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Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 axed! Supercharged V8 muscle car gone as HSV ends local conversion program

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is officially on its way out in Australia and New Zealand.

Just six weeks after it confirmed its discontinuation of the naturally aspirated Chevrolet Camaro 2SS muscle car, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) has revealed its supercharged ZL1 sibling has also been retired, leaving the company without a V8-powered performance model for the first time.

Speaking to CarsGuide, HSV executive director of sales, marketing and aftersales Chris Polites said the Camaro won’t return for MY21.

He added HSV isn’t looking to bring the Camaro back anytime soon, with each of its conversion programs taking about 18 months to develop.

The ‘remanufactured’ Camaro launched in Australia in September 2018 with the MY18 2SS, while the ZL1 arrived nine months later as part of the MY19 range, which included a facelift for the muscle car.

MY19 was the end of the line for the 2SS, though, with HSV managing director Tim Jackson confessing last month the cost of its emissions development and validation was too great.

“The exchange rate had moved so far, and it continues to move in the wrong direction, so the ability for ourselves to make a profit as well as our dealers to make a profit was disappearing,” he added at the time.

While the ZL1 returned for MY20, its production run stopped soon afterwards, in March, for the same reasons.

In total, HSV converted about 1200 2SS and 350 ZL1 coupes to right-hand drive for sales in Australia and New Zealand.

Buyers looking to get their hands on one of the last Camaros aren’t out of luck just yet, as about two to three months’ worth of stock is still available.

For reference, the 2SS is priced from $86,990 plus on-road costs and is motivated by a 339kW/617Nm 6.2-litre LT1 naturally aspirated V8, while the ZL1 checks in from $159,990 and adds a supercharger to the LT4 version of that engine for outputs of 477kW/881Nm.

As reported in June last year, overseas reports indicate there won’t be another generation of Camaro, with General Motors (GM) moving on from Chevrolet’s muscle car due a lack of demand in its domestic market.