What the heck is GM up to with this third-generation Camaro test car? Our spy shooter caught this bright yellow 1980s beast exiting the General’s Milford, Michigan, proving grounds recently—manufacturer plate and all—and decided to tail it.
“We followed the Camaro closely for some time, counted the shift pattern and noticed it was using a six-speed manual transmission,” our eagle-eyed sleuth reports. The original versions only had five-speed manuals. We’re also told the engine note sounded like a modern small-block, not a period unit.
Upon closer inspection, we note that the Camaro sports a bulged hood, GM Performance Parts badges, a roll cage, quad exhaust tips, and what appears to be a totally worn-out cassette single of Whitesnake‘s “Here I Go Again ’87” on the dash. (Okay, maybe not the cassette.)
The third-gen Camaro made its debut in 1982 during the nadir of the pony-car era in terms of power, and it lasted until 1992. While it might not be the most fondly remembered F-Body Camaro, models like the IROC-Z, Z28, and 1LE have gained in status of late—and they certainly left plenty of rubber all around the country when they were new.
This isn’t the first time GM has used an ’80s Camaro for testing. In 2014, a third-generation Camaro was caught alongside a prototype for the sixth-generation car before it debuted. Could this be a cleverly disguised powertrain mule for the seventh-gen Camaro? Or is it something else? Your guess is as good as ours. All we know is we suddenly have the urge to go listen to some Master of Puppets.
Photo source: Brian Williams
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