Regular Production Option
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This article possibly contains original research. (December 2015)
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 including the paint color. Thus the specific configuration of a vehicle as it exits the factory can be described by specifying the base model and the complete list of RPO codes. 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.
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.
RPO codes as model namesEdit
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. However most RPO codes that are promoted to model names are appearance packages only, and are not related to speed or engine performance. For example, in the 1980s you could order a Z28 Camaro with a 2.5 liter engine, although this was rare. Another misconception is related to the Z71 off-road suspension code for trucks: It became notable enough that the code was promoted to a package name, turned into a logo and applied as stickers onto the rear quarter body panel; but again it is not related to the drivetrain. And although it usually came with four-wheel drive, you could actually order a two-wheel drive Z71.