At the end of next year, the Chevrolet Camaro is quietly going away. Why quietly? Because though the American automaker hasn’t said it’s retiring the Camaro nameplate, the current-generation muscle car is ending production in 2024 without a seventh-gen successor ready to take its place. For the car’s sendoff, Chevy is preparing for the Camaro to go out in style with the Collector’s Edition package.
With this package, the Camaro 1LT, LT1 and SS trims are treated to a Panther Black Metallic Tintcoat. This “Panther” designation, by the way, is a callback to the vehicle’s original code name when it was first being developed back in the ’60s. The package throws in a front splitter and rear wing borrowed from other sporty optional Camaro kits, as well as satin black accent stripes.
Moving up to the range-topping ZL1 Camaro, the Collector’s Edition bestows the car with a similar look, but with ZL1-exclusive touches. For instance, instead of a metallic coat, the 650 horsepower coupe is suited with a matte-finish version of the Panther Black paint. This iteration too gets extra wing bits and black stripes, along with red brake calipers and a serialized steering wheel badge, as only 350 units will be made.
On the inside, each Collector’s Edition Camaro will include a number of custom touches such as badging and floor mats, all of which will be made to match a watch from Shinola that will come with the car.
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Though no performance upgrades will come with the Collector’s Edition for any trim level, it’s a nice way to dress up the Camaro for its way out the door after a significant resurgence. The Chevy was a direct response to the wildly successful Ford Mustang, and since its debut in the late ’60s, the two American icons have been locked in an eternal struggle for muscle car superiority. Ford seemingly won the war in 2002, when the Camaro nameplate was put to bed, only to rise again and take up the fight once more in 2010 as the shambling Mustang was revitalized with a popular fifth-generation.
Since then, the Camaro has seen two generations of vehicles developed, each with a multitude of models that brought with them a focus on agility to go with the horsepower. The coupe has kept Ford on its toes, appealing to overseas markets because of that very characteristic, and it can be argued that this put the squeeze on Ford to ditch the live rear axle and give the sixth-generation Mustang an independent rear suspension.
Both vehicles are now facing uncertain futures. Though the Mustang is about to leap into its seventh iteration, the new vehicle isn’t a dramatic evolution forward. That and the electric Mustang Mach-e joining it in the stable makes one wonder how long the combustion-powered car is destined for this world.
Something similar is likely on the block for the next Camaro. With the increased move to electrified vehicles, holdouts like old muscle cars need to evolve or get left behind, though it’s tough to say what that means for segment predicated on big beefy petro-tastic power plants. We are, however, starting to see signs of what to expect with upcoming vehicles like the Dodge Charger EV and Chevrolet’s own E-Ray Corvette. With this in mind, we won’t say goodbye to the Camaro, just farewell for now. Thanks for the good times, and we’ll see you on the next run.
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