Chevrolet made a marathon of the May 16 Camaro reveal on Belle Isle, and by the end of the day pulled back the wraps on the 2016 model that represents the muscle car’s sixth generation. The new Camaro features countless improvements over the outgoing model, but first impressions suggest Chevy did excellent work in performance while the four-cylinder turbo model and style changes follow the path of the 2015 Mustang to a lighter, lower dimension.
Chevy’s all-day affair ended with the unveiling of the 2016 Camaro around 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Six new powertrains arrived, with a turbocharged, four-cylinder model joining the party as expected. According to a company statement, the 2.0-liter engine will deliver 275 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque; the 3.6-liter V6 produces a maximum 335 horsepower and 284 pounds-feet of torque; and the 6.2-liter V8 packs a wallop of 455 horsepower with an equal amount of torque, making for the most potent SS to date.
Each engine comes with a choice of manual six-speed or eight-speed automatic transmissions (the Hydra-Matic 8L90 in the SS). At 188.3 inches in length, the sixth-gen Camaro is shorter than the previous model by 2.3 inches and also is lower (by 1.1 inch) than the previous model. All told, Chevy says the 2016 edition is lighter by at least 200 pounds, depending on the model.
Extensive wind-tunnel testing allowed for reduced drag in the LT models and more downforce in the SS, which boosted the most powerful Camaro to better lap times than the fifth gen’s 1LE model with track upgrades. Chevy promises the 2016 Camaro will make its way to dealerships in 2015.
Stylistically, it is difficult to look at the new Camaro in profile and not see some of the 2015 Ford Mustang looking back at you.
Chevy describes the 2016 Camaro as “sculptured” and “athletic-looking” as it covers its smaller, sleeker frame. The loss of two inches will mainly be felt in the back seat, making it less of an option for grownups, though that was never the point. As for the notorious visibility, it doesn’t appear as if the automaker remotely considered an upgrade in the redesign. (Again, few care.) Hints of the 2015 Mustang are easily recognizable in this Camaro’s profile, while from the front, there is no mistaking the snarling Camaro look.
In terms of performance, Chevy new muscle line trumps Mustang in horsepower in the six- and eight-cylinder models, while Ford’s EcoBoost reigns over the Camaro turbo four. Economy ratings might be to the advantage of the Mustang (32 miles per gallon), though Chevy was optimistic it could trump that model with its own turbo edition offering “at least 30 miles per gallon” (In any event, it’s the high-water mark for Camaro efficiency).
Does Chevy have a home run in the 2016 Camaro? There will need to be countless road tests before anyone can weigh in on the latest American muscle car. For now, it looks like GM’s pony at least came ready for battle.