Chevrolet is giving the sixth-generation Camaro a leaner design and a broader engine lineup as it tries to challenge the revitalized Ford Mustang for pony car sales supremacy.
Chevy introduced the car today at a trackside event expected to draw more than 1,000 Camaro fans here on Belle Isle Park. The Camaro goes on sale in the fourth quarter, in LT and SS trim levels.
The 2016 Camaro coupe retains the overall shape of the late 1960s-era cars, but loses some of the hard edges of today’s version. Its slightly reduced size and broader use of aluminum make it more than 200 pounds lighter than the current car, which General Motors vows will result in more nimble, responsive handling.
A 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo will serve as the base engine. Chevy also will offer a new 3.6-liter V-6 and a 6.2-liter V-8 that kicks out 455 hp and 455 pounds-feet of torque.
It also was launched into the nadir of the Great Recession and faced a new wave of rivals. The first Dodge Challenger in a quarter century had come out a year earlier, and Ford freshened the Mustang around the same time.
Yet the Camaro went on to steal the U.S. sales crown that the Mustang had held since 1985, and outsold the Mustang for six straight years through 2014, hitting a high of 88,249 deliveries in 2011.
Ford came back swinging in late 2014 with its first complete Mustang redesign in a decade, and the Mustang’s U.S. sales of 42,955 through April of this year breezed past the aging Camaro’s 24,229.
That sales race should tighten in coming years now that their product cycles are on roughly the same cadence, says Peter Nagle, a senior North America sales analyst for IHS Automotive.
IHS expects U.S. sales of the Camaro to grow to 80,000 next year and 91,000 in 2017.
The coupe is built on the same platform that underpins the Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans, an architecture that allowed those cars to be the lightest in their segments. The Camaro’s wheelbase shrinks 1.6 inches vs. the current car. Overall length is 2.3 inches shorter.
A convertible version of the latest Camaro is also planned, though Chevrolet won’t comment on timing.
GM says the 2.0-liter turbo will generate 275 hp and go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. It also will be the most fuel-efficient Camaro ever with an EPA rating of 30 mpg on the highway, GM says.
The new 3.6-liter will produce an estimated 335 hp and 284 pounds-feet of torque. Unlike the 3.6-liter on the current car, the new one will feature cylinder deactivation, which disables two cylinders under light loads to save fuel. It’s the first time the feature has been offered on the Camaro.
The 2.0-liter and 3.6-liter will come hooked to a six-speed manual transmission or a new paddle-shift eight-speed automatic.
New technology on the ’16 Camaro includes:
• A drive-mode selector, which calibrates transmission shifts, electric power steering and other controls for Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport and Track (only on SS models) modes.
• The first use on SS models of GM’s fast-responding Magnetic Ride Control damping system.
• An interior “spectrum lighting” feature that illuminates the dash, door panels and center console in 24 ambient effects.
via: Mike Colias