1988 Chevrolet Camaro
8-cyl. 5.0L 305cid/170hp TBI
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Chevrolet purged half of its Camaro models this year, leaving just the Sports Coupe and IROC-Z, although both could be had as a convertible converted by ASC. The LT and Z28 were both discontinued. Production dropped to 96,275 in total, with 42,860 V-6 models and 53,455 with V-8 engines.
Base engine for the ’88 Camaro was the 135hp 173 cid V-6, but the 170hp 305 cid V-8 was a $400 option with the Sport Coupe. IROC-Z coupes and convertibles were fitted with the 170hp V-8, now with fuel injection, and a 230hp 350 cid V-8 was optional on the IROC-Z but only with an automatic transmission.
The base Sport Coupe cost $10,995 and 66,605 were sold. The Sport Coupe Convertible found 1,859 buyers and cost $16,255. A total of 24,050 IROC-Z Coupes were sold for $13,490, while 3,781 buyers spent $18,015 for an IROC-Z Convertible.
All Camaros were now built in Van Nuys, California and the “sheep in wolf’s clothing” RS model, featuring IROC-Z appearance but modest power was available in a few areas, though only 7,038 were sold. Body panels were now standard across the range, though paint schemes differentiated the models. 15-inch alloy wheels were standard, though 16-inchers could be ordered with the IROC-Z.
While specific options could still be ordered, Chevrolet concentrated on four packages for the Sport Coupe and Convertible and three packages for the IROC-Z Coupe and Convertible. The base Group 1 was no charge, but Group 2, 3 and 4 were progressively more expensive, with more standard accessories.
For example the Sport Coupe Group 2 package cost $939 and Group 4 was $1,939. The IROC-Z Group 2 cost $1,846 and Group 3 totaled $2,410. Accessories customarily included multiple power assist and luxury options like air conditioning, automatic transmission, power windows, door locks, seats and hatch, cruise control, intermittent wipers, glass T-Tops, and complex stereos. GM had taken a leaf out of Japanese marketing. By including a lot of options the cars were simpler to build, with fewer custom variations. Production was more cost-effective, saving both the company and the customer money.
Paint colors were reduced to nine for the 1988 Chevrolet Camaro, still with the problematic two-tone clear-coat paint. Bright Red was most popular (24,158), followed by Black (17,502), Dark Red (16,199), White (15,864), Medium Gray (8,628), Bright Blue (8,445), Medium Orange (3,010), Silver (1,547) and Yellow (922). All convertible tops were black, and leather interiors were available in Light Brown and Gray and similar cloth tones. Vinyl seats were discontinued.