DETROIT — The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe, which made its first public appearance last weekend, is already causing tuners and aftermarket parts specialists to sit up and take notice.
Sure, the new model's available 6.2-liter V8, with 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque — the most powerful Camaro SS ever — is enough to satisfy most enthusiasts. But as always, there are those with a thirst for more performance, and the aftermarket can be counted upon to meet that demand.
John Hennessey, president of internationally known tuning firm Hennessey Performance Engineering, told Edmunds he's excited about the new Camaro being lighter and presumably more nimble than the previous version, making it an excellent candidate for performance upgrades.
"Since the fifth-generation Camaro came out, we've modified more than 5,000 of these cars," Hennessey said. "It's been a beautiful car to work with. For the sixth-generation model, we plan to have performance packages available within 60 days of the release in the fall."
Eric Blakely, a spokesman for longtime performance parts manufacturer Edelbrock LLC, told Edmunds that his firm has been keeping a close eye on 2016 Camaro news and noted it plans to develop an E-Force Supercharger system for the new model.
"We do not have a set date for release at this time, since we will need to acquire a car to begin our development," Blakely said, but noted that Edelbrock's performance upgrades will be "similar in design to our current LS- and LT1-based systems, with similar power gains and performance."
According to the Edelbrock Web site, the company's Stage 3 professional tuner kit can take the small-block V8 engine used in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette beyond 700 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. So, presumably, the same 6.2-liter LT1, available in the 2016 Camaro SS, can be massaged to a comparable level.
"We have our own branded exhaust system, and we install engine modifications like superchargers," Henry said. "I'm eager to get my hands on one of the new V8 models so we can start work on it. One of the things that helps us beat Mustang is that great Chevy engine architecture. There's a lot you can do with it."
However, since none of the aftermarket and tuner specialists have had a chance to get a close look at the new model yet, it may be a while before you see a 700-hp 2016 Camaro doing a burnout down a road near you.
"It's too early for us to talk about tuners or aftermarket projects," Chevrolet Spokesman Monte Doran told Edmunds. Nevertheless, he added, "I would expect Camaro will have a fairly significant presence at SEMA this year."
The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association show, scheduled for November 3-6 this year in Las Vegas, is the largest automotive aftermarket trade event in the world, with more than 2,000 exhibitors filling in excess of 1 million square feet of space.
While it is not open to the public, it provides lots of inspiration beyond the showroom.
"Since the Camaro's inception, there have been thousands of products developed to enhance the vehicle's styling and performance, and we've already received a great deal of interest from our members for the all-new 2016 Camaro," said Mike Spagnola, SEMA's vice president of OEM and product development programs. "We're currently working with Chevrolet to give our members access to this vehicle in advance of its release and anticipate that the 2016 Camaro will have a strong presence at the 2015 SEMA Show in November."
So, it's a safe bet that Hennessey, Edelbrock and many other tuners and aftermarket parts specialists will bring their "A" game to SEMA this year with a tasty selection of performance options for the 2016 Camaro.
Edmunds says: As if an all-new Camaro wasn't enough, we're looking forward to seeing what the aftermarket has in store for one of the most eagerly anticipated cars of 2016.