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2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Special Edition -- First look

By KBB.com Editors on April 13, 2011 4:07 PM

Due at dealers midyear, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Special Edition will offer unique visual enhancements that complement a series of performance-oriented upgrades that benefit the entire lineup. Key exterior changes on this high-profile commemorative variant include Carbon Flash Metallic paint set off by red and silver rally stripes, 20-inch alloy wheels finished in dark silver, HID headlamps, dark silver trim elements and a body-color roof molding. The car also features RS-style taillight lenses and a rear spoiler, both of which will be standard issue on all 2012 models. Inside, the Camaro 45th Anniversary Special Edition sports Jet Black leather upholstery, white accents on the instrument panel and door trim, red/white/blue accent stitching and 45th Anniversary logos in various places to match similar badging on the front fenders.

Highlighting the roster of mechanical changes for the 2012 Camaro in general is a new LFX-spec version of GM's direct-injected 3.6-liter V6. Improved cylinder head/port designs, optimized-flow fuel injectors, stronger and lighter connection rods, revised camshaft profiling, a composite intake manifold and numerous other lesser upgrades combine to bump output from 212 to 223 horsepower with no compromise in fuel economy (estimated at 30 mpg highway) -- while trimming 20 pounds from the overall package.

On the comfort/convenience front, the 2012 Camaro gets a revised instrument panel with revamped gauge graphics, a restyled and more ergonomically shaped steering wheel and power-lift capability for the front passenger seat, as well as a new Rear Vision Package that complements the Rear Park Assist system by showing what's behind the car via a display in the rearview mirror.

Although the biggest Camaro news for calendar 2012 remains the much-anticipated arrival of the ultra-performance ZL1 variant, the Bowtie Boys also have cooked up a serious chassis revamp for the Camaro SS Coupe. Also available starting early next year, this new FE4 package nets recalibrated shocks, beefier 23mm front/24mm rear anti-roll bars and bespoke 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/45 front/275/40 rear performance tires, all aimed at adding a new measure of precision response and improved road-holding. In developing the FE4 Package, Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, noted: "We applied lessons learned from extensive track testing to better refine the suspension geometry for flatter cornering, a more neutral balance during hard turns, and minimized understeer at the limit."

No word yet on pricing for the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Special Edition package, which will be available on both the Coupe and Convertible in upline 2LT and SS trims. However, the car will make its first public appearance this weekend in conjunction with the annual Camaro5Fest event being held at Firebird Raceway outside of Phoenix Arizona.