2016 Camaro Revealed
May 16th, 20152016 Camaro Revealed
By Jim Campisano
Chevy unleashed the 2016 Camaro at Belle Isle Park in Detroit and it is destined to be a supercar for the masses. Three engines will be offered, a 275-horse turbocharged four, a naturally aspirated V-6 making 355 ponies, and the SS with no less than 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque. It comes dressed in a sexy new body, an evolution of the successful fifth-gen, but Camaro through and though. All engines are available with either the 6-speed stick or 8-speed automatic.
“We wanted to build a car of tomorrow, not a car of yesterday,” explained Mark Reuss, GM executive GM vice president of product development, taking a not-so-subtle swipe at the 2015 Mustang’s retro exterior.
The rear quarter-window treatment was reworked at the behest of GM CEO (and Camaro enthusiast) Mary Barra (and tens of thousands of others) for better better outward visibility. Retained is the current machine’s brawny appearance., which if anything is even more muscular. If you were looking for a kinder, gentler F-body, you will be disappointed. If you were hoping for a reincarnation of the ’69 Camaro, you came to the wrong place.
For those who were distressed by the 2010-2015’s portly curb weight, the sixth-gen is trimmed down by at least 200 lbs, though one person told us it could be closer to several hundred lbs lighter. This gives the SS the kind of power-to-weight ration that should have it knocking on the low-12s in the quarter-mile, possibly 11s in good air with the new 8-speed automatic.
The interior is 100 percent revamped, too. Perhaps the most criticized part of the previous generation, it’s modern and swaddled in better materials, with lots of gadgets, including a program that allows different colors of ambient lighting. There’s even a “car show” mode that allows you to have them to change at random while the car sits.
For those who struggled to fit in the previous Camaro, Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser promises that despite the car’s outward dimensions, the interior is larger and can accommodate larger bodies more easily than the fifth-gen. Interior room has been maximized.
The so-called base Camaro has a 275-horsepower turbo four producing 295 lb-ft of torque. This is not up to Ford’s Ecoboost 4 standards, but it was planned to be a high-volume unit that knocks down 31 mpg on the highway. Unlike the Mustang’s V6, mostly designed to end up in rental fleets and as a bargain edition, the high-feature V-6 in the Camaro makes 335 horsepower and for the first time gets cylinder deactivation for improve highway mileage. You can get every interior option with any engine, so there’s no penalty for getting a non V-8 F-body.
The Camaro SS V-8 is for the first time equal in output, both on paper and reality, to that of the Corvette Stingray, and it gets the Corvette’s wonderful 8-speed automatic. Active exhaust is an option. As those Stingrays are legit 11-second cars even in lousy air, we expect the SS to be knocking on that door as well.
Suspension-wise, all Camaros come with independent rear suspension and Brembo brakes. The magnetic ride from the current Corvette and previous ZL1 is optional on the SS for the first time. While the car is based on GM’s Alpha platform, 70 percent is unique to the Camaro. According to Chevy, the SS is already turning laps faster than the currect 1LE, itself an accomplished track car, and the SS should be a much more compliant vehicle on the street.
“Redesigning the Camaro is thrilling and challenging all at once, but the secret is to offer something more,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development. “For Camaro enthusiasts, it retains iconic design cues and offers even more performance. For a new generation of buyers, the 2016 Camaro incorporates our most innovative engineering ideas with finely honed performance and leading design.” Only two parts carry over from the fifth-generation Camaro to the new Gen Six: the rear bowtie emblem and the SS badge. If you’re looking for a T-top-equipped IROC-Z, you’ll get it “right before the Camaro wagon comes to market,” joked Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser. Otherwise, there should be something for everyone. There’s a convertible in the pipeline (we’re guessing a spring release), as well as more powerful and track-oriented editions to take on the Hellcats and GT350s of the world. The first sixth gens will be on sale sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.