Unlike larger General Motors cars, such as Buick and Oldsmobile, that are marketed to older drivers, the Chevrolet Camaro was, and remains, a sporty two-door coupe for youthful drivers. As GM strived in the late 1960s, early 1970s, and later in the 2000s to beef up engine output, it had to develop manual and automatic transmissions that could deliver the torque, handle the massive horsepower and deliver a smooth ride without noticeable hiccups. The Turbo Hydra-Matic TH350 and the Borg-Warner T56 manual, among other transmissions, pioneered those efforts, according to novak-adapt.com.
First generation 1967 to 1969 Camaros were equipped with a 4-speed manual and either the 2-speed "Powerglide" or 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic 350 automatic. The Turbo Hydra-Matic debuted in 1969 models as a Chevrolet-Buick project and is considered GM's strongest and most versatile transmission, according to novak-adapt.com.
The Turbo 400 3-speed automatic was an option introduced in 1964 in Cadillacs and Buicks before appearing in first generation Camaros. It was perhaps GM's most popular performance transmission that generated a minimum of 450 lb.-feet of torque, according to novak-adapt.com.
By 1983, according to high-impact.net, GM replaced the standard 4-speed manual transmission with a 5-speed version and the Turbo Hydramatic 700R4 automatic. The 700R4 was matched with custom high-performance Camaros to handle 450-horsepower V-8 engines.
The 1993 and later Camaros were equipped with the optional Borg-Warner Tremec T56 6-speed manual transmission that also was popular in the Chevrolet Corvettes. It was made of aluminum die cast as a weight reduction measure and used a hydraulic clutch instead of mechanical, according to standardtransmission.com. The Aston Martin V-12 Vanquish also used the T56.
An offspring of the T56 was the Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual used in the 2009 and later Camaros, along with the 2009 Corvette Z1. It featured six forward speeds and one reverse speed, and had a torque rating of 600 lb.-feet. The TR6060 minimizes rpm drop between shifting and allows for greater traction at low speeds, according to egmcartech.com. The TR6060 has a 3.45 gear ratio.
Hydra-Matic 6L50 and 6L80
The 2010 Camaros, according to wilsonniblett.wordpress.com, are equipped with two optional automatics: the Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic with TAPshift for the LS and LT trim models, and the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic with TAPshift for the Super Sport SS models. Both have 3.27 gear ratios. GM's TAPshift feature allows the driver to upshift to generate more speed and for better control of the car.
Past and present Chevrolet Camaros are equipped with either a manual or automatic transmission dating to the car's inception in 1967. Early models featured the 4-speed manual and 2- and 3-speed automatics, but it soon became evident to General Motors that tougher, more versatile transmissions were needed to handle increasing horsepower and aggressive use by young owners.