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Tony O'Kane | Feb 17, 2009

According to the lads and ladies at Motor Trend, GM is quite literally on the cusp of releasing a range-topping and nostalgia-invoking Z/28 variant of the new Camaro.

Aside from a more heavily-vented front bumper, a new rear spoiler, re-shaped rear bumper, 20-inch wheels and one heck of a bonnet scoop, the Z/28 will also benefit from a number of bona-fide performance mods. The 6.2 litre supercharged LSA V8 from the Cadillac CTS-V gets shoehorned under that bonnet, channelling 415kW (556hp) and a gargantuan 747Nm (551lb/ft) through either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Top speed for the manual is expected to hover around the 310km/h (193mph) mark, while the auto will be restricted to 'just' 281km/h (175mph) to prevent the gearbox from turning itself inside-out. The Z/28 will supposedly blitz the quarter mile in 12.3 and sprint from 0-96km/h in 4.1 seconds - just like a proper American muscle car should.

There's only one thing standing in between the Camaro Z/28 and the showroom though: GM's corporate governance. After recently accepting Federal assistance to keep its head above water, GM's activities are under very close scrutiny by a number of governing bodies.

Introducing a low-volume gas-guzzling muscle car at a time when the automaker should be selling as many cheap n' thrifty small cars as possible may be seen as irresponsible, however it appears a core group of rev-heads within General Motors are actively pushing to get this car to market.

GM has already spent the money developing the thing, but it might pay for it to bide its time and concentrate on less outrageous vehicles in the short term to appease the powers-that-be. However, the longer it holds off on releasing the Z/28, the more and more irrelevant that car becomes in a world of escalating fuel prices and increasing environmental awareness. We've got our fingers crossed that won't be the case.

[Motor Trend]

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