2014 Camaro Z/28 in showrooms early next year image

Aimed at racing enthusiasts who want to drive the sports car on the track, the new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 will really be a 2014 model as it is planned to be available late in the first quarter next year.

The rear-wheel-drive muscle car, only available with a manual transmission, is not intended as a daily driver and production likely will be limited to about 3,000 to 4,000 vehicles a year, said Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer for the Camaro.

The historic Z/28 was introduced in 1967 and went away in 2002. Enthusiasts have been asking GM to bring back the Z/28 since GM brought the Camaro back into production in 2009. Oppenheiser said the product won approval from company leaders and board members despite its low volume.

“This is going to be the fastest, the most expensive, and in my opinion, the most memorable car in the fifth-generation Camaro,” he said. “And so you almost had to have the emotion be part of the business case to support us.”

The company knows the Camaro Z/28 will draw buyers into showrooms and Oppenheiser said GM is aiming to beat any vehicle rival Ford puts on the road – and yes, they are talking about Shelby and Boss Mustangs out there.

The sports car, which features GM’s 7-liter LS7 V-8 engine, has been certified at 505 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque. The company is continuing to develop the car before it begins production in the first quarter at GM’s Oshawa, Ont., plant.