By David A. Hakim
Images by David A. Hakim and General Motors
The ’16 Camaro is completely brand new from the ground up.
Three engines are offered: a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 275 hp, a 3.6L V6 pumping out 335 hp and a 6.2L LT1 V8 rated at 455 hp.
Two transmissions are available: a standard six-speed manual with GM’s new Active Rev Match technology and a Hydra-Matic 8L90 paddle-shift eight-speed automatic.
Each year at the SEMA Show, dozens of Chevrolet Camaros are customized with the latest innovations from specialty-equipment companies and displayed throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center. The specialty aftermarket continues to support the popularity of the Camaro by annually producing a huge array of products and enhancements. When it comes to the ’16 model, the excitement and interest in Camaro’s public release are high, and SEMA is currently working with Chevrolet to provide members with access to the vehicle before it officially hits the streets.
The ’16 Chevrolet Camaro was recently unveiled to more than 1,000 fans of the Camaro nameplate, which first made its debut in 1967.
The ’16 Camaro is completely brand new from the ground up and only carries over two parts from the outgoing model: the rear Bowtie emblem and the SS badge. Sharing GM’s “Alpha” platform from the Cadillac ATS, the Camaro sheds weight and mass due to the use of aluminum components throughout the chassis, frame and interior. The wheelbase has also been shortened from 112.3 to 110.3 in., which makes the ’16 Camaro more agile.
The ’16 model also signals a new era for the platform, as a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 275 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque will be standard in the LT models. There’s also an all-new 3.6L V6 available in the Camaro LT, pumping out 335 hp and 284 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the highest specific output of any naturally aspirated V6 in its class.
The SS comes standard with the 6.2L LT1 V8, which was introduced on the ’15 Corvette Stingray. The 6.2L LT1 was the first direct-injection small-block Chevy engine, and is rated at 455 hp and 455 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful Camaro SS powerplant ever offered.
All three engines feature a direct-injection fuel system and continuously variable valve timing. Both the 3.6L V6 and 6.2L V8 are available with a dual-mode exhaust, which features electronically controlled valves that bypass the mufflers under acceleration to allow drivers to personalize the exhaust sound from a “stealth” mode to a more aggressive “track” mode.
The LT1 engine is available with a standard six-speed manual transmission with GM’s new Active Rev Match technology that blips the throttle for perfectly timed downshifts. The other big news for the ’16 Camaro: the Hydra-Matic 8L90 paddle-shift eight-speed automatic is now available to deliver wide-open-throttle upshifts quicker than the dual-clutch transmission offered on more exotic sports cars.
The ’16 Camaro should be well received by tuners and modification shops, as the aftermarket will want to be ready with exhaust, engine, suspension, wheel and tire upgrades for customers looking to make a statement in personalizing their new Camaro.
“We followed Camaro customers around at car shows for the last several years,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “We took note of what the fifth-generation owners were doing with their Camaros, and what we noticed was they liked to customize their cars and each one was different. We think the performance parts aftermarket companies will really gravitate to the new 2.0L Turbo four-cylinder engine that is standard on the ’16 Camaro. You can take its 275 hp and really pump it up even more. I also think there are opportunities for restyling manufacturers as our Gen 5 Camaro customers loved to change their grilles and rebadge their cars to add even more personalization to their rides.”
The ’16 Camaro will be produced at GM’s Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan, starting in the fourth quarter of 2015.