The new sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro has been unveiled, marking another installation of the favourite pony car from General Motors (GM). Offered in LT and SS variants, the “Camaro Six” will go on sale later this year.
The styling is still evolutionary than revolutionary, and none of the body panels are carried over from the previous Camaro. In fact, the sixth-gen Camaro is a wee bit smaller than its predecessor when you whip out the measuring tape to compare.
The new Camaro cuts a leaner appearance thanks to the exaggerated design elements such as the sculpted bonnet and the muscular rear haunches. It’s not merely for looks too, it’s a result of 350 hours worth of testing in the wind tunnel. For example, the front fascia incorporates an air curtain to reduce drag around the wheels, and the bonnet vents on the Camaro SS function to cool the engine down while reducing front lift at the same time.
The interior gets a revamp with more techno-gadgetry. The air-cond controls are now integrated into the rings surrounding the air vents, while the mechanical hand brake has been replaced by a smaller electronic parking brake toggle in the center console. The latter frees up crucial space around the center console, which is particularly useful in stick-shift Camaro so the driver will get more room to work with the lever.
There are two 8-inch screens in the new Camaro. The one on the dash displays the interface to the new MyLink system, while another one sits under the dual-binnacle-style instrument cluster hood to provide various details such as the navigation and the car’s performance information. Other than that, the new Camaro features a segment-first LED ambient lighting system in 24 different colours with multiple transition effects for some visual drama.
Underneath the skin, lightweight materials are used to cut the flab by at least 90kg beside increasing the structural rigidity by 28 percent. Combined with a new suspension system that consists of a multi-link MacPherson strut front suspension and a new five-link independent rear suspension, together with the equally-new Drive Mode Selector, the new Camaro is claimed to provide a better drive with improved handling. Also available in the Camaro SS is the Magnetic Ride Control that automatically adjusts the damper settings for an optimum ride comfort and control.
What’s more important is under the bulging bonnet. A range of powerplants are offered in the new Camaro, ranging from a turbocharged 2.0-litre all the way up to the bare-chested hairiness of the 6.2-litre Small Block V8, and a choice of a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed auto transmission.
The 2.0-litre turbo powers the most fuel-efficient Camaro ever, delivering an estimated 7.8 litres per 100 km according to GM. It produces 275 hp and 400 Nm of torque, enabling it to transport the Camaro from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 6.0 seconds. There’s active noise cancellation to lessen cabin noise, but a switchable engine sound enhancement is also available on cars that are fitted with the optional Bose sound system.
The mid-range Camaro gets an all-new 3.6-litre V6 with Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation function. With 335 hp and 385 Nm of torque, it’s claimed to produce the highest specific output of any naturally-aspirated V6 in the segment.
Next, the top-of-the-line Camaro SS receives a 6.2-litre LT1 V8 from the Corvette Stingray that has been slightly reworked to suit the Camaro’s architecture. The direct injection V8 is equipped with variable valve timing, as well as Active Fuel Management on cars with automatic transmission. This is their most powerful Camaro SS ever, with 455 hp and 617 Nm of torque.
Unlike the turbocharged Camaro, the V6 and V8 Camaro feature mechanical sound enhancers and a dual-mode exhaust with electronically controlled bypass valves. A few settings is provided from the engine sound management where the driver can choose to make their Camaro purr in the lowest “stealth” mode or let the V8 sing its lungs out in the highest “track” mode.
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