The 2019 Camaro Needs More Power to Spur Sales
The Chevrolet Camaro isn’t selling well. In fact, the Chevy muscle car is posted some of the worst monthly sales numbers since returning late in 2009 for the 2010 model year, so it comes as little surprise that the 6th generation Camaro – introduced for 2016 – is already getting an exterior refresh for the 2019 model year.
Unfortunately, GM hasn’t offered up any information on the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro, but based on spy shots and rumors, we can make some guesses as to what to expect when the refreshed muscle car debuts.
New Face and Tail
First and foremost, it seems as though the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro will be getting a new front end and a new rear end. This is rumored to include new headlights, new taillights, a larger grille opening, a new rear bumper design and possibly a new rear spoiler.
Overall, the lines will all remain the same, but new front and rear lights, new sculpting out back and a new grille up front should freshen up the look of the Camaro. However, I don’t think that new lights and some other mild design changes are going to put an end to the lengthy sales slump by Chevy’s muscle car.
Even if Chevrolet makes big changes to the exterior styling and interior layout – which they don’t appear to be doing – there needs to be another change to draw in buyers. The bottom line here is if GM really wants to increase the Camaro sales numbers relative to the Mustang and Challenger, the company needs to add more power so the volume models – particularly the entry-level 4-cylinder and the SS V8.
Why the Camaro Needs More Power
Since the Chevrolet Camaro returned for the 2010 model year, it has offered more power than the Mustang in its base, SS and premium forms. In 2010, the Camaro V6 had 304 horsepower and the SS model offered 426 horsepower, while the 2010 Mustang offered 210 horsepower in V6 form and 315 horsepower in GT trim.
Over the years, the Mustang would receive gradual power increases and by 2015, the V6 mustang was only 23 horsepower behind the V6 Camaro while the Mustang GT offered 9 more horsepower than the standard 2015 Camaro SS. It was around that time when Ford took the lead in the muscle car segment and the Motor Company hasn’t looked back since them, easily leading the segment in sales for the past three years.
GM likely expected to see that change when the 2016 Camaro SS was introduced with 455 from the then-new LT1 while the Mustang GT still “only” had 435 horsepower, but that power gap wasn’t enough to help the Camaro battle back against the Mustang. In fact, since the new Camaro hit the market, sales numbers have gotten progressively worse and this mild exterior refresh isn’t going to change that.
What will change things is a power jump for the 2019 Camaro in every trim.
Power Needed for Success
Right now, the base model 2018 Ford Mustang comes with a turbocharged 4-cylinder (the V6 is gone) that offers 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque while the 2018 Mustang GT packs 460 horsepower and 420lb-ft of torque. The 2018 Camaro base turbo-4 offers 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque while the optional V6 packs 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. The Camaro V6 (shown above in Yellow) offers more horsepower but far less torque and the Camaro’s 4-cylinder falls well short of the Mustang turbo-4. Chevrolet needs to kill the V6 just like Ford did and increase the output of their turbocharged 4-cylinder significantly – offering at least the same power levels as the EcoBoost Mustang.
More importantly, the 2019 Camaro SS needs an injection of power to stand apart from the 2018 Ford Mustang GT. If Chevy could bump the power of the LT1 up into the range of 490 horsepower, it would offer more horsepower than the Mustang GT (460) and the Challenger SRT 392 (485). Also, based on the current output of the LT1, a bump to 490 horsepower would likely lead to a similar increase in torque, so with somewhere in the area of 490 lb-ft of torque, the new Camaro would offer a little more torque than the 392 Hemi-powered challengers (475) and gobs more torque than the 2018 Mustang GT (420).
Of course, Chevrolet might just go with the new exterior design and the new 10-speed transmission, but if that is the extent of the 2019 Camaro refresh – we can expect to see the Mustang and Challenger control muscle car sales.