Our muscle cars are all middle-aged. The Mustang turned 45 back in 2009, and will be 50 before we know it. Now, the Camaro is throwing its own 45th birthday bash with the 45th Anniversary special edition.

Fortunately neither the Camaro nor the Mustang are growing soft around the middle as they age: the 45th Anniversary Edition package, available on 2LT (V-6) or 2SS (V-8) trims, gets an upgraded 323-horsepower version of the LFX V-6 engine, which will be common to other 2012 V-6 Camaros as well.

The unique elements of the 45th Anniversary Edition are interior and exterior design elements, including: unique hood and deck stripes; badges on the front fenders; 20-inch dark silver wheels; dark silver trim around the fog and tail lights; Jet Black interior with leather-trimmed seats bearing the 45h Anniversary logo; white instrument panel and door trim inserts; red, white, and blue stitching throughout the cabin; and a unique steering wheel and sill plates with more 45th Anniversary logos.

In addition to the power bump, the 45th Anniversary Edition also shares in the rest of the 2012 Camaro's upgrades: a new FE4 suspension package on SS Coupe models brings retuned dampers, solid 23/24-mm front/rear anti-roll bars, 20-inch aluminum wheels and 245/275 front/rear tires. A rear camera system is also available for 2012.

If you're wondering how Chevy got the 11 extra horsepower out of the LFX V-6 engine while dropping 20.5 pounds from its weight, the answer is a fairly comprehensive tweak session: the cylinder head, intake ports, and valves have all been optimized in design to flow better; a longer duration intake camshaft helps take advantage of the flow; a new fuel pump and "optimized flow" fuel injectors feed the engine better; and structural improvements plus lighter components save the weight.