Chevrolet's 2016 Camaro is a lot newer than it looks
Very few nameplates have been around as long as this magazine. The Camaro wasn’t there at the very beginning, but, having made its debut in 1967, it’s still one of the oldest model names on sale today. And when it celebrates its own milestone of 50 years in 2017, the Camaro will have a useful emblem with which to mark the occasion: this all-new sixth-generation car.
It is common in our business to be presented with a new model that looks vastly different from its predecessor but is mechanically similar. The 2016 Camaro takes the opposite approach: It bears a close resemblance to the fifth-generation car but is, in fact, based on a different platform
Chevrolet’s thinking might be unusual, but it’s also sound. The outgoing Camaro’s look reached all the way back to the 1967 original and was highly successful. It was the first Camaro that ever outsold the Ford Mustang. But it was based on the old, heavy Zeta platform, and the ever-escalating performance war in this category calls for new blood.
Behind the Wheel
We got brief drives in a couple of V-6 RS prototypes. They were fairly rough and noisy, and gauging ride and handling was difficult. The new car switches to electrically assisted power steering made by Bosch. The gen-five Camaro’s steering was a nicely calibrated hydraulic unit, so it’s not obvious that EPS will be an improvement. Either way, the prototypes we drove were very responsive, reflecting their weight loss.
The new manual shifts cleanly, as does the automatic. Our cars were also equipped with the dual-mode exhaust—now operated by electric motors rather than vacuum actuators—and there’s yet another audio track coming from sound paths between the engine compartment and the cabin. As familiar as the 2016 Camaro might look to the people who designed the 1967 original, that’s the one thing that would have them scratching their heads.