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Camaro V6 not for Commodore

US only: Camaro's more powerful (at least on paper) 3.6-litre V6 won't lead to an upgraded V6 for the Commodore.

Revised outputs for North America’s Commodore-based Camaro not relevant to Oz

Holden logo13 Apr 2010

CHEVROLET has announced increased performance outputs for its 2011 Camaro V6 in North America, but don’t expect the changes to lead to an upgrade for GM Holden’s Commodore V6 in Australia any time soon.

The Australian designed and engineered Camaro coupe is based on the same large rear-drive Zeta chassis architecture that underpins Holden’s VE Commodore and both cars also share the same direct-injection SIDI 3.6-litre version of GM’s global V6.

News that GM will commence production of an upgraded 2011 version of the Camaro – which will include a more powerful 230kW-plus V6 variant – at its Oshawa plant in Canada from June 7 has led to speculation a more powerful 3.6-litre V6 could also be on the cards for the Commodore.

However, Holden has confirmed that the V6 Camaro’s revised power outputs, which are based on North America’s new SAE certification testing regime, apply only to the Camaro V6, which has produced maximum power of 227kW since launch.

Thanks to different engine calibration, that’s already significantly more than the 210kW output, as measured by the ECE standard now common in Australia, of the SIDI 3.6 V6 that debuted in the MY10 Commodore released in September last year.

 center image Left: Chevrolet Camaro V6 engine.

GM says that, according to the voluntary J2723 SAE power and torque certification procedure, which Chevrolet is the first brand to employ, the 2011 Camaro V6 outputs will be officially rated at 312 horsepower (233kW) at 6500rpm and 278lb-ft (377Nm) of torque at 5100rpm.

That’s 8hp (6kW) and 5lb-ft (7Nm) more than the 2010 Camaro V6 and a significant increase on the Commodore’s 210kW/350Nm 3.6 V6, which produces its peak power and torque figures at much lower 6400 and 2900rpm engine speeds.

GM acknowledges it under-quoted the official output of the 2010 Camaro V6, which is now listed as being more powerful despite undergoing no mechanical changes.

“The 304 horsepower in the 2010 Camaro was actually a conservative rating on our end,” said GM V6 chief engineer Tom Sutter. “But we knew already that this award-winning engine produced at least the amount of power we stated, but now we’ve gone the extra step in certifying the engine for this application and have verified an additional eight horsepower.”

While the upgrade in the Camaro V6’s power output is therefore of little relevance to the Commodore’s six-month-old SIDI 3.6, Holden also says new 2011 Camaro features such as a head-up display and lime-green ‘Synergy’ exterior paint will also remain specific to the North American market.

As we’ve reported, a number of the Camaro’s lurid paint colours are similar to those worn previously by Australia’s Commodore, but so far there is no confirmation Australia’s favourite car will also wear the Camaro’s Synergy hue, which has been expanded from limited-edition status to be available across the 2011 Camaro line-up.

The lime-green colour scheme, which will be a $US325 ($A351) option across the 2011 Camaro range, first appeared on the Camaro Synergy Special Edition at North America’s largest aftermarket show in Las Vegas last year.

“When we looked at the overwhelmingly positive reaction we received from SEMA attendees and consumers on Synergy Green, making the colour available across the board was pretty much a no-brainer,” said Camaro marketing manager John Fitzpatrick.

The 2011 Camaro’s new head-up display – only the second system of its type to appear in a Chevrolet model – displays a range of more easily viewed information to the driver, including vehicle speed, engine speed, mileage, automatic gear position, compass, outside air temperature, satellite-navigation, audio and phone functions, turn signals, high-bean indicator and other vehicle messages.

“Head-up display has been a very frequent customer request,” said Camaro product manager Cheryl Pilcher. “People familiar with the HUD system simply love it. It truly enables drivers to keep their eyes on the road.”

The Camaro – recently named Best Car Design of the Year – has out-paced GM’s own sales and profit forecasts since it was launched in the US in April last year by attracting more than 80,000 US customers.

That’s almost double the number of Commodore sedans and utes sold in Australia in 2009, allowing the Camaro to easily out-sell its most direct North American rivals in Ford’s Mustang and the Dodge Challenger.

“We are pleased with Camaro’s success in the market during its first year of production,” said US vice-president of Chevrolet marketing Jim Campbell. “The 2010 model year has been a banner year for us and we plan to build on this momentum.”

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