The top engine in the 1980 Chevrolet Camaro
produced 190 horsepower.
The 1980 Chevrolet Camaro opened the decade with few visual changes -- something that could be echoed for all the division's carryover cars.
But continually rising gas prices and Camaro's aging design triggered a staggering drop in sales, from almost 283,000 in 1979 to just over 152,000 for 1980 -- this despite a bevy of new and stronger powerplants.
As before, Camaro came in four versions: base, luxury-oriented Berlinetta, sporty RS, and even sportier Z28. Standard on all but the Z28 was a new 229-cubic-inch V-6 that replaced the old 250-cubic-inch inline six, both rated at the same 115 horsepower.
Other new offerings included a 231-cubic-inch Buick V-6 with 110 horsepower that substituted for the 229 V-6 in California, along with a downsized V-8 of 267 cubic inches and 120 horsepower.
Returning from '79 was a 305 V-8 that was revised to produce 155 horsepower, up from 130, while a stronger 350 now made 190 horsepower. The last was standard in the Z28, optional elsewhere.
But along with increased power came increased prices: up an average of $625, about 10 percent, across the board. The increase made Camaro significantly more expensive than its Ford Mustang rival, which had been redesigned for 1979.
Nevertheless, Chevy's sports coupe also offered significantly higher performance capabilities and thus continued to stand out as a strong survivor in the true ponycar tradition.
Despite the modest power output,
the Camaro Z28 was rated at only 14 mpg.
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