Community Views on the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro

Since the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro debuted 12 days ago on Detroit’s Belle Isle, we have received a great many comments from readers who both love and hate the new design, so we reached out to a pair of Camaro community leaders to see what they think of the 6th gen Camaro.

Before the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was introduced at the private event in Detroit, we had heard enough and seen enough to know that the 6th gen wasn’t going to be a huge departure from the design of the 5th gen. Overall, I think that the 2016 Camaro is a sharp looking muscle car that will be faster than the outgoing models and, most importantly, I expect to see the new Camaro sell every bit as well as the 5th gen. It seems that the vast majority of our readers who took the time to comment agree that the evolutionary change, coupled with a revamped interior, a new engine lineup and a diet plan across the entire lineup will lead to great things for the 6th gen Camaro, but there are still some skeptics of the new design – including some folks within the devout Camaro community.

To get a better feel for what hardcore Camaro enthusiasts think about the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, I reached out to two guys who are among the most involved in the Camaro world – Brian Meissen and Chris Frezza. Brian is the founder or MIFBody.com, which runs the largest all-Camaro/Firebird show in Michigan while also being one of the largest Camaro/Firebird clubs in the state. Chris Frezza is the founder of CamaroZ28.com along with being one of the hosts of the CamaroShow.com podcast. Of course, both of these guys have owned (and still own) several Camaros, so it is safe to say that Brian and Chris each have their finger on the pulse of the Camaro community. Most importantly, both of these Camaros aficionados were at the debut of the new generation.

I asked each of these Camaro gurus the same basic questions and their answers are below.

Evolutionary Not Revolutionary
When the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was introduced with an exterior design which was clearly an evolution of the 5th gen (2010-2015) models, it spurred some unhappy comments from folks who wanted an entirely different look. I asked Brian and Chris what they thought about the somewhat gradual design change for the 6th gen Camaro, and this was what they had to say:

Brian: I think when people see the car in person they'll realize how different it really does look from a 5th gen. I really view the 5th to 6th gen transition much like the 3rd to 4th gen. The 4th gen was built on a modified 3rd gen platform, and in a lot of ways one could argue the 4th gen Camaro was a "rounded out" 3rd gen. Much the same, the 6th gen shares many of the styling aspects from the 5th gen but it really does look different in person.

Chris: I think that the changes that were made from the 5th Gen car to the new 6th Gen car are great! I think the 5th Gen was such a HUGE success, that the Camaro team wanted to build off of that and not go back and do something drastically different. The conclusion is a car that still resembles the immensely successful car from the last 5 years, but also a step forward in design. I also think that Chevrolet really listened to its customers as well. The V6 is going to lose almost 300lbs of weight and the SS over 200lbs of weight.

Community Input
in addition to asking Brian and Chris what they thought about the 6th gen Camaro, I asked them what they had heard from their massive communities of Camaro fans, as I wanted to know what the masses thought of this new look.

Brian: Community wise -- I think it's mixed. Many of the members on MiFBody haven't seen the car in person - they're seeing only the pictures. I think when more of them see the car in person it will change their mind. Exterior design wise, I think the front end looks really aggressive. Overall I think the redesign is a home run, and I think as more people see the car in person they'll fall in love with the new design as well.

Chris: The people I have talked to in the Camaro community both in person at the unveil in Detroit and also online feel about the same I do. The main difference I think is that some of those that I spoke to online think the car looks too much like a 5th Gen. What I tell them is wait to you see the car in person. When you see a 5th Gen right next to a new 6th Gen, you can tell how different the cars are right away.

Your Favorite Aspect
After hearing Chris and Brian shares very similar views both based on their own opinions and those of their communities, I asked them each what they viewed as being the best key aspect of the 2016 Camaro. Interestingly, their views differed, as Chris focused on the interior while Brian continued to sign the praises of the restyled exterior.

Brian: Exterior design wise, I think the front end looks really aggressive.

Chris: To me, the new interior design is the star of the car. Once again, Chevrolet listened to its customers. They are using higher quality material, and a more driver focused ergonomics in the car. The personalization aspect of the ambient lighting, to the exhaust is pretty darn sweet.

Overall Opinion
Finally, I asked Chris Frezza and Brian Meissen whether or not there were any aspects of the new 2016 Camaro that they didn’t like and, more importantly, whether or not they thought that the 6th gen Camaro would be a success.

Brian: Overall I think the redesign is a home run, and I think as more people see the car in person they'll fall in love with the new design as well.

Chris: The only thing that I didn't quite like or understand really is the badge placement in the front and back of the car. I guess it's going to have to grow on me as it just looks plain weird to me. I think as an entire package, the 6th Gen will be hugely successful and should leave off where the 5th Gen end in terms of sales. I wouldn't be surprised either to see a slight increase in new buyers for the 6th when they introduce the new 2.0L Turbocharged engine. 63% of Gen5 buyers were conquests.

So, while a handful of people have gripes about the next generation Chevrolet Camaro, this new generation GM muscle car clearly resonates well with the media, the folks at the head of the Camaro community and the vast majority of members within that community.

In other words, with the introduction of the 2016 Camaro, the horsepower wars are only getting more exciting. Even if you aren’t a Camaro fan, a better Camaro leads to a more improvements for the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger…so everyone wins!

A special thanks to Chris Frezza and Brian Meissen for taking the time to field my questions!

Share this content.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.