Chevy Unveils Camaro Aimed at Autocrossers

Chevy unveiled quite a few concepts at the 2016 SEMA Show last night, but one in particular caught our eye: It’s a Camaro concept built specifically for autocross.

The new Camaro Turbo AutoX concept combines the LTG 2.0L turbocharged engine with their new SG3 performance suspension package, upgraded brakes, air intake and exhaust system. We think it’s pretty awesome that Chevy is putting effort into a car specifically for our modest sport of autocross. More information can be found in Chevy’s press release pasted below:

“This concept pushes Camaro in a new direction, integrating new performance parts that make the most of the turbocharged Camaro’s lightweight dynamics,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.

The concept features the Chevrolet Performance suspension lowering kit, which includes stiffer springs and specifically tuned dampers and lowers the ride height up to 0.75 inch (20mm). It is matched with a concept “plus performance” handling kit including larger stabilizer bars and stiffer suspension links. A concept strut tower brace under the hood provides additional chassis stiffness. The whole system contributes to improved roll stiffness and quicker turn-in performance.

AutoX rolls on concept Chevrolet Accessories 20-inch aluminum wheels and Goodyear 285/35R20 performance tires. Engineers added Chevrolet Performance’s front brake kit, featuring six-piston calipers and 370mm, two-piece slotted rotors.

For maximum performance lap after lap, a concept cold-air intake system has been fitted to the 2.0L turbo engine and a calibration upgrade to its controller optimizes performance across the rpm band. The turbocharger generates up to 20 pounds of boost and its twin-scroll design helps make the most of the usable power from the engine, practically eliminating turbo lag and helping deliver a broad powerband.

When it’s time to change gears, the concept’s six-speed manual transmission features a concept short-throw shifter to make quicker work of it.

A Chevrolet Performance exhaust system with a polished 4-inch outlet offers a throatier exhaust note and reduces backpressure by approximately 14 percent. An Active Noise Cancellation calibration update is included for vehicles with the Bose® stereo system.

“It’s a great engine for an autocross course because the strong torque production means you can hold a lower gear and just run through the cones without constant shifting,” said Mark Dickens, director of Performance Variants and Parts. “And with the concept handling package providing amazing handling, this car is simply a blast to drive ? and a real surprise for some of the tuner drivers.”

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DukeOfUndersteer
DukeOfUndersteer UltimaDork
11/1/16 2:59 p.m.

Same day as Ferd, releasing their GT4?

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
11/1/16 3:20 p.m.

Color me... very surprised. GM has been on a roll lately, but I never expected anything aimed at autocross. Of course it's just a concept, but someone over there knows what the purple crack is.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
11/1/16 3:32 p.m.

Does the logo on the Camaro say "Auto-X"? I seem to remember a magazine by that title. The owners of that title might be owed a royalty fee. Go tell your boss.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/1/16 3:38 p.m.

Back in the day (well, 2003 to be precise) Pontiac showed some "Autocross" concepts at SEMA: GTO, Sunfire, Grand-Am and a Vibe, I believe.

I don't have a ton of our images from that year handy, but here's one that I grabbed from our files:

DSCN8758

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
11/1/16 3:46 p.m.

I can haz? It's like a domestic Gen coupe.

Madhatr
Madhatr Reader
11/1/16 4:59 p.m.

You should really mess with the GM guys... go over to their booth and start asking them what rallycross rubber would fit.

Will
Will UltraDork
11/1/16 5:46 p.m.

Is there top-tier rubber (RE71, etc.) available to fit those wheels? Or will 19s clear the brake package?

I'm curious to see how SCCA classes a car marketed specifically for autocrossing.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
11/1/16 5:47 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Back in the day (well, 2003 to be precise) Pontiac showed some "Autocross" concepts at SEMA: GTO, Sunfire, Grand-Am and a Vibe, I believe. I don't have a ton of our images from that year handy, but here's one that I grabbed from our files: DSCN8758

Fun fact: about the only thing to see the light of day from that was the GTO Auto X grills.

Stock:

Auto-X:

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
11/1/16 7:22 p.m.

I wonder what the Camaro weighs? And who would have thought we'd ever see a 2 liter Camaro?

Madhatr
Madhatr Reader
11/1/16 7:39 p.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk:

Do the iron duke thirdgens count? Those were 2.5L, but not crammed full of boost.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
11/1/16 7:43 p.m.

Still with the high belt lines and tiny windows. It's like being swallowed by a whale.

Here's hoping it makes a good engine donor.

Will
Will UltraDork
11/1/16 7:59 p.m.

Serious question, if any of the GRM guys can run it by GM: given that we've seen new Camaros deploy side airbags during autocross runs, did they tinker with that system to make deployment less likely during high-G cornering?

petegossett
petegossett UltimaDork
11/1/16 8:18 p.m.
Will wrote: I'm curious to see how SCCA classes a car marketed specifically for autocrossing.

That will be directly proportional to how much advertising & sponsorship GM provides.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
11/1/16 8:31 p.m.

Any product aimed at enthusiast pursuits out of an automaker is a good thing. I'm betting that the parts that make this package aren't available from the factory outside of a Chevy Performance, add them at the dealer kind of thing.

Run_Away
Run_Away HalfDork
11/1/16 10:22 p.m.

Special autox version with 20" wheels? If it were built by an autox-er, it would wear 18s

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
11/2/16 6:19 a.m.

Pretty cool. Any word on potential production/sale of this package? It may be in the article, but reading on my phone, so I may have missed it.

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon PowerDork
11/2/16 6:46 a.m.
Will wrote: I'm curious to see how SCCA classes a car marketed specifically for autocrossing.

Straight to the exclusion list.

Thank you for your input.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
11/2/16 7:15 a.m.

2 liter weight up front on factory 285s sounds like fun but I also have to wonder about tire availability in that size. I've never had cause to check before.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
11/2/16 7:55 a.m.
Will wrote: Is there top-tier rubber (RE71, etc.) available to fit those wheels? Or will 19s clear the brake package?autocrossing.

Was wondering the same thing myself; I was thinking it might make sense to downsize to 18" wheels if they'd clear everything. Still looks like it would be a great daily driver and autocross car if the suspension lives up to its billing.

STM317
STM317 HalfDork
11/2/16 8:04 a.m.

I'd be pretty curious to see how this package compares to the 1LE package offered on the v6 cars.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
11/2/16 8:08 a.m.

If they would only offer this for under $30k....

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
11/2/16 8:12 a.m.
Matt B wrote: ...but someone over there knows what the purple crack is.

Um - the show car is wearing Goodyears.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/2/16 8:36 a.m.
Run_Away wrote: Special autox version with 20" wheels? If it were built by an autox-er, it would wear 18s

And it wouldn't have bigger brakes...smaller brakes might make more sense for autocross.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
11/2/16 8:36 a.m.

Great idea, I hope they do it and that SCCA doesn't class it in with the V8. I'd love to see an AutoX Sonic and Cruze as well. I mean, if you are of modest means, either makes sense. Offer them with the better suspension and bracing, slightly more HP and adjustable dampers and summer-only tires. Then you could drop the kids off at church, crank the damper knobs to stiff, and hit the autocross.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
11/2/16 8:41 a.m.
Madhatr wrote: In reply to DeadSkunk: Do the iron duke thirdgens count? Those were 2.5L, but not crammed full of boost.

I've always wondered if GM ever actually made one of those. I've certainly never seen one, and I'm a 3rd gen fanboi.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
11/2/16 8:45 a.m.

I've seen a bunch of those. They were even banned at our local circle track in the mini stock class.

I remember when GM built some autocross specific Cavalier Z24 show cars. They were just show cars.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/2/16 9:25 a.m.
Bobzilla wrote: If they would only offer this for under $30k....

I'd be shocked if it comes in under $40K.

Whether or not it ends up on the exclusion list will likely depend on availability and production numbers. I doubt the SEB wants another "NA R-model" being the car to have for a class.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
11/2/16 9:28 a.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote:
Madhatr wrote: In reply to DeadSkunk: Do the iron duke thirdgens count? Those were 2.5L, but not crammed full of boost.

I've always wondered if GM ever actually made one of those. I've certainly never seen one, and I'm a 3rd gen fanboi.

They do. I've seen two in person.

STM317
STM317 HalfDork
11/2/16 9:35 a.m.
Ian F wrote: I'd be shocked if it comes in under $40K.

The 2.0L starts at 25,xxx. That would be some seriously expensive damper/brake upgrade to break 40 large.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
11/2/16 9:37 a.m.
STM317 wrote:
Ian F wrote: I'd be shocked if it comes in under $40K.

The 2.0L starts at 25k. That would be some seriously expensive damper/brake upgrade to break 40 large.

that is a base car, with base everything. Add in the performance pack ($2k) which requires the 20" wheels ($2k), then the suspension ($2k) and you're over 31k with no other addons like an intake or exhaust which would (by their books) is another $2500. That is mid 30's real fast. Then there will be a recaro option for another $2k etc...

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
11/2/16 9:42 a.m.
Zomby Woof wrote: I've seen a bunch of those. They were even banned at our local circle track in the mini stock class. I remember when GM built some autocross specific Cavalier Z24 show cars. They were just show cars.

Then there was the Cobalt SS, which was not just a show car.

STM317
STM317 HalfDork
11/2/16 9:46 a.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

The v6 1LE package seems to have the same basic components as this, plus a limited slip, dual mode exhaust, upgraded fuel system and additional coolers for the engine, trans and rear dif. That package retails for $4500.

If this would cost $40k, the v6 1LE for $34k seems like the way better option. Unless their intake/exhust/tune of the 4 cylinder cranked the power up substantially.

Mister Fister
Mister Fister New Reader
11/2/16 10:22 a.m.

If it doesn't have limited slip don't bother.

Plus it's a show car - they're not producing it. Quit talking like they're going to make it.

Perhaps you'll be able to get a sport package on the base car at some point, sort of like Ford offers on their EcoBoost.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
11/2/16 10:31 a.m.

jeez

You can please some of the people all of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but if youre GM, everyone craps on your head...Everyone.

SMH

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
11/2/16 10:38 a.m.
Bobzilla wrote:
STM317 wrote:
Ian F wrote: I'd be shocked if it comes in under $40K.

The 2.0L starts at 25k. That would be some seriously expensive damper/brake upgrade to break 40 large.

that is a base car, with base everything. Add in the performance pack ($2k) which requires the 20" wheels ($2k), then the suspension ($2k) and you're over 31k with no other addons like an intake or exhaust which would (by their books) is another $2500. That is mid 30's real fast. Then there will be a recaro option for another $2k etc...

I can buy a 1LE V6 for just under $35k, with many of the same parts. You'd have to option the crap out of the 4cyl to get over $40k, but then you'd be at least 200lbs heavier, so why bother...

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
11/2/16 10:40 a.m.
Toyman01 wrote: Still with the high belt lines and tiny windows. It's like being swallowed by a whale. Here's hoping it makes a good engine donor.

Have you ever driven one? I have absolutely no problem with mine. It's much easier to see out of than a Miata.

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
11/2/16 10:53 a.m.
jstein77 wrote:
Matt B wrote: ...but someone over there knows what the purple crack is.

Um - the show car is wearing Goodyears.

Right, I was only intending to imply that someone at GM was an autocrosser. Apparrently, I failed.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
11/2/16 10:59 a.m.
jstein77 wrote:
Zomby Woof wrote: I've seen a bunch of those. They were even banned at our local circle track in the mini stock class. I remember when GM built some autocross specific Cavalier Z24 show cars. They were just show cars.

Then there was the Cobalt SS, which was not just a show car.

The point was, the Camaro is just a show car, and will likely only ever be a show car.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
11/2/16 11:03 a.m.
racerfink wrote:
Bobzilla wrote:
STM317 wrote:
Ian F wrote: I'd be shocked if it comes in under $40K.

The 2.0L starts at 25k. That would be some seriously expensive damper/brake upgrade to break 40 large.

that is a base car, with base everything. Add in the performance pack ($2k) which requires the 20" wheels ($2k), then the suspension ($2k) and you're over 31k with no other addons like an intake or exhaust which would (by their books) is another $2500. That is mid 30's real fast. Then there will be a recaro option for another $2k etc...

I can buy a 1LE V6 for just under $35k, with many of the same parts. You'd have to option the crap out of the 4cyl to get over $40k, but then you'd be at least 200lbs heavier, so why bother...

Yes, current options suck. In fact you can't get the heavy duty engine cooling package and suspension without the auto in the 2.0 currently.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
11/2/16 11:53 a.m.
Zomby Woof wrote: The point was, the Camaro is just a show car, and will likely only ever be a show car.

It appears that more than half of the special parts to make one can be ordered through the Chevy dealer right now with the remainder being labeled "concept" parts. So it may not be a real package, but it does look like there's a good chance you might be able to order something fairly close as a dealer installed option.

STM317
STM317 HalfDork
11/2/16 12:23 p.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote:
Zomby Woof wrote: The point was, the Camaro is just a show car, and will likely only ever be a show car.

It appears that more than half of the special parts to make one can be ordered through the Chevy dealer right now with the remainder being labeled "concept" parts. So it may not be a real package, but it does look like there's a good chance you might be able to order something fairly close as a dealer installed option.

This is exactly why it was shown at SEMA and not a traditional car show. This is GM showing their "aftermarket" upgrades available from GM Performance Parts and the potential tune-ability of the Camaro, not a factory package.

kb58
kb58 Dork
11/2/16 1:15 p.m.

This whole thing is fun to talk about but a money-loser from a business standpoint.

Trackmouse
Trackmouse Dork
11/2/16 1:41 p.m.

I lol'd at "lightweight" Also, remember it's "cramit" not "Camaro" anymore. I for one would love an Auto-Cramit.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
11/2/16 3:43 p.m.

Was at the Chevy dealer last week for maintenance, took a walk around the showroom and there's a low mile '12 GT 500 in the center of the floor. WTF is up w/ that? to the first salesman I seen.

Salesman says older guy had knee problems, can't drive stick no more, traded it in on an Auto-Cramit.

No details on the trim level but pretty sure it had to be no slouch.

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