The covers have come off the brand new Chevrolet Camaro, GM’s new-generation muscle car rival to the new Ford Mustang.
Chevrolet has revealed its lighter, faster Camaro muscle car which will take on the new-generation Ford Mustang when it goes on sale later this year. The sixth generation Camaro is smaller in every dimension than the outgoing model and rides on the same Alpha platform as the Cadillac ATS instead of the Zeta architecture of the old model which was also shared with the Chevy SS sedan.
Thanks to greater use of lightweight materials like aluminium, the new Camaro is around 90kg lighter than the outgoing version which weighs in at a fairly porky 1687kg. The new model is still a long way off the 1500kg BMW M4, but the Camaro will obviously be a whole lot cheaper. Chevy also claims that weight savings have been made by using a new five-link independent rear suspension design.
Beneath the bonnet the Camaro can be specified with one of three engines. The base model employs a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit developing 271hp and 295lb-ft of torque with a 0-60mph time of less than six seconds. Naturally, the four-cylinder model is also the most fuel-efficient Camaro ever capable of delivering over 30MPG. The four-cylinder Camaro can also be optioned with a sound enhancement system to give a more sporty note to what would otherwise be a rather lacklustre soundtrack.
Second engine is the 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6 which develops 330hp and 284lb-ft. It also features cylinder deactivation for the first time. Chevy makes no performance claims of the V6 Camaro, but it’s probably a shade quicker than the four-pot version.
Of course there’s also a V8 engine in the Camaro SS and as expected it’s the 6.2-litre naturally aspirated LT1 from the Corvette Stingray producing 449hp and 455lb-ft. Again, there are no official performance figures, but the Camaro is lighter and more powerful than the 415hp Mustang GT and that car takes around 4.8 seconds to reach 60mph.
The SS also gets a few extra bits over the rest of the range including Brembo brakes, dual-mode exhaust system, adjustable dampers and 20-inch alloys instead of the standard 18s.
Gearbox options will include a six-speed manual DIY shifter and an eight-speed automatic with steering wheel paddles.
As for the exterior design, the new Camaro is obviously an evolution of the old model. It still features the ‘letter box’ grille, rear set cabin, fastback style rear end and muscular wheel arches. However the design of the new car seems a little tighter with sharper surfaces and creases to give an even more aggressive appearance.
Inside things are dramatically different from the old model and the Camaro almost does a decent impression of a Mercedes-AMG product – it looks pretty damn high quality in there. There’s the classic throw-back instrument display, but in between the speedo and rev counter there’s a eight-inch display which is supplemented by another eight-inch display in the centre of the dashboard. However, your eyes are immediately drawn to the two big air-con vents which are positioned in front of the gear lever – interesting move.
The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will go on sale later this year in left-hand drive markets, Chevy is yet to confirm whether the car will be offered with right-hand drive.