The cars we loved.
One of my favorite car spectator sports centers around the speculation that comes with new generations of car models. Some of course are more exciting to ponder than others. Cars like the Mustang and Camaro get considerable press when major changes are coming. Often the car companies themselves withhold information or leak small tid bits in an effort to create buzz around their products.
One such car the Chevy Camaro now will exchange the spotlight given to the recent Mustang redesign. More is at stake for the Camaro considering that it out sold its Ford rival consistently for many years. That was the case when I was a teenager as more American seemed to fall for the bigger more American-like proportions of the third gen Camaro over the newly Euro influenced Mustang.
We were told that the next Camaro would be built on the smaller Alpha platform, one shared by the Cadillac ATS. The current car’s Australian developed Zeta architecture explains it’s heft and odd roof lines. A smaller lighter Camaro should be as nimble as Mustangs were in the past compared to the always portly F bodies. It also means that the Camaro might go international or at least be more accepted in Europe where smaller is more popular (if not better).
For anyone who has sat through the Transformer films, a glimpse of what the next Camaro had become a tradition of a sort as the Bumble Bee character would take the form of the Camaro of the moment. His last transformation was a familiar looking yellow car with revised front and rear end clips. This would eventually become the slightly revised 2015 model.
A smaller Camaro has ignited the imagination of the auto press. Will it have classic cues from another generation? Some have suggested a design that combines the second generation with the current car. By far the most attractive scenario as depicted in the Dave O’Connor illustration below. Others see it as a hybrid of 2001’s Ferrari-like front end with the current car. One of the latest speculations centers around a futuristic concept with Corvette design cues.
Either way it should be lighter and handle as well or better than the ATS which is a class leader in many respects. Engine choices are expected to remain the same, but it would be interesting to see if GM matches Ford’s EcoBoost with a souped up turbocharged version of the engine used in the Buick Regal GS or some future Cruze SS.
As long as the Dodge Challenger remains the biggest and heaviest of the pony cars, the Mustang and Camaro will have the # 1 and 2 spots to fight over at stoplight sprints. Of course the Challenger SRT Hellcat is in a league of it’s own, but the Camaro has a Z28 to counter and Ford’s new generation Shelby Mustangs are soon to follow.
For most people the base Camaro’s 323 hp V6 more than gets the job done. It’s the reason the Camaro was so popular. Sure the 580 hp V8 cars are impressive, but with a starting price in the mid 50k range, its out of reach of most buyers. That’s not even considering the Z28 which costs as much as the Corvette.
If Chevy can get the details right and connect to the right heritage cues, the Camaro could continue its dominance over the Mustang in the showroom. Maybe Chevrolet waited to get the Camaro right before rolling out a brand new one in a hurry. 2017 will be the 50th anniversary of Chevy’s pony car so either way there should be a all new Camaro coming later this year or next.