Here’s something even the most knowledgeable Chevrolet Camaro fans might not know: Camaros that get exported to one particular market gets a detuned engine.
That market is Russia. There, the Chevrolet Camaro is offered exclusively with a single engine – the turbo-charged 2.0L I-4 LTG mated to the GM 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Typically, that engine and gearbox combination deliver 275 horsepower. But in Russia, that figure drops some 38 ponies to 237 horsepower, as a result of a detuning effort by GM specifically for that market.
The LTG in the Camaro is detuned in order to shoehorn the sports car into a lower tax bracket, since Russia taxes vehicles by output and associated emissions. Vehicles with over 250 horsepower get taxed at a higher rate, so GM lowered the horsepower output to maintain affordability, GM Authority confirmed with Camaro communications chief Kevin Kelly. Meanwhile, torque remains at the 295 pound-feet (400 Nm) peak originally made by the LTG.
That enables the Russian Camaro variant the ability to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds, which is 0.4 seconds slower than its North American counterpart.
But even though the Chevrolet Camaro gets slightly less power in Russia, at least it gets some unique treatment. The most interesting development is that Chevy uses the facia of the Camaro SS in that market, despite the car being an LT-level model from a powertrain and features perspective. In other words, the Camaro SS’ naturally-aspirated 6.2L V8 LT1 engine is not offered whatsoever.
The Russian-market Chevrolet Camaro also offers a few unique packages. Just last week, General Motors announced the Camaro Black Edition and Camaro Shock Edition as limited, special-edition models specifically for that market. Notably, the Camaro in Russia is not an affordable proposition: pricing starts at 2,990,000 rubles, which is equivalent to $46,853 USD, at current conversion rates.
The special editions are even more pricey: the Black Edition starts at 3,315,000 Rubles ($51,979 USD), while the Shock Edition starts at 3,415,000 Rubles ($53,524 USD). Those prices are despite the lack of a V8 and the detuned engine.
Even so, GM sells every Camaro it ships to Russia. Interest in the car is off the charts, and the only limiting factor are the supply, along with the relatively high price tag. According to sales data exclusively obtained by GM Authority, Chevrolet Camaro sales jumped 35 percent in Russia to 70 units during the first five months of 2019, compared to 52 units sold during the same timeframe in 2018.