I think it is something to do with browsing in a book shop on a rainy day while waiting for a train that I first came across Chevrolet in an ‘American Muscle Car’ photography book. I’ve been fascinated with them ever since.
So it is with great anticipation that I await the arrival of the new sixth-generation 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, a test version of which was recently spotted ahead of the official unveiling (scheduled for 24 June 2015) – a coincidence or maybe just a taster, either way it was a timely reminder to journalists to keep their eyes peeled.
It’s certainly got people talking about the new Camaro ahead of release and some cynics may say that Chevrolet need all the help they can as the Camaro has on occasions had a rough ride in the past when compared directly to its big rival, the Ford Mustang.
The sixth-gen’ Camaro is an altogether different proposition though; now sitting on the tried and tested General Motors’ Alpha platform, which has seen good the reputations of the Cadillac ATS and Cadillac CTS. Indeed, Chevrolet say that the chassis is 29 per cent more rigid than the fifth gen’ version and also 200 pounds lighter – and we all know what all that can mean when paired with some well tuned suspension.
Surprisingly, the major weight saving has come from the dashboard – the instrument panel frame has been replaced with an all aluminium unit – coupled with the 2016 Camaro featuring a new 5-link rear suspension unit.
Sounding good so far, and the engine line up is pretty decent too. The 4-cylinder 2.0 litre petrol engine is turbocharged and pushed out 271bhp with 295lb fit torque – and for putting your passengers into seat gripping mode, 0-60 is achieved in less than 6 seconds.
Of course, the one that grabs more attention is the 3.6 litre V6 – and with 330bhp this is the calibre of engine we expect to see under the hood of an American muscle car.
The more sensible 2.0 litre petrol engine delivers a pretty decent 30mpg Chevrolet say, though in reality you can expect less than that depending on where and how you are driving of course.
You get a choice of how you connect with the car physically; with the option of a smooth sounding 8-speed paddle shifter operated automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual.
Talking of sound, we all know what the Camaro is supposed to sound like, but Chevrolet also includes on-board sound enhancement technology, which is designed to accentuate those natural sounds of the engine.
We’re not done yet though, as if all this wasn’t enough to make the Mustang rear up startled, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS model gives you a 6.2 litre V8 small block with a whopping 449bhp and 455lb ft torque. It’s no new engine though, as it already has proven itself in the Corvette C7 Stingray.
The SS also features Magnetic Ride Control – Chevy’s automatic active damping – previously only available on the Camaro ZL1 as a package.
Tom Peters, Chevrolet’s Design Director, says that more than 350 hours have been spent testing the new Camaro shape in the wind tunnel. The result is a car that offers a little more of a fastback look to the rear with wider rear wheel arches too. The air curtain on the front is there to spread the air around the wheels reducing the drag factor.
The Camaro 2016 will go on sale in the USA in the latter part of 2015, but Europe will have to wait a little longer. Sadly, the car will not be available in right-hand drive though and engine options for Europe may be slightly different.
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