skyline engine will work great but if you are not going for over 500hp(they also have the RB25DETT in the Skyline by the way), you won’t be doing the engine any justice.
It would make much more sense to just tune the original engine with the turbo mentioned not to mention cheaper.
My Skyline has the same RB26 and hasn’t presented me with any problems so far and is a decent daily driver. It is currently delivering 567hp. I could install another turbo and have it pumping 800hp+ but then I’ll get busted for emissions. That makes me a very big fan of the RB26 but the reasonable thing for you would be keeping the original engine.

You’ll be saving quite a lot that way. But in the end its up to you.

  (233) posted on 05.20.2008

www extreme turbo systems com

put the periods in between it wouldn’t let me post the web site... no spaces... and then the rest off the ...

/p1381/ETS-(95 -98)-Nissan-240sx-Budg et

goes on the end... sorry about that

  (233) posted on 05.20.2008
/p1381/ETS-(95-98)- Nissan-240sx-Budget

  • Turbo-Kit/product_info.html

  (233) posted on 05.20.2008

heres the web site for the turbo for it

http://www.e /p1381/ETS-(95-98)-Nis san-240sx-Budget-Turbo -Kit/product_info.html

  (233) posted on 05.20.2008

i meant RB26DETT... my bad

  (233) posted on 05.20.2008

s13 is completely stock... my grandma won it in 93 and saved it in the garage only driving it a little here and there since she was driving a lexus and just a got a new lexus SC430 last year. well i was looking around and garret apparently makes a turbo kit for it that can produce up to 500hp...with the standard engine.. KA24DE...just what i read but not really sure. well my thought is i could swap for either a RB25DETT engine of the older skyline or a SR20DET but it just seems like alot of work and time to put into it if i can get it to 300 or 400 hp in a car that only weighs 2700lbs.

i know it wont have the luxury of the mazda but i could keep my truck and just put a couple grand under the hood and have a performance car that can take on most other cars around here

  (1024) posted on 05.19.2008

And how exactly did you get a 240sx in such good condition?

  (1024) posted on 05.19.2008

Well, if you are not going for really high hps wouldn’t it be better to leave the engine as is? or tune it up with a few grand and still buy the Speed 3? I mean the S13 is a great car but I don’t think it will have the luxury of the new Mazda. And since you are a V8 fan, couldn’t you get a used mustang or something like that for 15 grand?

Iam just speculating here since I don’t know much about the engine conversion of the S13, but if you really wanted a conversion the Supra engine would seem a good choice because you could get a lot of power without wasting money on the internals.

Four cylinders are economical all right but once you start demanding performance, they won’t sip fuel. I learnt that the hard way with my WRX. It doesn’t exactly give 25mpg. But I suppose the gas mileage will be better than a V8.

And is the S13 modified? or completely stock?

  (233) posted on 05.19.2008

the 240sx was given to me which was pretty nice too so getting a the car for free with no wrecks or anything and only 50k miles... i cant complain. my only thought was would it even be worth doing the engine swap if i planned to keep the hp under 500? like i know the 2.4 liter KA24DE is a larger displacement engine but the SR20 is a true performance engine... but i dont intend goin on 400hp to be honest so is it really necessary to do the engine swap?

AK? opinions cus i really wasn’t sure on this one

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