Regular Production Option
This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This article possibly contains original research. (December 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A Regular Production Option (RPO) is a General Motors standard coding for vehicle configuration options and began in 1970. These codes are a combination of 3 alphanumeric characters and refer to a specific option or modification to the vehicle. These codes signify how the vehicle is built during production and thus the specific configuration of a vehicle as it exits the factory up to and including the paint color can be described by specifying the base model and the complete list of RPO codes used during production. Even a vehicle with no extra-cost options will have some RPOs, as information like the engine type and exterior paint color are always specified.
A few RPO codes have become notable enough that they have been used as model names. The Camaro Z28 name came from an option code which specified a performance-oriented configuration. This happened again with the Corvette Z06 models. Although most RPO codes that are promoted to model names are appearance packages only. And are in no way speed-oriented. For example, you could buy an EXTREME S10 with a 2.2 liter engine. Also in the 80s you could get a Z28 Camaro with 2.5, although this was rare. Another misconception if that of the Z71 off-road suspension code for trucks. Again it is only an appearance packages. And although it always came with 4X4, you could hypothetically order a 2 wheel drive Z71. It became notable enough that the code was promoted to a model name, turned into a logo and applied as stickers onto the rear quarter panel of vehicles with the Z71 package.
Many RPO codes have been reused over the years. For example, the ZR1 performance option was available for the Corvette for the 1970, 1990 through 1995, 2009, and 2019 model years. In some cases (such as this), the RPO specifies a package with similar function (in this case performance) to previous uses of the code. For RPOs that never became notable the code may be reused for entirely dissimilar options.