On the outside, the 1971 Chevrolet Camaro
was very similar to previous models.
Outside appearance changed little, but reduced engine compression ratios allowed the use of lower-octane low-lead (or no-lead) gasoline, which, in turn, caused a reduction in power ratings for high-performance engines.
GM also began to include "net" horsepower figures with some engines that were considerably lower than the old "gross" figures, though more realistic. Modifications this year and next were made to comply with emissions and crash protection laws, but not much else.
Cloth-and-vinyl replaced all-vinyl as the standard upholstery. Rally Sport and Super Sport appearance and performance option groups continued to attract customers. The Z28 got a front air dam and a redesigned spoiler along with a 330-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V-8.
Standard engines were the 250-cubic-inch six and 307-cubic-inch V-8. Taking advantage of the options list could bring one of two 350-cubic-inch V-8s rated at 245 and 270 horsepower, or a "396" with a 300-horsepower rating (240-horsepower net).
Only 11,178 six-cylinder Camaros went on sale versus 103,452 with V-8 power, including 4,862 Z28s. Because ponycar popularity was starting to slip, GM executives began to wonder if the Camaro should hang around. Advocates would have to lobby hard to keep it alive.
The usual assortment of appearance packages
on the Camaro were still available.
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