DETROIT — The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe debuted before enthusiasts here on Saturday with a resculpted yet familiar look, more advanced technology and a powertrain menu designed to appeal to a wide range of car shoppers.
The sixth-generation Camaro, which is bound for Chevrolet dealerships in late fall, appears poised to attract performance aficionados as well as more practical buyers. It enters the ring against such long-time rivals as the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger with slightly smaller dimensions and a 200-pound weight reduction. It is 188.3 inches long and rides on a 110.7-inch wheelbase.
"For Camaro enthusiasts, it retains iconic design cues and offers even more performance," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president of product development, in a statement. "For a new generation of buyers, the 2016 Camaro incorporates our most innovative engineering ideas with finely honed performance and leading design."
The diverse Camaro engine lineup includes a new standard 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that will offer more than 30 mpg on the highway, a new 3.6-liter V6 with a Camaro-first cylinder-deactivation system and a beefy 6.2-liter V8 engine first introduced on the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The V8 engine delivers 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque and is the first use of the new LT1 engine in the Camaro family. The 2016 Camaro with the new V8 engine delivers 29 more hp than the outgoing LS3 V8 in the 2015 Camaro. The new V8 adds direct injection and variable valve timing and carries over Active Fuel Management or the cylinder-deactivation system from the previous V8.
Each engine is available with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 2016 Camaro SS is equipped with the V8 engine and is the most powerful Camaro SS ever, GM said.
The standard four-cylinder engine in the 2016 Camaro is rated at 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It will deliver 0-60-mph acceleration in less than 6 seconds, according to GM.
Although the EPA has not yet posted official fuel economy numbers on the 2016 Camaro, GM said this version will be the most fuel-efficient Camaro ever.
The Camaro with the optional 3.6-liter V6 engine produces 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque. The engine uses direct injection, variable valve timing and, for the first time, Active Fuel Management or cylinder deactivation. This system disables two cylinders under light throttle applications to boost fuel efficiency.
All engine specifications are certified and not estimates, according to a Chevrolet spokesperson.
Approximately 70 percent of the architectural components are unique to Camaro. Structural rigidity was increased by 28 percent. Weight savings came from using an aluminum instrument panel frame instead of steel, and the use of lightweight components.
Chevrolet did not release the curb weight on the 2016 Camaro. But the 2016 Camaro SS is expected to weigh about 3,700 pounds. The official curb weight will be released in the coming months.
"The driving experience is significantly different," said Aaron Link, Camaro lead development engineer. "Immediately, you will notice how much lighter and more nimble the Camaro feels."
The Camaro features a new multilink MacPherson strut front suspension. Magnetic Ride Control, which automatically adjusts the damper settings for better ride comfort and control, is optional on the Camaro SS for the first time.
All 2016 Camaros can be ordered with Brembo brakes. They are standard on the SS model.
The base LT model is equipped with halogen headlights. All Camaros equipped with the RS package, and SS models, add HID projector beam headlights and LED daytime running lights.
Sporty looks remain a key part of the equation. Chevrolet says the Camaro now has a "stronger, more determined face" with a "nearly fastback profile."
Personalization will be a key element of the Camaro shopping experience with 10 exterior colors, lighting options and a long list of dealer-available accessories available at launch.
Pricing will be announced later this summer, Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran told Edmunds.
Chevrolet only introduced the coupe version of the 2016 Camaro during its Detroit debut. An all-new Camaro convertible is in the pipeline, but there are no immediate details, including technical specifications and launch timing.
An all-new interior includes a shifter-focused center console, flat-bottom steering wheel and higher-quality materials.
A new Drive Mode Selector includes Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport and — on SS models — Track settings.
An optional LED ambient lighting system includes a "car show" mode that cycles randomly through the color spectrum when the Camaro is parked, something that should be perfect for events like the Woodward Dream Cruise.
The Camaro will hit the road following its Motor City introduction, with stops planned at a number of high-profile summer events.
It will be built in Lansing, Michigan.
Edmunds says: If you're not already convinced that we live in a golden age of performance, this Camaro is yet another strong indicator that speed still sells.