Chevrolet Camaro is an icon, a motoring legend whose only true rival is Ford’s Mustang. The rivalry between the two motoring icons dates back five generations. So, it was no surprise that literally weeks after Ford announced its new sixth-generation Mustang, Chevrolet went to the podium to announce its sixth-generation Camaro.
On paper, the Camaro would be a beast packed with power, agility and technology. It is a pity that General Motors (GM) South Africa remains mum on whether the new Camaro would be available to the southern African market. Industry speculations are that it would be, with pundits pointing out that GM South Africa did the announcement, and that Mustang that destined for southern Africa would need a competitor.
Speculation aside, the new Camaro would come with a choice of three engines, each offered with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed auto transmission. The list starts with a two-litre turbo, rated at 205kW and 400Nm, which according to GM South Africa would sprint from zero to 100km/h in less than six seconds at a nominal cost of less than eight litres per 100km.
Then there is a new 3.6-litre direct-injection V6 with variable valve timing and the ability to shut down one cylinder on each bank under light-load conditions. When firing on all six, however, GM quotes 250kW and 385Nm.
For true enthusiasts the car to drool over would the Camaro SS, which as always would be a road beast that would featuring a tweaked version the 6.2-litre LT1 direct-injection V8 first seen on the Corvette Stingray, featuring variable valve timing and cylinder shut-down (on auto-transmission models only).
In this format, it is rated at 339kW and 617Nm, making this the most powerful Camaro SS yet. The manual version now also has a ‘rev match’ sub-routine on the ECU that blips the throttle on downshifts.
The new drive mode selector offers three modes – Snow/Ice, Tour and Sport (with an extra “Track” setting on the SS only) that progressively sharpen throttle response, shift points on auto models, exhaust flaps, electric power steering and the optional magnetic ride control calibration.
All in all the new Camaro, that would be rolled in the market next year, is billed, by GM, to be faster, more nimble driving experience, enabled by an all-new, lighter architecture and a broader powertrain range.
The car would sit on Goodyear Eagle Sport all-season tyres wrapped around standard 18-inch wheels or an optional 20-inch wheels fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric all-season run-flat tires. The Camaro SS would have standard 20-inch aluminium wheels with Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 run-flat tyres.
The interior is completely new yet instantly recognisable. The instrument panel, for example, is a departure from the previous model, but retains the Camaro’s familiar dual-binnacle-style instrument cluster hood.
An available, segment-first LED ambient lighting system, integrated in the dash, door panels and centre console, offers 24 different colours, as well as fade and transition effects that spread across the interior. There’s even a theatrical “car show” mode that cycles randomly through the entire colour spectrum when the Camaro is parked.
The ambient lighting is one of eight attributes the driver can adjust using the Camaro’s new Driver Mode Selector– accessed via a switch on the centre console.