AUSTRALIANS have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Chevrolet Camaro to local showrooms and roads for eight months, following HSV’s announcement in December last year that it will convert the American V8 muscle car to right-hand-drive.
The wait is almost over, production commencing at HSV’s Clayton factory later this month. Despite this, details about the Aussie Camaros remain thin on the ground, but we’ve garnered a few details by pressing our sources and probing HSV for more info.
As we revealed yesterday, HSV has finally confirmed ADR compliant power figures, with the Camaro’s 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated LT1 V8 engine producing 339kW and 617Nm, sent to the rear wheels.
How that power is delivered is seemingly a point of contention within HSV, but is likely ultimately dictated by supply from GM globally.
In its original announcement, HSV stated the Camaro would be sold with both the eight-speed automatic transmission, and six-speed manual, in Australia. By May this year, we were told that just self-shifting units would be available, but HSV backflipped a month later, with manual versions to become available in 2019.
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Two months on HSV spokesman Damon Paull confirmed to Wheels this is still the plan, with automatic Camaros the first to arrive in Australia, while a three-pedal option is being evaluated.
“An 8-speed automatic with paddle-shifters will be the standard transmission at launch,” Paull said.
“We are investigating the potential to add a manual transmission option (if successful, likely later in 2019).”
Local performance fans and enthusiasts have been baying for the arrival of GM’s eight-cylinder coupe for more than a decade, their desire strengthened by Ford Australia’s decision to import the iconic Mustang, which has proved a smashing sales success.
Despite doing the conversion, HSV’s badging on the Camaros will be restricted to an identifier on the build plate, with all Aussie Camaros badged with Chev bow ties as per original OE specifications.
Just a single specification will be available in Australia (2SS) based on that sold in Europe, which will roll on 20-inch, five-spoke machined-face alloys, wrapped in 245/40ZR20 Goodyear Eagle rubber at the front and 275/35ZR20s out back. Stopping duties will be taken care of by four-piston Brembo brakes front and rear, with fixed calipers.
A bi-modal exhaust system will be finished with dual-outlet tips, while the rear of the Camaro will also feature a stanchion spoiler.
Inside, the 2SS will feature power-adjustable heated and ventilated leather-trimmed bucket seats, a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel, nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, and dual-zone climate control.
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HSV told wheels that supply will be “very limited” for 2018, with pre-sales already accounting for 30 percent of this year’s availability.
The Clayton company remains tight-lipped on pricing, and says it expects the Camaro “will sit somewhere between $85-90,000”, equating to an almost $30,000 premium over V8 GT Fastback Mustangs.
While more hardcore Camaros in the US, such as the supercharged ZL1, are fitted with burnout and drag mode driver settings, the 2SS will be sold with a system familiar to Australian customers.
“The vehicle is fitted with a Driver Mode Selector that changes the software calibration of various sub-systems (not dissimilar to our MY17 Driver Preference Modes),” Paull said.