Chevrolet is in a celebrating mood, and for good reason: 2012 marks the 100th anniversary for the General Motors division. The year also marks the 45th anniversary of the Camaro. The Bowtie brand will get the party started with a special Centennial Edition Corvette and a lightly updated Camaro, boasting more base horsepower and its own special edition.
The horsepower wars have been waged since the muscle car era, and predictably, as the Ford Mustang V6 gained horsepower last year, its rivals would soon follow suite. The 2011 Dodge Challenger upgraded to the 305-hp Pentastar V6, and next model-year, the Camaro will see its 3.6-liter V6 output climb 11 notches to 323 horsepower. Most of the V8-powered Camaros through history couldn't match that figure, especially measured by today's standards.
The Camaro features several other updates for 2012, including a revised instrument panel, steering wheel, and powered front-passenger seat lift function. More appreciated is the available Rear Vision Package, with a rearview-mirror display from a backup camera and parking assist. Given that the Camaro has such limited rearward visibility, this is a welcomed safety and convenience option.
The exterior will be dressed up a bit, with a standard rear spoiler and snazzier tail lamps borrowed from the current RS appearance package.
The real visual treat is the 45th anniversary commemorative edition, coated in the same Carbon Flash Metallic paint as the Corvette. Stripes spanning the hood and decklid announce the package, while badges and emblems further identify it.
Inside, white distinguishes the instrument panel and door trim, 45th anniversary logos abound, and leather surfaces are stitched with red, white, and blue.
The 45th anniversary Camaro will be available this summer on the coupe and convertible, in uplevel 2LT and 2SS trims.
If that Camaro isn't special enough for you, the horsepower wars continue with the V8 models. For 2012, Chevrolet will engage with a supercharged V8 producing at least 550 horsepower in the Camaro ZL1.