There was a third-gen Camaro at the GM proving grounds earlier this week and we’ve got no idea why.
Well, we have some ideas. Motor Trend had some spies at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan, and they were able to get a bunch of photos and jotted down some notes on what they heard. We’re hoping those spies are safe at home and weren’t spotted by GM’s security apparatus which doesn’t take too kindly to corporate espionage.
Anyway, head over there to see photos of a bright yellow Camaro that looks better than pretty much any other third-gen Camaro you see rolling around these days. Almost universally, a Camaro seen on the road today is either on its last legs or is being carefully preserved as a collector’s item. This seems to be more of the latter, although that seems likely due to a whole bunch of replacement parts.
Spies reported that this Camaro likely had a new engine under the hood rather than one of the older small-block V8s that this generation of Camaro was famous for. They also listened in on the shift pattern and noticed it had a 6-speed manual transmission instead of the original’s 5-speed.
So a new powertrain then. This is supported by the prominent hood bulge, the roll cage, the quad exhaust, and the GM Performance Parts badges slapped all over it. Also, the suspension might be new since it seems to be sitting slightly higher than a third-gen Camaro normally would.
It seems likely we’re looking at a test mule for new GM Performance bits for old-school Camaros. Since the Camaro is currently scheduled to get discontinued in 2023, GM could be directing their resources at classic Camaros rather than new ones. Or it might just be a new crate engine has come along and this particular Camaro was a convenient option to test it in.
We’ll have to wait for an official confirmation from GM either way. In the meantime, you can get the same feeling of being inside this classic muscle car by turning on Ozzy’s “Crazy Train” from any available sound outlet and pointing a fan in your face. You'll have to be creative with the V8 sound though.