As GM truck and SUV sales continue to rise in 2018, the automaker’s flagship muscle car has trended in the opposite direction. Through June (GM’s latest report), Chevrolet Camaro sales had fallen 31% in 2018. Not only did that leave it way behind both Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger; it also set Camaro up for its worst year since 2002.
By the looks of the many updates and price changes for the newly refreshed Camaro, Chevy seems intent on changing the story for the rest of the year. Here’s a look at everything that’s new in the 2019 model, including the latest pricing information available.
1. Major styling changes
You can’t glance at a ’19 Camaro SS without noticing the overhaul of the front end. There, you’ll find an enlarged grille below a taller hood, a completely different fascia with the Chevy emblem in the center, LED headlamps and lighting flourishes, and an extractor-style hood.
On the back of the SS, the changes are just as pronounced, with a new fascia and rounded LED tail-lamps dominating your field of vision.
Camaro LT models also get new black mesh upper and low grilles, while the RS appearance package brings a polished black grille with chrome inserts, its own special rear fascia, and 20-inch wheels. New colors include Riverside Blue Metallic and Crush (a bright orange).
These exterior updates been available for all to see since the spring, yet many muscle car fans have yet to embrace the new-look Camaro. It’s safe to say the jury is still out here, though the new turbo model should convince its share of people.
2. Debut of Camaro Turbo 1LE
Chevy has track-focused 1LE models for the V6, SS, and ZL1 Camaro, but for 2019 it will bring that option to the 2.0-liter turbo (275 horsepower) model as well. The Turbo 1LE features an FE3 suspension with larger stabilizer bars, specially tuned dampers, and other modifications that the automaker claims improve lateral stiffness.
A Brembo brake package and a new Track Mode within the drive-mode selector add to its performance checklist. As far as the interior goes, a special steering wheel and shift knob come standard while Recaro seats come as an option. Turbo 1LE models only get a six-speed manual transmission.
3. Transmission and tech upgrades
In the Camaro SS, buyers get the option of a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, line lock, and special launch control. Otherwise, many of the changes for 2019 come in the way of tech upgrades.
As far as standard changes go, the 2019 Camaro’s big upgrade is GM’s Infotainment 3 system already in the 2019 GMC Terrain. This system is one of the easiest to use that we’ve tried and will be available with navigation.
GM’s Rear Camera Mirror, another solid tech upgrade coming to the next-generation Sierra, will also be available in the new Camaro and standard on SS and ZL1 models. Forward Collision Alert becomes a new safety option as well for this model year.
4. Fuel economy downgrades for 3 models
Camaro’s new 10-speed auto transmission didn’t bring a fuel economy improvement to the SS. In fact, it dropped its city rating one tick to 16 mpg (20 mpg combined). The manual model also dropped by 1 mpg in highway driving to 24 mpg (19 mpg combined).
Third, the 2019 Camaro V6 with manual dipped to 27 mpg in highway driving (20 mpg combined). Otherwise, the ZL1 holds at 16 mpg combined while the turbo four with auto transmission continues to lead the pack at 25 mpg combined.
5. Pricing drops
In the second year since the Mustang got refreshed, Ford raised the price of its lower-trim models. Chevy is taking the opposite approach to the 2019 Camaro. According to price lists reviewed by Cars Direct, several models will cost less this model year.
The list starts with the base Camaro LS, which will begin at $25,995 (down $905). Meanwhile, the 1LT trim drops $1,200, while V6 models will be only LT trim and up for 2019.
Otherwise, SS ($37,995) and ZL1 ($68,495) models will hold steady at their ’18 prices and the new Turbo 1LE will cost takers $4,500 for the upgrade.
Chevy says the 2019 Camaro will make it to dealerships in the fall.