A leaked document listing General Motors VIN codes reveals that the automaker may have a surprise in store for the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro. Along with the current V-6 and V-8 engines, the Camaro’s VIN sheet lists GM’s LS7 — the 7.0-liter aluminum V-8 engine used in the Corvette Z06.
How would the LS7 fit into the Chevrolet Camaro range? For reference, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 extracts 505 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque from that engine, and it’s reasonable to expect similar power if the mill were installed in a Camaro. Currently the Chevrolet Camaro’s base 3.6-liter V-6 offers 323 hp, its upgrade 6.2-liter V-8 has 426 hp, and the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 in the Camaro ZL1 offers 580 hp. In other words, the LS7 engine would create a naturally aspirated Camaro with significantly more power than the current SS — without stepping on the toes of the top-dog Camaro ZL1.
There are several signs that we could, indeed, see a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro with a big LS7 engine under the hood. First, we know 2014 is the last model year for this version of the Camaro; the next-generation car moves to a new production plant and should arrive by 2015. Adding the big engine for the last model year of this Camaro could serve as a going away present to fans. There’s precedence for such a car: Chevrolet built an LS7-powered Corvette convertible — the Corvette 427 — as a special-edition for the last year of the C6, so it’s possible a 7.0-liter Camaro could also arrive as a swan song special.
Eagle-eyed readers will note, however, that the current Corvette will be replaced by an all-new model at the Detroit auto show. Does that mean the end, too, of the Corvette Z06′s LS7 engine? Not necessarily. The LS7 is hand-built in Wixom, Michigan, rather than built en masse in an assembly plant. Hypothetically at least, it would be possible for the Wixom Performance Build Center to crank out enough LS7 engines for a special-edition car, even if Corvette Z06 production had stopped. It’s also possible that this could be hinting at the drag-prepped Camaro Copo, which is available with an LS7-derived engine, but that’s unlikely – those cars are special-built outside of the factory, and sport only serial numbers – not full VIN data as detailed here.
Will we see a 7.0-liter Chevrolet Camaro, or is this simply a case of a typo on an internal GM document? We won’t know for certain until later this year when Chevrolet reveals the 2014 Camaro. But the fact that GM has since removed this VIN guide PDF from its dealer website – which still sports a similar guide for 2014 light trucks and crossovers — is a strong signal the automaker wasn’t ready for this information to become general knowledge.