2016 camaro dash structure
Patrick Rall's picture

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Could Weigh Less than the Mustang

General Motors offered up their newest batch of details on the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro today and the most important bit of information is that the 6th generation Camaro will weigh at least 200 pounds less than the comparable outgoing model – which could put it in the same weight range as the 2015 Ford Mustang.

The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will ride on a new Alpha chassis platform that should make it lighter and more nimble, but until the newest statement from General Motors, we didn’t have any idea just how much lighter the 6th gen Camaro might be. While we still don’t have official curb weight figures, GM has stated that the 2016 Camaro will be at least 200 pounds lighter than the 2015 Camaro and the company even went into some brief detail as to how that weight reduction was achieved.

That 200 pound weight difference should make the 2016 Camaro better than the outgoing model in every way, with acceleration, braking, handling and even fuel economy likely to improve with a couple hundred pounds trimmed away.

“We kept the cornering confidence and control that make the Gen 5 Camaro 1LE so fun to drive, and added a greater sense of agility,” he said. “The new Camaro brakes harder, flicks into corners more quickly, and drives out of the corner faster. We expect it will set the benchmark in the segment and give many sports cars a challenge.”

How They Did It
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will ride on a similar Alpha chassis platform as that used for the Cadillac ATS coupe, but the new Camaro will have its own unique dimensions. It will be larger than the ATS, being both wide and longer than the compact Caddy, but it will still likely have smaller dimensions than the outgoing 5th gen Camaro. That cuts some weight from generation to generation, but the GM engineers went even further to lighten up the 6th gen Camaro.

The image above shows the skeleton of the dash board of the 2016 Camaro, which is now comprised heavily of aluminum and that cut 9.7 pounds from the total weight. Also, the front and rear suspension assemblies are made entirely of aluminum, with some models using a “rigid composite material that’s even lighter than aluminum”. There is no indication as to which models they mean, but I suspect that the next gen super-Camaros (ZL1, Z28) could have composite suspension goodies that reduce the curb weight even more. GM hasn’t stated how weight the shift to aluminum has saved, but the total weight of the suspension setup is down by 21%.

Facing the Competition
If you look back to 2013, the Ford Mustang had a fairly substantial weight advantage over the Chevrolet Camaro, but when the 2015 Ford Mustang was introduced with a slightly higher curb weight than the outgoing models, that advantage got a bit smaller. With today’s announcement that the new Camaro will be at least 200 pounds lighter, it seems as though the Mustang’s weight advantage could be almost completely gone.

We don’t know for sure how much the new Camaro will weight, but we know how much 2015 models weight for both the Mustang and the Camaro. The 2015 Ford Mustang V6 fastback weighs 3,526lbs with a manual transmission while the new Mustang GT fastback tips the scales at 3,704lbs with the manual transmission. The 2015 Camaro 1LS V6 with the manual transmission weighs 3,719lbs and the 2015 Camaro 1SS with the manual gearbox weighs 3,908.

If you take the 2015 Camaro numbers and subtract 200 pounds from each, the 2016 Camaro V6 could weigh around 3,519lbs while the Camaro SS could weigh around 3,708lbs. Based on those very simple calculations, the base model Camaro might be lighter than the base model Mustang while the V8 Camaro would be just a few pounds heavier than the Mustang GT. Mind you, the Camaro is promised to lose more than 200lbs, so if that number is closer to 210lbs, the 2016 Camaro could very well weigh less than the 2016 Mustang across all of the high volume trim lines (non-Shelby).

The next batch of teaser images of the 2016 Camaro is set to debut on April 9th, but hopefully we will learn more about the 6th generation Chevrolet muscle car before then.

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