1986 Camaro 1986 Camaro Hot

1986 Camaro
“Camaro stretches the limits of today’s technology. In a golden age of performance, Camaro sets the pace.” 1986 Camaro sales brochure.
  • Due to increasingly low sales, the Berlinetta model was discontinued early in the year.
  • The coupe model was restyled with new exterior trims and the “grid” taillights that were introduced to the Z28 and IROC in 1985.
  • 1986 marked the beginning of new clear coat/base coat paint.

Muscle Car Specifications

Performance Model
1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC Z28
Engine Used
350ci/230hp
Zero to Sixty
6.8 sec
Quarter Mile
15.2 sec @ 91.2 mph

Muscle Car Comparisons

Muscle Car By Year
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While there weren’t drastic changes in the lineup this year, sales numbers were proving Camaro-buyers once again were interested in performance. It seemed that by 1986 the bad economy and the energy crises of the late 1970s were nearly forgotten. Both the IROC and the Z28 had great sales years, and the IROC production numbers far more than doubled the numbers of its original year in 1985, while the Z28 was quietly making a run at the numbers produced by the perennially best-selling Camaro model, the coupe. Total production climbed over 12,000 units this year to 192,219.

The new styling on the base-model echoed the move toward performances, or at least the appearance thereof, and mostly provided the car with a few sportier touches. Though the standard four-cylinder still came with 14-inch wheels, any V6 or V8 model was automatically upgraded to 15-inch wheels. And most buyers opted for the engine upgrade. Other changes on the coupe were new lower body striping, black mirrors and a recalibrated suspension.

The base engine was still the 2. 5 litre four-cylinder motor producing 88 horsepower, though this was easily the least popular option. While it was still being produced, the Berlinetta came standard with the 2.8 litre V6 that had been introduced the year before and produced 135 horsepower. The base V8 was a 5.0 litre engine producing 155 horsepower, and was available as an option for the coupe. Both the Z28 and the IROC came standard with a V8 that had been tweaked to produce 165 horsepower. Both could also be upgraded to the Tuned Port Injection 5.0 litre V8 that had been introduced the year before, though a cam change brought horsepower down from 215 to 190. These engines were only available with a four-speed automatic transmission.

In 1987, a new 5.7 litre V8 would be made available, and it has been reported that Chevy’s plan was to introduced them for the 1986 model but decided to wait. It is rumored that there were around 50 1986 IROC Camaros produced with this motor as test cars.

Coupe

The aforementioned changes giving the coupe a sportier look was likely a factor in the continued high sales numbers of the coupe. Total production for the year was 99,608, and the cars had a base price of $8,935.

Berlinetta

Discontinued during the middle of the production year, the Berlinetta had a total production of only 4,479 during 1986. Sales of the luxury model had been declining for years, and proved the aforementioned point that the public was more interested in a sporty Camaro than a luxury model.

Z28

The Z28 changed little from the previous year, though it and the IROC did receive a new speedometer that appropriately went to 145 MPH instead of the previous 85 MPH. Total production continued to be very high, and 88,132 Z28s were produced this year.

IROC-Z

Sales of the IROC also soared, and total production was 49,585, compared to 21,177 in its inaugural year in 1985. The car would be further distinguished the following year when that 5.7 litre engine was made available.

Pony Car Competition

Though no longer considered a pony car, former rival the Ford Mustang was continuing to produce more and more powerful cars throughout the 1980s. Throughout the late 70s and 80s, Camaro and Mustang would continue to fight to see who would come out on top concerning sales numbers. Though the Camaro had won the previous year, the Mustang prevailed in 1986, with nearly 225,000 cars produced.

But as far as actual pony cars are concerned, only the Camaro and its cousin the Firebird could still be placed into that category. At least until the Mustang was redesigned as a pony car once again four its fourth-generation, though that wouldn’t occur for another eight years.

Engine Specifications

TypeSizeCarbHorse PowerTourqe
LQ9 I4151ciTFI88 hp @ 4400 rpm130 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm
LB8 V6173ciMFI135 hp @ 5100 rpm160 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm
L69 HO305ci1x4bbl190 hp @ 4800 rpm240 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm
LB9 TPI305ciTuned Port Injection190 hp @ 4000 rpm285 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm
LG4305ci1x4bbl165 hp @ 4400 rpm250 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

Performance Statistics

0 to 60 mphQuarter MileEngineSource
6.8 sec15.3 sec350ci/230hpSTD Catalog of Muscle Cars
1986 Camaro
1986 Camaro

User reviews

Average user rating from: 3 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Looks 
 
4.7  (3)
Performance 
 
4.3  (3)
Parts Availability 
 
5.0  (3)
Collectability 
 
4.0  (3)
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1986 Camaro 2011-03-09 04:17:39 Eric
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Looks 
 
5.0
Performance 
 
5.0
Parts Availability 
 
5.0
Collectability 
 
5.0
Reviewed by Eric    March 09, 2011

86 IROC-Z28

I am 17 I live in georgia and I got my IROC z28 when i was only 12 years old. By far the best gift in my life but i have toped my car out going 145 and it still felt like i was just cruising going 60. My 86 still has all the origional parts except for the o2 censer, and throttle position censer but this car is one of the most spacious "cars" I have drove. I have leg room in this car and im 6,4 1/2.the onlything bad about the z28 is GASS!!! but the cheapest car to fix in the world.

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1986 Camaro 2009-07-15 22:54:52 saegutone
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Looks 
 
5.0
Performance 
 
5.0
Parts Availability 
 
5.0
Collectability 
 
5.0
Reviewed by saegutone    July 15, 2009

86 camero i-roc z28

i have my i-roc at the age of 17 and its still in good shape has not lost its touch

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1986 Camaro 2009-01-15 17:27:10 Jason
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Looks 
 
4.0
Performance 
 
3.0
Parts Availability 
 
5.0
Collectability 
 
2.0
Reviewed by Jason    January 15, 2009

86 IROC Z and still rocking

This was the year that the automatic was the performance model. Yeah, its true. Chevy was building automatics that could beat out sticks. This is still true today, but in 86 this was a new thing. Ford's manuel accually robbed power. Normally 10-15hp, because of poor transfer. Even in the new Challenger you see the same problem; but Chevy dosn't. They don't cheap out on performance, thats why they have the strongest fallowing. Anyway, in 85 the Corvette had shown what the new trans could do. So to show up the competion they made a IROC Z with a 350, not a 305 as they high performance model. The only trans that avilable was the auto. What? Along with four wheel disc brakes and a upgraded suspention, this car was truly an amazing car. The RS models only had 180hp, and had a old style suspention. Where the springs sit under the car, not inbetween the strut. I could go on with technichal mubo bow jumbo, but lets look at numbers. The RS had a lat g of .79(bad) the IROC did .86(GOOD) ; the mustang of the day did .82g. Also the RS had rear drum brakes. So not a good performance car. So know what you're buying. So for the first time the automatic was deemed the performance version. It used the TPI Vette motor, that made 235hp. This brought a 0-60 of 6.5 and a quarter mile in mid 15s. The top speed was over 145mph. The 305 5sp IROC made 215hp, it had a 0-60 of 6.7. Neither were bad.
I have driven the IROC 350 auto. It seems so ahead of its time. From the automatic latch, to the large interior. Unlike driving a stock 5.0, the IROC was very smooth. The handling was good; the performance was great for an auto. The car felt to be from the early 90s, not the mid 80s. Now this wouldn't take any later Camaro, but in comparison of the times its an awsome car. If you want a 80s stock Camaro, this is the style you want! Spacous, confortable, and smooth. With a lot of potental. You feel as if you are driving a modern car. The car dosn't fit like any Vette, later camaro/firebird, or stang. You feel kind of small in it, regardless you're size. The back seats seem cramped, while the front seats seem so big. The dash is hugged far to firewall. Giving tons of leg room. Almost to much, I mean this isn't a Caprice right?
That being said it isn't an LT, or LS engine. A 87-92 mustang 5.0 5sp would beat it in a straight away everytime; but thats not what this car tries to do. It can out handle and out brake anything for the money"." The car does feel alittle cumbersome and big at times, but all around isn't anything to make you aviod this car or anything.
It looks great as well. Expecially with the hood vents and T-tops.(maybe alittle to hickish, but it would be fun to be a good ole boy) Well the down side is all the extra parts it has is one more thing that will go bad. Power windows, t-tops, hatch latch, ect. Also the T-tops are a real pain to install in that hatch, unlike the slots put in for 97-02(Very Easy, and fast). It uses a bag method, which isn't that pretty either.
The car has its fun tendensies, but its not the exciting earlier ones, or later ones. The 86 auto though is a piece of automotive history and it looks cool. So if you like this style, I can't say anything bad about it. It is one nice car.

So if you have an IROC well you rock. Right? Crank up the Skinard and take the T-tops off!

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