The End of an Era: The Last Modern Yenko Camaro for 2024
The Chevrolet Camaro has been an iconic nameplate in the automotive industry for decades. While the sixth-generation Camaro is coming to an end in the 2024 model year, Chevy assures us that the Camaro will live on. However, the timing for a successor and its resemblance to the current model remain uncertain. In the meantime, Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE) is taking the opportunity to build one last round of Yenko Camaros.
SVE, based in New Jersey, holds the license for the renowned Yenko trademark, which gained popularity during the 1960s thanks to Yenko Chevrolet, a dealership located in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Yenko Chevrolet was known for its special-order muscle cars, and SVE continues to carry on the Yenko legacy.
For the 2024 model year, SVE is offering three stages of upgrades for the Chevy Camaro SS with the 1LE performance package. The Stage I and Stage II versions boast a supercharged 6.8-liter V-8 engine, based on the General Motors LT1 6.2-liter small-block used in the stock Camaro SS. The Stage I variant produces a staggering 1,150 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, while the Stage II takes things up a notch with 1,200 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. These numbers represent a significant increase compared to the 2023 model, with Stage I gaining 100 horsepower and Stage II getting a boost of 50 horsepower and 40 lb-ft of torque.
Accompanying the supercharged engines, SVE has introduced a Stage III upgrade for 2024. This version features a supercharged 7.0-liter V-8 engine, based on a GM 6.6-liter iron block that has been bored and stroked. The Stage III Yenko Camaro delivers an astonishing 1,500 horsepower and 1,280 lb-ft of torque, taking performance to unprecedented levels. Both Stage II and Stage III variants are exclusively available with a 6-speed manual transmission from the stock Camaro SS, while the Stage I comes with the stock 10-speed automatic transmission.
SVE ensures that the performance features from the factory 1LE package are not compromised. The Stage III upgrade retains the magnetic dampers, electronic limited-slip differential, and heavy-duty cooling system with dual outboard radiators, a transmission cooler, and a rear differential cooler. The functional front splitter and rear spoiler, as well as the Recaro seats from the 1LE package, also remain. SVE adds some visual enhancements, including forged aluminum wheels, side stripes, and a carbon-fiber hood with a scoop.
As for production numbers, SVE plans to build 50 units each of the Stage I and Stage II 2024 Camaro Yenko/SE models, and 100 of the Stage III versions. Starting prices for the Yenko Camaros are set at $87,995 for the Stage I package, $89,995 for the Stage II, and $129,995 for the Stage III.
Not to be outdone, Hennessey Performance is also offering a powerful farewell to the Camaro with their “Final Edition.” This limited-run version of their Exorcist Camaro ZL1 upgrade package will produce a massive 1,000 horsepower. Hennessey will only produce 57 Final Edition models, symbolizing the number of years since the Camaro was first introduced. Prices for the Final Edition start at $54,950, excluding the cost of a customer-supplied Camaro ZL1 donor car.
Chevrolet has its own sendoff planned for the Camaro, albeit a more subdued one. They will be releasing a Collector’s Edition package with unique styling features but no performance enhancements.
In conclusion, the 2024 model year marks the end of the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, but it does not spell the end for the Camaro brand. Specialty Vehicle Engineering’s Yenko Camaros offer enthusiasts a chance to own a limited-production, high-performance version of the iconic muscle car. While we await news of the next-generation Camaro, SVE’s dedication to the Yenko legacy ensures that the spirit of the Camaro will continue to thrive for years to come.