Chevrolet is saying goodbye to the Camaro with a special edition in honor of the pony car’s past.
The 2024 Chevrolet Camaro Collector’s Edition not just one variant. Instead, Chevrolet offers it on the LT/RS, LT1, SS and ZL1 models, in both coupe and convertible body styles.
All ZL1 bars will be finished in Panther Black Metallic Tintcoat paint; The ZL1 Collector’s Edition is finished in Panther Black with a matte finish, a Camaro first from the factory.
Panther was the original code name for the first generation model, although Chevrolet eventually adopted the Camaro name which was described as “a ferocious little animal that eats a Mustang”.
LT/RS, LT1 and SS Collector’s Edition models get a Satin Black accent strip, a front splitter from the 1LE package, a rear spoiler from the ZL1 (coupe only), and either Satin Black or optional polished 20-inch forged wheels.
Chevrolet says it will only build 350 examples of the ultimate Collector’s Edition, based on the ZL1.
It gets the front splitter from the ZL1 1LE, as well as its rear wing on the coupe model. There’s also a black metallic strip, red brake calipers and black lug nuts complete the look, while inside there’s a serial steering wheel badge.
All Collector Editions receive a black interior, special floor mats and unique front fender badges with panthers, as well as panthers on the steering wheel badges.
Buyers also receive a welcome kit with two posters commemorating the special edition as well as all six generations of the Camaro.
Only ZL1 buyers get a bespoke 45mm Canfield Sport watch from Shinola, which features an inscribed serial number and panther motif to match their car.
With Chevrolet discontinuing the Camaro’s 205kW/400Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine for its final model year, available engines will consist of a naturally aspirated 250kW/383Nm 3.6-litre V6 (LT), 339kW/612Nlitm atmo. (LT1, SS) and supercharged 485kW/868Nm 6.2-litre V8 (ZL1).
Chevrolet announced earlier this year it was ending the Camaro once again, although it said without giving further details “this is not the last chapter for the nameplate”.
Production will end in January 2024.
The company had previously discontinued the Camaro in 2002, resurrecting it in 2009.
Reports late last year claimed GM was considering turning the Camaro into a sub-brand with a pair of three- and five-door all-electric crossover coupes, which could then be joined by an EV sports car based on the same architecture as the Corvette EV.
While the Chevrolet Corvair Monza helped popularize the small sports car segment (by American standards) in the US, the Ford Mustang took over when it was first introduced in 1964 – to the point where it became known as the “pony car” segment.
Chevrolet in turn launched the Camaro, using components from the Chevy II/Nova, just as the Mustang was derived from the humble Falcon. It debuted as a 1967 model.
The current sixth-generation Camaro was launched as a 2016 model, and is based on the rear-wheel-drive Alpha that Cadillac also uses for sports sedans.
In its home country, sales of the Camaro have declined dramatically. Since the turn of the decade, it has failed to break 30,000 sales, with only 24,652 sold in 2022.
The Camaro’s decline isn’t isolated, though. The Ford Mustang has suffered a similar decline, albeit from a higher base, and only managed to shift 44,332 units last year.
Another member of the wagon triumvirate, the Dodge Challenger, has actually managed to survive the last decade.
Because of the sharp drop registered by its competitors, the Challenger – a larger and more spacious vehicle – was actually in first place last year with 55,245 sales. It will also go out of production as Dodge prepares an electric replacement.
The Camaro is officially on sale in Australia between 2018 and 2020, with conversion work done by Holden Special Vehicles. Only the coupe is offered locally.
When it was new, the Camaro SS with the 6.2-liter V8 and eight-speed auto had a starting price of nearly $86,000 before on-road costs.
That puts it at a severe disadvantage to the Ford Mustang, which is factory-produced in right-hand drive.
By comparison, a Mustang with a 5.0 liter V8 and 10-speed auto starts at a shade over $66,000 before on the road. Sales are predicted to reflect price discrepancies.
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