HSV says it will be able to soon reveal Australian specifications for the Chevrolet Camaro that will go on sale in Australia in late July as the US version of the muscle car adds fresh looks and drag strip and burnout modes.
Chevrolet overnight unveiled an evolutionary update for the Camaro featuring a more aggressive, aerodynamically enhanced styling that differs slightly for each of the models that will fill US showrooms.
Of note, the 6.2-litre V8-engined SS fitted with the 2SS pack – the sole model that will be filling selected Australian Chevrolet dealerships – will feature a 10-speed automatic, the same number of ratios as will send drive to the rear wheels for the 2019 Ford Mustang due here in about October. The Camaro’s transmission also includes what Chevrolet calls a “lift-foot gear hold”, a function rolled out in the hi-po ZL1 that will hold a lower gear in corners even when you back off the throttle.
The US update includes the expansion of the Camaro range to include a turbocharged 1LE 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine for the first time. It will use an electronic limited-slip differential, Chevrolet has said.
The updated Camaro’s reveal coincides with HSV’s plans to start selling the traditional Ford Mustang rival from July after converting them to right-hand drive – the cars coming here will arrive from the factory in left-hook format and be converted at HSV’s Clayton facility.
The Aussie model will be a single 6.2-litre LT1 V8-engined version that, in US trim, produces 332kW and 617Nm. The US update also adds a different front-end styling, including the fascia, grille, dual-element headlamps, LED signature lighting and extractor-style bonnet. It makes the jump to the so-called “flowtie” open bowtie grille emblem, and includes a black grille and aero-enhancing air curtains.
The Camaro SS will also gain a new rear fascia and sculpted LED tail-lamps with dark-tinted clear lenses.
HSV has confirmed it may need to make some “minor” styling tweaks to comply with Australian Design Rules to the local version of the Camaro SS once the Clayton-based tuning house takes its first delivery of pre-converted left-hand-drive models arrive in late June.
But the fate of the US-market Camaro’s launch control function and line-lock mode – both available on the US-market Camaro SS – are yet to be confirmed for Australia. HSV marketing general manager Damon Paull said HSV would announce the final specifications for the Camaro “within the next month”. Ford has confirmed the Australian version of the facelifted Mustang will gain the launch control function, which it calls a drag mode, but will miss out on the line-locker mode that will help owners perform a controlled burnout.
“We haven’t confirmed full specifications yet, but hope to do so in the near term,” Paull said. However, he confirmed the cars sold here would include the Camaro’s 2SS pack, which in the US includes heated and cooled leather-trimmed seats with a memory function for the driver’s seat, wireless smartphone charging, a heated steering wheel, colour driver information display, and a head-up display. He declined to talk specifically about whether the launch control and burnout modes would be included.
Other bits of trim the pack brings includes body-colour mirrors, interior spectrum lighting, illuminated sill plates and aluminum accents on the door trim and shifter cap.
Importantly, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro will gain a suite of safety tech including a forward collision alert system, rear parking assist and cross-traffic alert, and a blind spot monitor. The 2SS pack also adds a rear-camera mirror.
Paull said HSV was "very happy" with the response from potential buyers after the brand announced late last year that it would bring in and convert Camaros, helping to whet Australia's appetite for V8 performance muscle. However, he declined to say how many potential customers had already placed an order for the coupe.