Written by: Robert Nichols
After what seems like months of mildly irritating teases, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro has finally seen the light of day. The sixth generation Camaro has been revealed to be lighter, more powerful and boast more technology than ever before. We should also add better looking to that list. According to GM the only parts that remain unchanged from the fifth generation car are the bowtie emblem and the SS badge. So let’s dig in and see if the wait was worth it.
The most important aspect of the new Camaro will be the performance; this is a sports car after all. To start, the engineers put the Camaro on a treadmill to lose some of that excess fat. The crash diet netted a loss of 90 kilos or 200 lbs. This should equal to a more adept handler as well as better cornering, acceleration and braking performance – all aces in my book.
Next, Chevrolet has developed three new engines for its various trims. The spotlight will focus on the all-new 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that will hopefully make it a fuel-efficient vehicle with lots of low-end grunt. Chevrolet says its good for 275 hp and 296 lb-ft of torque, both of which are surprisingly low given the 2.3L four-banger in the Mustang makes 310 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. This relative lack of power is still enough to propel the car from 0 – 96 km/h in under 6 seconds and its enough for an estimated 7.8 L/100 km highway fuel consumption rating.
The next engine in the performance chain is a 3.6L V6 which, for the first time ever, makes use of cylinder deactivation. The naturally aspirated engine makes a stout 335 hp but a less impressive 285 lb-ft of torque. It will be very interesting to get these two side by side and see which engine offers the best real world performance. My money is on the turbo.
Finally, for those who believe “there is no replacement for displacement”, the 2016 Camaro SS will be powered by a 6.2L small block V8. It’s output of 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque make this the most powerful stock SS ever. It is also worth noting that the new SS will use Magnetic Ride Control for the first time and GM is so confident in the new suspension and chassis they claim it will deliver better lap times than the 5th generation Camaro 1LE which was in our regard, a track day monster.
The second most important aspect of any car is the looks. I know we were all taught never judge a book by its cover, but we never really believed that did we. In this case the cover looks good, very good in fact. The body is a little shorter, a touch lower and not quite as wide as the out-going model. The nose has been made to appear more focused, almost angry. Look closely at the roof and you notice it is no longer flat but instead has two raised portions lending an even racier look. Though I suspect this was more for aerodynamic properties rather than design aesthetics. Being an all-new model means there is a near endless amount of differences to rattle on about, thus I shall sum up by saying I love it. If you buy the Camaro you will have the option of 10 exterior colours, 5 different interior colour schemes and numerous other ways to customize your ride.
On the inside you will find a well laid out dash with the option of two 8” high definition display screens; one residing in the gauge cluster and the other in the center console. There is an overall sense of quality throughout and a noticeable lack of cheapness. An innovative use of space is using the rings around the air vents to control temperature and fan speed adjustments. By eliminating the need for conventional buttons the dash is less cluttered and the space appears more open. This interior was designed to help the driver stay focused on the task of driving and that is the best interior concept you can ask for.
I hate being teased. I am not sure if this is the result of some unresolved childhood trauma or the more likely fact that I prefer to be the teaser. Whatever the case may be, the months of agonizing are over and the spotlight has finally shifted away from the Challenger and the Mustang. There’s a new muscle car in town and frankly, we can’t wait to get our hands on one.