Predictions on How GM Will Roll Out the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro
The introduction of the 6th generation of the Chevrolet Camaro for the 2016 model year is every bit as big of a deal as the 2015 Ford Mustang – both to the respective enthusiast of the model and to the industry as a whole. With the introduction of a new Camaro, the ongoing horsepower war in America rages on while buyers around the country benefit from the tight battle between the Camaro and the Mustang.
General Motors has done a remarkable job of keeping the details of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro under wraps so while we have all talked about the 6th gen Camaro at length, next to nothing is known for sure about the newest muscle car. Lately, I have been getting quite a few questions about which models will carry on from the current generation Camaro to the next generation, what the drivetrain options will look like at launch and which models will be available when the 2016 Camaro first hits the market.
The 2016 Camaro Models at the Reveal
When the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is formally introduced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, I expect that we will see the 6th gen Camaro in a base V6 form (presumably in LS and LT trim) and a V8-powered SS form. The 3.6L V6 should continue on as the base model engine while the SS should get the new 6.2L LT1 V8 from the C7 Corvette Stingray and both engines should come with your choice of the 8-speed automatic or the 7-speed manual transmission – just like the 2015 Corvette.
Also, General Motors has separated the debut of the coupe and convertible versions with different models (including the C7 Corvette and the 5th gen Camaro), so I expect that they will only reveal the coupe at first in Detroit while I think that the convertible will debut later; possibly at the New York Auto Show or Chicago Auto Show. In any case, I expect the coupe and convertible to be revealed at different times, but I expect that the convertibles won’t be all the long behind the coupes in arriving to dealerships.
No Premium Performance Camaro at First
While I fully expect that we will see at least one premium performance Camaro at some point during the 6th generation (I know, and water is wet), I don’t think that we will see a new Z/28 or ZL1 when the 6th gen Camaro debuts in Detroit. I expect that GM will first focus on the high volume sales models, which will draw plenty of attention from the automotive community and the media alike. Once we have gotten our fill of talking about the 2016 Camaro in LS, LT and SS form, then we can expect to see a higher performance model – presumably something powered by the LT4 V8 from the Corvette Z06.
Unless There is a Hellcat Killer…
I don’t think that General Motors will roll out an ultra-high performance 6th gen Chevrolet Camaro in Detroit, unless they have a model that will trump the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. I believe that we will see something like a 2017 Camaro ZL1 with the 650hp LT4 at some point, but if GM opts to tweak that motor or develop a new motor that will pack more than the 707hp offered by the Hellcat Challenger, they could steal some of Dodge’s thunder at the big Motor City show.
To summarize, I expect to see the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe in LS, LT and SS form at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show with 3.6L V6 and the 6.2L LT1 V8. Look for the convertible to debut later next year in New York or Chicago with the same engine and transmission options while the first higher performance 6th gen Camaro should be revealed at the 2015 LA Auto Show or the 2016 Detroit show. Again, this is all based on what we have seen in the past and the rumors floating around the automotive water cooler. These expectations could be totally wrong and we will find out in about 3 months.