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Chev Camaro awarded ‘hottest car’ honours at SEMA

Proud: Ex-Holden boss Alan Batey accepts the "Hotest Car" award for the Chevrolet Camaro at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

GM’s Aussie-engineered Camaro is the US aftermarket’s most popular car

4 Nov 2010

THE Australian-engineered and hot-selling US Chevrolet Camaro has proved its popularity among those who produce aftermarket accessories, vehicle personalisation and performance tuning services by picking up the ‘hottest car’ accolade at the SEMA trade show in Las Vegas.

The prize is awarded according to the number of exhibitors at the show using a particular vehicle to demonstrate their products and is regarded as a way of identifying the most accessory-friendly new models.

137 center imageFrom top: Chevrolet Camaro Red Flash, Chevrolet Camaro SSX, Chevrolet Corvette Jake, Chevrolet Corvette Z06X.

“A booth space is a ballot, and the models these exhibitors have selected represent their vote,” said SEMA president and CEO Chris Kersting.

Former Holden managing director and now Chevrolet vice-president of sales and service, Alan Batey, accepted the award, which came after GM exhibited two Camaro-based concepts to demonstrate currently available and potential future official Chevrolet accessories.

“The Camaro won by a mile and I think it says a lot when these exhibitors are obviously showing their goods and have picked our vehicle to show them on,” said Mr Batey.

The headline act was the Camaro Red Flash, which is based on the 6.2-litre SS model and emerged as a loud and proud demonstration of the Camaro’s customisation and performance tuning potential with ‘Red Jewel’ paint adorning the bodywork and engine cover, a bodykit including large rear wing and 21-inch alloy wheels filling the wheelarches.

A moody interior theme of black leather with titanium stitching and red accents, Audi-style flat-bottomed steering wheel, racing pedals and red LED interior lighting is complemented by a special air intake and exhaust system to provide occupants and bystanders with an amplified V8 rumble from the LS3 under the bonnet.

While the Red Flash is obviously a street machine, Chevrolet also wheeled out a more track-focused Camaro concept.

Externally, the SSX features weight-saving carbon-fibre bodywork in the bonnet, wings, doors and bootlid with yet more carbon used for aerodynamic aids such as the front splitter and adjustable rear wing.

Along with the requisite air intake and exhaust upgrades, the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 has been warmed up with a hot camshaft, performance cylinder heads and a dry sump lubrication system to maintain oil pressure during hard cornering. Power is fed through the standard six-speed manual transmission but aided by a twin-disc clutch from the Corvette ZR1.

The standard suspension has been modified for track purposes and behind the 20-inch racing wheels wrapped in racing rubber are drilled and slotted brake rotors squeezed by callipers with six pistons at the front and four pistons at the rear.

Inside, more weight-saving comes with the removal of carpeting, sound insulation and the rear seat, while race-spec additions include a rollcage with video camera system and window net, fire extinguishers, a racing seat with five-point harness, racing pedals and a race-spec fuel tank.

Chevrolet’s show stand also featured two Corvette concepts, one being a black “Jake” special-edition, inspired by and featuring the Corvette Racing team’s skull mascot and a Z06X track car concept in a similar vein to its Camaro SSX sibling.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association dates back to 1963 and has been holding shows since 1967.

The Ford F-Series received the award for ‘hottest truck’ and the Jeep Wrangler was named ‘hottest 4x4/SUV’.

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