SEMA 2012: GM Shows Off Camaros, Corvettes, and Kits

One of the great things about GM’s recent SEMA show appearances has been the fact that while the cars they’ve put on display show imagination and ambition, they’re not form-over-function concept cars. What they’re emphasizing is what can be done to turn production cars into real world dream machines, and this year is no exception. The whole spectrum of Chevy’s passenger car lineup got some attention, but you’ll pardon us if we tended to focus on the Camaros and Corvettes.

Of course, that’s at least partially because GM brought out so many of them – the Hot Wheels Camaro, which will be a showroom reality starting in early 2013, the Tony Stewart “Smoke” ZL1, a “Touring” ZL1 drop-top, and the very last 2012 COPO Camaro (and one of only 2 convertibles) which will be auctioned to benefit the American Cancer Society.

The Touring ZL1 concept adds some cosmetic touches to the already-optioned-out King Camaro; out of all the concept pony cars on display, this seems to be the most likely to make it to the showroom floor.

Celebuchef Guy Fieri was on hand to show off the custom 427 Convertible crafted with his help. In addition to the usual goodies that come with the LS7-powered 'vert, the car also features Fieri's logo on the headrests and fenders, a yellow contrast stripe, and yellow stitching on the upholstery.

On a more practical level, Chevrolet Performance had a lot of new production-based packages to offer fifth-gen Camaro owners, sourced from the 1LE and ZR1 build sheets. A white V6 Camaro showed what was possible with the transplant of some 1LE DNA, while the ever-popular “rotisserie” Camaro provided a roadmap for upgrades.

COPO Camaro

For those interested in adding some straight-line stamina to their Camaro, Chevy Performance served up an a la carte menu of COPO pieces. Of special note were the Powertrain Mounting Kit (PN 22950680), which provides an NHRA Stock/Super Stock-compliant way of solidly tethering your powerplant, and the Rear Suspension Installation Kit (PN  22950652) that offers the mounting points for a bolt-in conversion to a solid axle rearend in place of the factory IRS. We suspect that both of these will find their way into a fair number of sportsman cars.

Other parts available include a cowl induction hood, racing wheels, gauge packages, a switch kit, COPO graphics, and even a body-in-white part number. While we don’t know how many fully-realized COPO clones will result, we can imagine a very cool street/strip build capturing the look of the full-race version in a daily driver.

ZL1 Camaro Brake Upgrade Kits

Chevrolet Performance is making it easy(er) to get the big brakes from the ZL1 on both V8 and V6 5th Gen Camaros with front and rear kits completely spec’ed out with everything you’ll need.

The front brake kit includes the ZL1’s two-piece 14.6-inch vented rotors and Brembo 6 piston calipers, compared to the one-piece 12.6 inch/single piston caliper (V6) or 14-inch/four piston caliper (SS) stockers.

Out back, the ZL1 brakes feature 14.4-inch one-piece rotors and four piston calipers emblazoned with the ZL1 logo like the fronts.

  • Front Brake Kit (V6 and V8) – PN22959672
  • V8 Rear Brake Kit – PN 23104466
  • V6 Rear Brake Kit – PN 22989834

1LE Track Pack

One benefit of Chevy Performance’s kits is that owners of V6 or SS Camaros can take advantage of a lot of very expensive and time consuming development time – You know you’re getting parts designed and tested to work together. The 1LE Track Pack (PN 231023311) includes:

  • Upgraded solid 27mm front and 28mm rear stabilizer bars
  • ZL1 wheel bearings
  • ZL1 rear toe links
  • ZL1 rear shock mounts
  • Front strut assemblies (strut, spring, and mount)
  • Rear shocks

When paired up with the 1LE Strut Tower Brace (PN 22756880), 3.91 Gear Kit (PN 22813040), and the PCV System (PN 23102311), all available over the counter at any GM dealer, you get all that factory 1LE goodness without having to spring for a whole new Camaro.

Of course, we couldn't leave out the new Gen V LT1 powerplant, which will power the upcoming C7 Corvette as well as providing the foundation for the next generation of GM RWD performance cars and light trucks.

These are just a few highlights from the show – for full details, or to download your own copy of the new 2013 Chevy Performance catalog, visit Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to the kick-ass FUEL e-newsletter, and catch more info, photos, and video on, powered by Chevy Performance…


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About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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