History of the Chevrolet Camaro Engines: 5th gen Brings Legendary Power
When the Chevrolet Camaro returned to the industry for the 2010 model year, it could have been powered by the exact same engines as the 2002 models and GM fans around the country would have lined up to buy it. Being without a proper muscle car (the 2002 end of Camaro production was also the end of Pontiac Firebird production) left GM fans without an alternative to the Ford Mustang so when the 5th gen Camaro arrived, it really didn’t matter what was under the hood.
However, General Motors wanted this new Chevrolet Camaro to be an impressive performer with the same overpowering figures that the 2002 Camaro had when compared to the Ford Mustang – and the 2010 Camaro did just that.
When the 5th gen Chevrolet Camaro arrived late in 2009 as a 2010 model year vehicle, it was offered was just three engines – a new 3.6L V6, the L99 V8 and an LS3 V8 from the Corvette. The 3.6L V6 offered 304 horsepower and 273lb-ft of torque in the LT and LS trimline models while the Camaro SS came with the L99 when fitted with the automatic transmission and the LS3 when the manual transmission was chosen (both of which were 6.2L). The L99 packed 400 horsepower and 410lb-ft of torque while the LS1 offered 426hp and 420lb-ft of torque.
For the 2011 model year, the V6 Camaro had the same engine with no changes, but it was officially rated at 312 horsepower and 278lb-ft of torque. GM claimed that the 2010 models were underrated, so while they were officially said to have 304hp and 273lb-ft of torque, they actually had 312hp and 278lb-ft of torque. The L99 and LS3 V8 engines for the Camaro received no power changes for 2011.
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro V6 got an official bump in power to 323hp while having the same 278lb-ft of torque. The Camaro SS had the same L99 and LS3 engines, but there was a new V8 in the lineup, thanks to the arrival of the Camaro ZL1. The ZL1 featured the new supercharged 6.2L LSA V8 with 580 horsepower and 556lb-ft of torque, making it comfortably the most powerful production road-going Camaro ever.
Also new for 2012 was the COPO Camaro drag car (above in convertible form), which came with the buyer’s choice of three different engine options – a naturally aspirated 7.0L LS7 with 425hp, a supercharged LSX V8 measuring 5.3L paired fitted with a 2.9L supercharger at 500hp and another 5.3L LSX V8 with a 4.0L Whipple supercharger that was rated at 550hp…although those power numbers vary greatly depending on the tuning efforts of the race teams.
The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro didn’t see any changes to the 3.6L V6, the two 6.2L Camaro SS V8s or the Camaro ZL1 LSA, but the COPO Camaro race cars got a new engine lineup. First up was a naturally aspirated 350 making 325hp, followed by a 396 making 375hp and a 427 cubic inch mill with 425hp.
The engines carried over from the 2013 to 2014 model year remained unchanged, so the LT, LS, SS and ZL1 Camaros all offered the same power for 2014. However, the new Camaro Z28 was introduced with the LS7 V8 from the Corvette Z06, packing 505 horsepower and 481lb-ft of torque.
Finally, there were no drivetrain changes for the 2015 model year with the 6th gen expected to arrive for the 2016 model year Camaro.
If you missed any of the previous four installations of our Camaro engine history, click the links below for an in depth look at the first four decades of the Camaro.