In a day-long ceremony at Belle Isle in Detroit this weekend, General Motors introduced the sixth-generation Camaro. Here’s a quick and thorough rundown of the changes and features.
After several years of anticipation and weeks of teases and leaks, Chevrolet has formally unveiled the sixth-gen 2016 Camaro, which is scheduled to hit the showrooms sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. Because that’s how we do it here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, we’ll skip over the long-winded preambles and get right to the new and noteworthy on this latest Camaro.
Sharing the basic Alpha chassis platform with the current Cadillac ATS sedan, as expected, the 2016 Camaro is 188.3 inches long overall, approximately two inches shorter than the previous model. The wheelbase is 1.6 inches shorter at 110.7 inches; designers frankly note the tighter proportions came at the expense of rear seat volume. GM says the new package offers 28 percent more structural rigidity, while weight has been reduced 200 pounds, partly through the use of aluminum and mixed material construction. This would place the new Camaro’s curb weight at right around 3,500 lbs.
Three engines will be offered initially. From right to left: the base unit, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque; next, an all-new 3.6-liter normally aspirated V6 with 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque; and finally, the 6.2L LT1 V8 with direct injection and active fuel management, rated at 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. An electronically controlled exhaust system will offered, although its details have not yet been announced. There are two transmission choices so far: a six-speed Tremec manual with Active Rev Match, and an eight-speed GM automatic with paddle shifter.
A lower cowl offers better visibility than the gen-five Camaro, which some buyers found claustrophobic. Drivers can tune shifting, steering, and chassis calibrations from a mode selector in the center console, and there’s an LED ambient lighting system that offers interior illumination in 24 different colors.
The previous instrument panel drew praise for its ’69 Camaro-esque vintage styling, but proved to be a bit limited in utility value. The new IP ditches the retro theme for maximum functionality, with many operations accessed via the 8-inch high-definition display screen at the top of the center stack.
Front suspension is a modified multi-link MacPherson strut setup, while out back is an improved five-link IRS with reduced squat and enhanced lateral control. The rorty SS model will feature GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, big Brembo brakes, and Goodyear Eagle F1 run-flat tires on 20-in. wheels. GM engineers brag the new SS is quicker on a road course than the current Camaro with the 1LE package.
GM designers say the Camaro’s latest look is in part due to 350 hours of wind tunnel development, with much of the work focused on reduced drag and improved engine cooling. “From every angle, you’ll never mistake this for anything but a Camaro,” says design director Tom Peters. “We’ve taken that iconic design and amplified its proportions to reflect a more dynamic driving experience—like the T-shirt on a muscular physique.”
Only two items carry over from the previous Camaro’s exterior, GM designers assert: the SS badge and the gold bow tie on the deck lid. Ten exterior colors and five interior combinations will be offered. For the sixth-gen Camaro, production will be moved from Oshawa, Ontario to the Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan. Naturally, we’ll have more news and info on the latest Camaro as it develops.