2021 Camaro Sales So Bad Chevy Kills Planned Z/28 Return

It seems a shame that the demise of the Camaro is so slow and by little cuts at a time. The latest cut is the planned Z/28 option which was predicted to come for the 2021 Camaro and was to be a whopper. Plans were for a flat-plane crank 5.5-liter V8. That’s what is planned for the upcoming Z06 Corvette

Chevy has shelved the 2021 Z/28 Camaro

A red 2018 Chevy Camaro, one of the best used sports cars for summer
2018 Chevy Camaro | Chevrolet

Now the Z06 has been pushed back and the Z/28 Camaro has been shelved. With an expected 600 hp and natural aspiration, the Z/28 would have been a desirable and fitting sendoff. And everyone would know it’s coming with that thumping flat-plane crank. 

All of this bad news is courtesy of Motor Trend. The M/T source also had more bad news to share. With the Z/28 option, there would have been a choice of a manual transmission. But don’t plan on a manual for the Z06 Corvette-that would require an entire transaxle redesign. Stuffing a manual into a rear-drive Camaro, however, would have been a cinch for Chevy.

We question the reason for the Z/28 cancellation

The silver-black-and-gold NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 next to a silver road-going 2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 next to a 2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 | Chevrolet

The part we question is the reason. According to the source the Z/28 was killed because of the “botched Camaro update.” What that means is the updated look that debuted back in 2015. We were there at the unveiling in Detroit and everyone at GM seemed very high on the sixth-gen look. Now, not so much.

At least, that was our observation. The design team, overseen by veteran designer Tom Peters, took pains to explain and point out the dancing sheet metal surfaces and slightly smaller package. By then, the fifth-gen Camaro had been criticized for its bloated size. So the sixth-gen exhibited a revised look with a downsized package everyone agreed was much better. 

But sales figures can change minds quickly. The Mustang and Challenger continue to see brisk sales while the Camaro is just not selling well. Now with the chip shortage, the Camaro has done its fair share stopping production to keep chip supplies available for the better-selling GM products. 

With electrification at GM, the Camaro has been put on the back burner

1969 Camaro in Hugger Orange
1969 Camaro | GM

We’ve brought you other Camaro cuts that have happened since the 2021 version began production. Without some of the goodies Chevy had planned for the last of the Camaros, it would have been a fitting end to one of the most iconic Chevy models ever. Now, GM has bigger fish to fry with electrification and chasing stock valuation. 

We keep saying that 2021 or 2022 at the latest will be the end of the Camaro. GM keeps saying it will continue at least until 2024. Sales of the Camaro have never met those of the fifth-gen and continues a steep decline. 

Sales of the 2021 Camaro are dismal

2022 Chevy Camaro pace car in blue
All three Chevrolet pace vehicles have a racy red, white, and blue theme inspired by the 2021 Daytona 500 logo. The Corvette-exclusive Rapid Blue color is featured on each vehicle and will make its debut as an available option on the 2022 Camaro. (HHP/Harold Hinson)

Last year the Camaro sold just under 30,000 worldwide. At its present rate of sales, it looks like it will be well under 20,000. There comes a point at GM when the diminishing returns are not worth the effort. 

We are approaching that point. With the stripping down of options and packages, it is best to quietly kill the Camaro and leave a legacy of greatness instead of what Chevy is doing to it now. 

RELATED: 2020 Camaro Sold Like Crap: When Will Chevy Kill It Off?