No All-Wheel Drive Camaro on the Way
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is built on the same chassis platform as the Cadillac ATS coupe and I believe that similar chassis – and the fact that the ATS is offered with all-wheel drive – caused this internet rumor to come about. It seems to me that the discussions of an all-wheel drive Camaro popped up when the Dodge Challenger was shown off with all-wheel drive at SEMA, at which point Camaro fans pointed out that all-wheel drive seems far more likely. After all, the drivetrain architecture is already in the company portfolio and, best of all, it fits in the chassis!
It seems like something that could work, but would General Motors ever do that? The Camaro has always been one of the ultimate rear wheel drive performance cars – would the company really stray that far from the muscle car mentality?
It seems that the answer is a resounding “no”, according to Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser.
No AWD, Diesel or Hybrid Camaro
While speaking with AutoGuide at the Chicago Auto Show, Oppenheiser stated that while “he has the keys” to the Camaro program, we shouldn’t expect to see an all-wheel drive Camaro, nor will we see a Camaro with a hybrid or diesel drivetrain. I am not particularly surprised to hear that there are no plans for a diesel Camaro, although Chevy has a great small diesel in their arsenal with the Cruze diesel package. I am also not surprised to hear that Oppenheiser take the hybrid discussion off of the table, since GM has put far more emphasis into their EV program than their hybrid program.
On the other hand, I am a little surprised that an all-wheel drive Camaro isn’t one of those things that GM would like us all considering. I absolutely agree with Al Oppenheiser that an all-wheel drive layout isn’t in the DNA of the Camaro, but is a turbocharged 4-cylinder in the Camaro’s DNA? Not really, but with the change in the segment and the industry as a whole – GM made the 4-cylinder Camaro happen. I don’t expect to the Camaro transition to an all-wheel drive vehicle, but it doesn’t seem completely unreasonable that in an effort to one-up the competition, one of the American muscle cars could come with an all-wheel drive package.
Dodge has already shown that they can build an AWD Challenger using all in-house components in a modified Challenger chassis. The Chevrolet Camaro is built on a chassis that already has a similarly sized all-wheel drive car, so GM seems like the frontrunner to roll out a muscle car that will spin all four wheels – but with Oppenheiser saying “no”, it looks like the Cadillac ATS coupe will be the only answer for GM faithful who want a sporty, all-wheel drive coupe.
Fortunately, the Cadillac ATS4 with the 3.6L V6 and the 2.0L turbo-4 is a great car in the sun or in the snow.