Last week’s launch of the 6th Generation Chevrolet Camaro was the biggest thing to hit Detroit since Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
For everyone who traditionally passes over the fabled (and sometimes maligned) muscle car, the newest version is something to take notice of.
To better do battle with its closest competitor – the Ford Mustang – and to ditch its lingering reputation as a gas-guzzling lead sled, the 2016 Camaro has shed weight, length and undergone a careful restyle.
Underpinned by the taught Cadillac ATS platform, the Camaro will offer its first 4-cylinder engine in over three decades.
Unlike the rough and tepid ‘Iron Duke’ 2.5-litre that graced Camaros between 1982 and 1984, the 2016 Camaro’s smallest motor is a turbocharged 2.0-litremaking a very respectable 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
To put that into perspective, the new four makes 185 more horsepower than the dismal Iron Duke. Ain’t technology grand?
Filling out the range of engines are a direct-injection 3.6-litre V6 making 335 hp and a 6.2-litre V8 making 455 hp. All three engines can be paired with GM’s new 8-speed automatic, though a 6-speed manual remains available.
Chevy put Camaro #6 on a diet before taking off the wraps, shaving off over 200 pounds to make the vehicle sportier and more fuel efficient. A 1.5-inch shorter wheelbase and 2-inch shorter body helps those attributes even more.
GM estimates that the 2.0-litre version will make over 30 miles per gallon (U.S.) on the highway.
From a distance, the profile of the new Camaro seems pretty much like the old one, but up close the differences are legion. Every element of the design looks better than what came before.
According to GM, “only two parts carry over from the fifth-generation Camaro to the new Gen Six: the rear bowtie emblem and the SS badge.”
Refinement seemed to be the name of the game when it came time to sculpt this Camaro. There was clearly a need to make people who would never stop to look at (or consider buying) a Camaro suddenly stop and take notice of it.
A close friend of the author, whose heart belongs solely to the Dodge Challenger, responded with a “wow” upon seeing images of the 2016 Camaro.
In its coverage, Forbes magazine declared that the muscle car had become “a different animal” in the wake of the launch, what the new model’s nod to both tradition and modern advancements in efficiency.
After it goes on sale later this year, it would be shocking to not see sales figures rise for the Camaro. No doubt Ford is casting a wary glance in its direction, and Dodge too, for that matter.