A crisp exterior styling for the 1982
Chevrolet Camaro was a dramatic departure.
The 1982 Chevrolet Camaro marked the arrival of the long-awaited third generation, boasting a three-door hatchback body style to replace the former two-door coupe.
As a sign of the times, it went on a strict diet: Average curb weights dropped by over 450 pounds as a result of losing seven inches of wheelbase, nearly 10 inches in length, and almost three inches in width. But contrary to contemporary trends, it remained rear-wheel drive and continued to offer V-8 power.
Like Camaros of old, there was precious little interior space considering the external dimensions -- which, though smaller, would easily classify it as a mid-size car. But Camaro's mission had always put form above function, and the new design upheld that tradition.
Lines were more angular than before, with a chiseled nose and chopped-off tail, but the Camaro maintained its long hood/short deck proportions.
Not all the changes were visual. Leaf springs gave way to coils in the rear, and MacPherson struts replaced the previous A-arm arrangement in front. Powertrain offerings were also altered, the reduction in curb weight allowing the availability of a four-cylinder engine in the Camaro for the first time.
This was Pontiac's 2.5-liter (151-cubic-inch) "Iron Duke" with throttle-body fuel injection, which was becoming a corporate mainstay.
Next up was the carbureted 2.8-liter (173-cubic-inch) V-6 that was likewise used in numerous GM cars, here producing 102 horsepower, 12 more than the four.
Two 5.0-liter (305-cubic-inch) V-8s were offered, one with four-barrel carburetion and 150 horsepower, the other with 165 horsepower courtesy of "Cross-Fire" injection, which consisted of two throttle-body injection units sitting across from one another.
Prices were predictably up, with the base model starting at $7,631 (+$851) and the top-line Z28 setting a buyer back at least $9,700 (+$1,437). But sales went up as well, from 126,000 to 182,000, though that paled in comparison to figures generated just three years earlier.
Chevy's ponycar still had an audience, but many potential buyers were defecting to smaller, more efficient sports coupes.
The pound-curve rear window was
an eye-opening styling innovation.
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