UPDATE May 16, 5:55 p.m. EST: Click here to read more about Saturday's unveiling of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro.
UPDATE May 16, 4 p.m. EST: General Motors unveiled the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. Here's the first company-released image of the sixth-generation Chevy muscle car:
Original story begins here:
General Motors is set to pull the curtain back on the latest -- and lightest -- version of its classic American muscle car. Hundreds of gawkers will converge on Detroit’s Belle Isle Park on Saturday afternoon to ogle the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. The all-new Camaro will enter its sixth major overhaul and will have more weight-saving aluminum to shave 200 pounds from its portlier predecessor released in 2010. GM is shy on specs, but it says the 2016 Camaro will share the same rear-drive architecture as the Cadillac ATS compact luxury car.
“The new Camaro brakes harder, flicks into corners more quickly, and drives out of the corner faster,” the car’s chief engineer, Al Oppenheiser, said in March when GM touted the 2016 Camaro’s improved fuel economy (Is that even a concern for muscle-car enthusiasts?) and a dozen other structural changes aimed at making the car more nimble.
How To Watch The 2016 Camaro Unveil
On Friday CNBC posted images of what appears to be the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro ahead of its public debut:
â€” Braxton Chatman (@Braxchat) May 15, 2015
Those who want the earliest official peeks can see live video updates here, or visit Chevrolet Camaro’s Facebook page. And of course trusty Twitter will be flooded with 2016 Camaro unveil chatter at #camarosix.
The Return Of The American Trinity?
Akshay Anand, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, says the new Camaro comes as all three Michigan automakers are putting new muscle behind the holy trinity of affordable sports cars: the Camaro, the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger. This year, the latter of the three received a more powerful engine, a new transmission and a revamped exterior for the 2015 model year. Also for the current model year, Dodge released a monster 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat edition for those who think a V8 pushing out 485 horsepower still isn't enough.
“The Japanese took over in the late '90s, and for a while a lot of people were asking what was going on with the Americans,” Anand said. “Now you can see some real competition being bred among the Americans. At one point for two or three months last year, we heard nonstop about the Challenger Hellcat, and then Ford released the new Mustang.”
It wasn’t always this way.
Starting in the 1970s, the Japanese started building American loyalty around its crop of sports cars, like the Datsun 280 ZX and the Toyota Supra MK II, challenging Detroit’s dominance in the field of affordable speed. Chrysler gave up on the Dodge Challenger in 1983, capping a 13-year, two-generation production run. Chrysler reintroduced the Challenger in 2008, taking design cues from the popular 1970 Challenger R/T.
The Camaro That Wasn’t Supposed To Be
The Camaro lasted until 2002, but its fourth-generation model (in production since 1993) was cancelled on lagging demand as Americans began flocking to ostentatious SUVs, like the Hummer, opting for brawn over speed. At the time, GM said it had no plans to reintroduce the Camaro, but the company changed its tune and brought the Camaro back in 2010 as a fifth-generation species. (Out of the three classic American cars, only the Ford Mustang has remained consistently produced since its inception fifty years ago.)
Detroit is trying to get its muscle car groove back. Mustang and Camaro U.S. sales increased 7 percent last year compared to the previous year, to about 82,600 Mustangs and 86,300 Camaros. The Challenger didn’t fare as well, with flat sales of about 51,600 units as buyers opted for its American rivals.
The 2010 Camaro SS was well received for its power, refinement and handling compared to its rivals from Ford and Chrysler, giving General Motors not one but two sports cars in its lineup that elicited accolades in recent years. (The other was the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette released for the 2014 model year.)
Now we’ll see if Oppenheiser’s team has brought the Camaro up a notch from its heralded return five years ago.