Modern muscle cars might be comfortable, capable sports cars, but the family line started as unsophisticated beasts launched in the 1960s. Chevrolet is celebrating this evolution with the Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition, a car with the same fashion sense as its forebears, but a far more modern, efficient setup under the retro suit.
As is often the case with birthday special editions, the Camaro 50th Anniversary Edition is a sticker special for buyers with an eye on resale values. That said, it still looks pretty good, with its unique 20-inch wheels, sticker kit and front grille helping it stand out from the crop of EcoBoost Mustangs and V6 Chargers doing the rounds.
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Because there's no extra performance kit under the hood, the cabin retains its wide seats and creature comforts like air conditioning. This isn't a stripped back racer, it's an everyday Camaro that just happens to be celebrating the nameplate's birthday.
Taking a look at Chevrolet's Horsepower Through The Years infographic is evidence of just how far the breed has come since generation one launched in 1967. Available with between 140 and 375 hp (104 and 280 kW) at its debut, the Camaro nameplate didn't see a bigger peak power figure until the start of the fifth generation in 2010.
What happened in between? Well, emissions regulations hamstrung second- and third-generation cars, leaving some buyers with a Camaro putting out less than 100 hp (75 kW). Even the best-off, range-topping third generation cars only had just over 240 hp (179 kW), while the most powerful fourth-generation cars were making around 320 hp (239 kW).
The sixth-generation model this special edition is based on can be had as a 335-hp (250-kW) V6, or in SS trim with a 455-hp (339-kW) LT1 V8. There's also a 275-hp (205-kW) four-cylinder available but we'd go for the V8, especially considering it's more powerful than the equivalent Mustang, which is crucial in the inevitable drunken games of Top Trumps.
As well as creating a sticker special, Chevy will be celebrating the Camaro's 50th anniversary with a celebration at the plant where the car is built, a special Camaros and Coffee event in Detroit, and a heritage display on the Woodward Dream Cruise.