When GM lifted the veil on the all-new 2016 Camaro it was obvious the sixth-generation was not a radical redesign. Instead, it appears Chevrolet engineers and designers wanted to focus on a more refined approach and build off of an already successful formula.
“From every angle, you’ll never mistake this for anything but a Camaro,” said Design Director Tom Peters.
“We’ve taken that iconic design and amplified its proportions to reflect a more dynamic driving experience – like the T-shirt on a muscular physique.”
While obvious changes to the car’s front and rear fascias, such as a more distinct grill, new headlights, taillights and added creases are easy to see with the naked eye, the fact the car is riding on a completely different platform is not.
The 2016 Camaro will be built on GM’s Alpha platform, which also underpins the critically-acclaimed Cadillac ATS.
The wheelbase is now shorter by 1.6 inches and the car’s overall length is down by 2.3 inches with a height that is just over an inch lower than the previous generation. In addition, the Sixth-Generation Camaro has dropped more than 200 pounds while structural rigidity has increased by 28 percent.
What does this really mean though?
“Immediately, you will notice how much lighter and more nimble the Camaro feels,” said Aaron Link, Lead Development Engineer.
Due to the 2016 Camaro’s reduced weight, stiffer architecture and more powerful engines, the sixth-gen Camaro SS delivers faster lap times than the 1LE performance package in previous years.
The result is a Camaro that is more exhilarating.
“That feeling increases when you drive harder – it brakes more powerfully, dives into corners quicker and accelerates faster than ever,” Link said.
The standard engine in LT models is a four-cylinder, 2.0L Turbo that produces 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is said to hit 60 mph in less than 6 seconds.
Average fuel economy is 30 mpg on the highway.
An all-new 3.6L V-6 is the next available engine, rated at 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque, which is more powerful than comparable six-cylinders found in the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger.
The 3.6L V-6 will also feature cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy.
As the king of the hill, or at least until the new ZL1 and Z/28 models are released, is the SS that shares the same 6.2L LT1 V-8 with the Corvette Stingray.
The Camaro’s V-8 is rated at 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque.
Six-speed transmissions are available on all models with the V-6 getting the optional six-speed with Active Rev Match that comes standard on the SS. An eight-speed automatic with paddle-shift is also available on all models.
Brembo Brakes are standard on the SS but available on all models.
New to the Camaro SS for 2016 is GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, which up until now, was exclusive only to the ZL1.
Another improvement to Chevy’s latest generation pony car is a redesigned and “driver-focused” interior.
Materials and technology have all been upgraded and the dash cluster, in particular, appears to take inspiration from the latest Corvette.
Gone are the auxiliary gauges below the aged stereo, which both have been replaced with an available eight-inch touch screen.
Interesting looking air vents located in front of the shifter.
GM says the new center console and stack were designed for high-performance use. The design specifically reduces clutter and driver distractions while providing a contemporary look.
“Given the level of technology and performance, the interior had to be modern and driver focused.” said Ryan Vaughan, Interior Design Manager.
Typical to the outside, getting the inside to fit with the Camaro image was vital as well.
“Although the interior is an all new design, it is still instinctively recognizable as a Camaro,” he said.
So far, several things are clear about the 2016 Camaro: It’s lighter, quicker, and will handle better. Mark Reuss, General Motors Executive Vice President of Product Development, believes redesigning the Camaro was an exciting challenge.
However, their goal was to offer something more.
“For Camaro enthusiasts, it retains iconic design cues and offers even more performance,” he said.
2016 Camaro LT and SS models are set to go on sale later this year.