And Celebrates 100 Years of Chevrolet
Pre-empting the circus known as Day One of the annual SEMA Show, GM rolled out a few specialty cars the evening before that they'd brought to show off. Celebrating both the "New Chevy" and 100 Years of Chevrolet, the stars of the evening were the Camaro and the Sonic, who both got some specialty treatments.
The 2012 SEMA Show also debuts the new Chevrolet Performance division which gathers Chevrolet Racing, GM Performance Division and GM Performance Parts under one umbrella.
As a tribute to the heritage of Chevrolet performance, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was tasked with kitting out a 1970 Chevelle SS concept for 2012 SEMA. Featuring the newest offer from GM for the hot rod crowd, the Chevelle growled an "out of the crate" LS engine. The Connect & Cruise engine is an entire system, ready to drop in any project. The highlight is a supercharged 6.2L LSA V-8 complete with transmission wiring and a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty. This is the same engine found in the Cadillac CTS-V and the Camaro ZL1 and so comes with a guaranteed warranty of speed/fun.
For the not-for-street drag racers group, Chevrolet revived a historic name for the Camaro COPO concept. Bringing back Central Office Production Order monikor, this Camaro is a made to order model with either a fire-breathing LS7 engine (think Corvette Z06) or a whiplash-inducing LS9 (aka, the fire in a Corvette ZR1). While for track use only, this reveal had the speed hungry crowds clamoring for a closer look, hence the detail photo because the car was covered with a gaggle of excited speedsters.
Putting 4,000 Watts into a subcompact is no easy feat but Chevrolet showed off a not-for-production gem created with Kicker that is sure to shake the windows of the neighbors. The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic's jet-inspired system includes ten six-inch speakers, two 15-inch subwoofers and a laundry list of after-market accesories and special touches like the Z-Spec pedals, larger rims and a flat bottom steering wheel. The color was a matte shade of red between true red and fuschia. Biggest surprise? The designers veto-ed the Chevy team hanging a disco ball from the rearview mirror.
For the aspiring rally star, Chevy rolled out a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic that was ready to race. A complete rally package, the mini-racer Z-Spec included a fire suppression kit, five-point harness, racing seats and SCCA-approved roll cage. Highlighting how after-market friendly Chevrolet makes their cars, this little one is a SEMA star.
Another Sonic concept brought motocross star Ricky Carmichael to the designer's table and the result was a lifestyle oriented subcompact, ready to hit the trails. The 15-time American Motorcycle Association champion, three-time X-Games gold medalist and NASCAR driver is an active sports enthusiast and definitely brought that flavor to the Sonic. Featuring a Fox Sports interior, the Z-Spec sported matte black paint and Ricky's racing number. Thule roof racks completed the all-sports look, complete with the necessary snow board and mountain bike. While the Sonic Super 4 concept was race-ready, Ricky Carmichael's ride was a great example of after-market equipment for the adventure enthusiast who wants to enjoy more than the track.
Definitely a SEMA show favorite this year is the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Concept. Created in honor of the 1968 "Custom Camaro" issued by Mattel, the larger than 1:64 edition is a one-off co-designed by Chevrolet and Mattel. While not destined to be a Chevrolet production car, this chrome-effect green model has an all-aluminum 6.2L LS3 V-8 backed by the Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission and features Hot Wheels inspired details like the red-rimmed wheels. The must-have stocking stuffer this year will be the limited edition Hot Wheels version of this flash from Chevy's past.