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Conceptually Speaking

Chevrolet unveiled five dramatic Camaro concepts at the annual automotive aftermarket extravaganza known as the Nov. 3-5 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, each representing a different vision of style, personalization and performance.

“During the annual SEMA Convention, the popularity of a new car can be easily judged by the number of ‘tuner’ versions used by various companies to showcase their latest products; and the Camaro is our runaway hit this year, with countless examples displaying everything from mild styling accessories to wild performance modifications,” said Brent Dewar, vice president, Global Chevrolet Brand. “We’re thrilled by all the creative ideas, but especially proud of the cars we developed in-house. They represent modern interpretations of the Camaro that could easily be created by owners using the accessories offered by Chevrolet.”

Many of the Camaro accessories can be ordered through Chevy dealers for installation at the time of the vehicle’s purchase. This allows customers to personalize their cars to their exact wishes, with installation handled by the dealer and the cost rolled into the monthly payments.

In addition to the Camaro contingent, Chevrolet is also showing the Silverado ZR2 concept and an accessorized Corvette Grand Sport at SEMA. Here’s a closer look at each of the concepts:

The Jay Leno Camaro

Powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6L direct injected V-6 that is standard in Camaro LS and LT models, Leno’s Camaro blends high performance with surprising efficiency in a racing-ready package. A pair of Turbonetics T-3 turbochargers blows through a custom air-to-air intercooler, force-feeding the engine about seven pounds of boost and lifting its horsepower level to about 425. That’s about 40 percent greater than stock and in normal driving (when the turbochargers aren’t making boost), there’s virtually no penalty in fuel economy over the non-turbocharged 3.6L engine.

“Jay’s Camaro offers style, performance and efficiency in a big way,” said Dewar. “It delivers the power of a Camaro SS on demand, but with the fuel economy of a V-6.”

Supporting upgrades for the turbo system include a larger-capacity Be-Kool radiator and a custom exhaust system, as well as a Centerforce-supplied clutch and pressure plate for the six-speed manual transmission. The tubing for the turbo system is powder-coated blue. The powertrain was designed to deliver consistent, controllable power for both the street and race track. In fact, road racing was a primary mission for the car during its development. Additional vehicle options also support its racing intent:

  1. Brembo six-piston brake package
  2. Pedders coil-over lowering kit
  3. New front fascia with custom fog lamps and integral brake cooling vents
  4. Air extractor-style hood

The exterior styling of Leno’s car is the most radical of all the Camaro concepts at SEMA. The front fascia and hood are one-off creations, as are the unique upper and lower grilles and the ground effects package (including a rear diffuser). The heritage-inspired vent styling in front of the rear wheels has been replaced with functional brake cooling ducts.

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