Chevrolet has taken the wraps off of the 2016 Camaro, its brand new sports car for the everyman. Instantly recognizable as a Camaro, the sixth-generation car is tauter and more aerodynamic than the outgoing model, while numerous changes to the suspension, chassis, and more should make it a more rewarding drive, too. Meanwhile there’s also an engine surprise under the hood.
It’s based on GM’s Alpha architecture, shedding more than 200 pounds over its predecessor but with almost three-quarters of the components unique to the Camaro. There’s optional Magnetic Ride Control suspension, a first for Camaro, on the Camaro SS, while all of the cars will get a Driver Mode Control that tweaks things like how aggressive throttle response is and whether the dual-mode exhaust is growling or bellowing.
The new car earned its chops in the wind tunnel, Chevrolet sometimes putting engineering models in for more than 24 hours at a time as it balanced design with slipperiness and downforce. It led to some surprisingly significant changes, too: tweaking the angle of the front grille from 20-degrees as in the original design to 13-degrees on the production car boosted engine cooling airflow by 1-percent.
A belly-pan that stretches underneath the car for half its length, meanwhile, works in partnership with new spats ahead of the front wheels. Together, they cut lift by 30-percent on the Camaro SS, without requiring any active aero aids.
No Camaro would be complete without a V8 option, and Chevrolet went dipping into the Corvette Stingray for tis 6.2-liter LT1. Power figures aren’t final, but we’re expecting something in the region of 455 HP and 455 lb-ft of torque.
As for the V6, there’s a 3.6-liter engine with direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, and active fuel management which can shut down certain cylinders to improve economy when full power isn’t required. At its best, though, the V6 should manage around 335 HP and 284 lb-ft of torque.
Meanwhile, there’s also the return of the four-cylinder engine to the Camaro, this time around with a turbo to keep things interesting. The 2.0-liter Turbo is expected to muster 275 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque, and be the entry-level car. Chevrolet is expecting 30mpg or better on the highway.
Inside, the dashboard can be equipped with up to 8-inch displays, and other options include wireless phone charging and MyLink infotainment. Chevrolet will also offer what it’s calling “Interior Spectrum Lighting” with 24 different LED lighting themes.
Four transmissions will be offered. The four-cylinder a V6 will have a choice of a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic, while the V8 will get a 6-speed manual with Active Rev Match, or an 8-speed up-spec’d auto.
Suspension uses a new, multi-link MacPherson strut front suspension while at the back there’s a new five-link independent setup. Brembo brakes are optional on all cars and standard on the Camaro SS, and the SS also adds integrated brake cooling ducts and a unique hood with functional air vents.
Drivers might be excited by what Chevrolet are calling more intuitive controls, including a flat-bottom wheel for the variable-ratio electric power steering and more readily-twiddled climate control adjustment built into the vent surrounds themselves. A reversing camera is standard-fit, while parking assist sensors will be an option.
Exact launch details haven’t been shared, but Chevrolet expects the new 2016 Camaro to be on forecourts before the end of the year. Pricing will be released closer to that point, but we’re told to expect something in the same ballpark as the existing car, which kicks off at around $23,000.
Stay tuned, we’ll have much more on the new 2016 Camaro – and what makes it special – coming up soon.