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General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra is a huge Camaro fan and it was evident Saturday, as she spent extra time viewing hundreds of Chevrolet Camaros parked on Belle Isle that were part of the automaker's special 2016 Camaro reveal.

Shortly after the debut, Barra was seen talking with Camaro owners, diet Coke in hand. Barra, who says the car is one of her favorites of "all time," also spent time talking to customers and car owners before the unveiling.

"When the red one rolled out, I literally got goosebumps," Barra told reporters following the debut of the sixth generation muscle car, with hundreds of Camaro owners and fans on hand. "I'm in this business for 35 years, but I got goosebumps."

Barra said she has driven the new Camaro and said the coupe is more refined, even more enjoyable to drive than the fifth-generation She said it sets a new bar for muscle cars.

"It's true to that Camaro (heritage), that it hugs the road, it's performance," she said. "But again, it's a notch up. … 200 pounds lighter and all the work that's been done in the design."

The redesigned 2016 Camaro goes on on sale in the fourth quarter this year and will be built at GM's Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant.

Chevrolet says 63 percent of buyers of the fifth-generation Camaro were new to Chevrolet. The bowtie brand expects to continue to draw in new customers.

"Every single inch of the car has been focused on what the customers want," Barra said. "We're earning that next generation and people will see that it truly is an all-new Camaro."

Barra said Camaro is an iconic vehicle for Chevrolet, a head turner that people slow down to look at.

"I'm confident when people get in and drive this car, not only will it delight and be something that current Camaro owners want, I think we're going to bring in an all new customer as well," she said.

mburden@detroitnews.com

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