Thanks to CNBC, we know what the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro looks like a day early, and thanks to one intrepid insider, we have some of the car’s engine specs before anyone else. We also have GM’s internal talking points, which answer more questions and reveal certain issues they’re clearly concerned about addressing.
This insider memo goes into more depth about the new Camaro’s technology, design and performance, and answers a lot of questions that will be on the minds of enthusiasts everywhere. (We asked a GM official for comment on this memo, and he said he had none.)
For instance, they went with a turbo four at the bottom of the Camaro engine range, unlike Ford, because they thought that would make more sense to buyers. The V8 engine is now the LT1, sourced from the Corvette Stingray.
Curiously, the fake intrepid questions from the press include someone asking about the “Iron Duke” four-cylinder engines of the past, which is something that didn’t even cross our minds. Turbocharged fourbangers are so common and so far removed from those Malaise Era powerplants it doesn’t seem like a reasonable comparison.
And no, they don’t care about rear visibility, because previous-generation Camaro owners didn’t care about rear visibility if it came at the cost of the car’s silhouette. Sorry. You do get a standard backup camera though.
There’s still a lot left in the air, like the Camaro’s exact weight, price, on sale date, and plans for performance variants like the ZL1 and Z/28. But we’re off to a good start.
• All-new Driver Mode Control, which tailors up to eight vehicle attributes – from the dual-mode exhaust to throttle progression
• Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which is offered on the Camaro SS for the first time
• Segment-exclusive, Interior Spectrum Lighting that offers 24 different ambient lighting settings – and offers a “car show” mode
• High-definition, configurable color displays – including available dual 8-inch screens
• Available wireless phone charging and next-generation Chevrolet MyLink with new smartphone projection
• GM’s award-winning Alpha architecture enables a more nimble, responsive driving experience
o The new Camaro is at least 200 pounds lighter than previous model
o Although based on Alpha, 70 percent of the components are unique to Camaro
• The most powerful Camaro SS ever
o 6.2L LT1with estimated at 440 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque
• All-new 3.6L V-6 featuring direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and –for the first time – Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)
o Estimated 330 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque
• Most efficient Camaro ever, delivering more than 30 MPG highway
o New 2.0L Turbo with an estimated 270 hp and 290 lb-ft
• Handling and performance for the Camaro SS approaches that of the fifth-generation models’ track-capable Camaro 1LE package
• More athletic-looking, sculptured exterior that complements the tighter, leaner architecture
• Aerodynamically optimized design is the result of 350 hours of wind tunnel testing – with reduced drag on LT models and 30 percent improvement in lift downforce on SS
• All-new, driver-focused interior with intuitive controls, flat-bottom steering wheel, and high quality materials throughout
• Unique control rings around the air vents used for temperature and fan speed adjustments, eliminating the need for conventional buttons
Q: When will the new Camaro: start production / go on sale / arrive at dealers?
A: We are not ready to discuss specific timing, but can tell you we expect the first Camaros to arrive at dealers by the end of 2015.
Q: How much will the Camaro cost? Will it be more/less than the current Camaro?
A: We are not ready to announce pricing. I can tell you the current Camaro ranges from $23,000 to $43,000 and we expect the new Camaro will have a similar range.
Q: Why is the Alpha-based Camaro “only” 200 pounds lighter that the old Camaro? The fifth-gen was so heavy, it should have been 500 pounds lighter.
A: A 200 pound savings is actually quite remarkable: The Alpha-architecture is very mass-efficient, however the exterior dimensions of the new Camaro are within 2 inches of the predecessor. The team looked for every opportunity to save mass –from increased use of aluminum to shortening the suspension bolts to save a few grams. The result can be immediately felt behind the wheel – as the new Camaro feels incredibly light, agile, and fun to drive.
Q: How fast will the 2.0L Turbo/V-6/V8 be 0-60/¼-mile/top speed/Lap times?
A: It is too soon to discuss specific performance numbers, as we are currently finalizing the tuning and calibration of the new car. All I can tell you is the new 2016 Camaro SS is already posting better lap times than the 2015 Camaro 1LE.
Q: When will theZ/28 / ZL1 / 1LE arrive?
A: We are not ready to discuss products beyond 2016 model year for competitive reasons. However, I can tell you we plan to introduce new models and special editions at least every year.
Q: Why would you offer a four-cylinder in the Camaro? Didn’t you learn your lesson with the Iron Duke?
A: With the Gen2 Camaro, we learned buyers are not willing to sacrifice performance for fuel economy. As such, the new Camaro 2.0L Turbo is impressive performance: The 2.0L Turbo delivers 270 horsepower – which is more than any V-8 offered from 1971 to 1995 – and it’s paired with a lighter, more nimble chassis that makes the Camaro exceptionally fun-to-drive.
Q: Why are you offering the four-cylinder as your base engine, and V6 as an option, when Mustang offers the V-6 as their base, and their EcoBoost as an upgrade?
A: We felt 4-6-8 was a more logical progression for customers as they look for the balance of performance and efficiency that fits their needs. It’s important to note that Mustang positions their V-6 as a low-volume, low-feature model. To get a well-optioned car, Ford forces you to upgrade to the EcoBoost. We are taking adifferent tact, allowing customers to build a well-equipped Camaro with their choice of engines.
Q : Why didn’t you fix the rearward visibility for the next-gen ? That was the single biggest complaint for the Gen 5.
A: We talked to many Gen 5 customers about the visibility, and they made it clear they were not willing to accept changing the appearance of the Camaro’s iconic silhouette for the sake or rear visibility. We are using increased levels of technology to help with visibility, including a standard back up camera on all models, and available rear sonar.
What do you think of the new Camaro now?
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