The annual gathering of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is often considered the ideal stage for automakers that want to highlight their “big toys for big boys,” and that certainly was the case today: Chevrolet opened its exhibit at the 2011 SEMA show with the premiere of its Hot Wheels Camaro Concept. And while the concept is a paean of sorts to the 1:64 scale version from Mattel—first introduced in 1968—it boasts a full-size helping of both style and performance.
This includes a brilliant “Spectraflame” exterior that matches the look of the original Hot Wheels Camaro, with a striking metallic-green finish that required significant effort to achieve on the Chevy. According to Chevrolet New Orleans, designers first had to meticulously prepare the surface of a full-size Camaro, add a primer coat, then cover that with a unique liquid-metal solution that created the car’s mirror-like silver-chrome basecoat. This was followed by several layers of a special green tint that was used to finish the concept’s appearance.
“It may sound pretty straightforward, but no one had ever tried using this process to paint a whole car,” said Phil Zak, GM’s design director. “The bodywork and paint team experimented with several processes before spraying the first body panel. There were so many variables that contributed to getting the finish perfect, from the drying time to the air pressure of the spray guns—none of which was known before this project—and the team absolutely nailed it perfectly.”
“The Hot Wheels and Camaro brands have been paired together since their inception,” added Felix Holst, vice president of design for the Mattel Wheels Division, which collaborated on the project. “As part of the brand’s historic sweet 16, the Camaro was the first Hot Wheels car ever produced. The Spectraflame paint and redline tires of those first Hot Wheels cars have been the dreams of guys for generations, and it was thrilling to inject these elements into a Camaro for real.”
“Thrilling” is the right word for the SEMA concept’s performance, too. While the toys relied on gravity for their motivation, the SEMA car packs all the serious upgrades found in the Camaro ZL1—the hottest production Camaro ever sold by Chevy. According to Chevy East Texas, beneath that Spectraflamed hood waits an all-aluminum 6.2-liter LS3 V8 that’s been hooked up to a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. That combo might not be enough to send the Hot Wheels Camaro through the loop-the-loop, but it’s definitely enough to knock the competition for a loop.
Among the car’s other enhancements:
- Eye-catching “Hot Wheels” badges and logos, inside and out
- “Hot Wheels” sill plates
- Satin black ground effects
- A black aluminum hood insert with milled hood-vent extractors
- 20-inch satin black wheels with milled faces and Torch Red stripes
- A Pedders suspension-lowering kit
- Euro-style taillamps and rear fascia
- Genuine Chevrolet Accessories like a pedal kit, footwell and cupholder lighting, strut tower brace, black engine cover, and exhaust system
- Brembo brakes, with six-piston calipers at the front and four at the rear
According to Chevrolet Dealers Denver, this new Camaro Concept has been confirmed for production—in the form of a collector’s edition 1:64 model from Hot Wheels. For more information, visit: www.HotWheels.com or the Hot Wheels or Chevrolet Camaro Facebook pages.