The Chevrolet Camaro is a "pony car" made in North America by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors. It was introduced on 29 September 1966 the start of the 1967 model year and was designed as a competing model to the Ford Mustang. The car shared the platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced in 1967. Four distinct generations of the car were produced before production ended in 2002. A new Camaro is expected to roll off assembly lines in 2009.
Though the car's name was contrived with no meaning, GM researchers reportedly found the word in a French dictionary as a slang term for "friend" or "companion." In some automotive periodicals before official release, it was code-named "Panther," however, the project designation for the Camaro was XP-836 and some early GM photos show the final Camaro body labeled "Chaparral". Automotive press asked Chevrolet product managers "What is a Camaro?", and they were told it was "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs". The name conveniently fit Chevrolet's "C" naming structure that included Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette.
On 9 January, 2006, the first official word regarding a fifth-generation Camaro from General Motors came at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, where the 2006 Camaro Concept was released. The concept is powered by the 400 hp LS2 V8 and equipped with the T-56 six-speed manual transmission. GM also showed the 2007 Camaro Convertible Concept on 6 January, 2007 at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. The Camaro will be offered with both V6 and V8 engines, and have available automatic and manual transmissions. Pricing has not been officially announced yet, however, GM has stated that it will be competitive with the Ford Mustang.