DETROIT — So far, more than half of buyers of the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro have opted for V8 power, underscoring the model's performance heritage and muscle-car appeal.
"This is typical at launch," Todd Christensen, Chevrolet marketing manager, told Edmunds. "It's what we expected. Camaro enthusiasts order first, and they tend to like the V8s."
Edmunds checked in with Chevrolet recently to gauge how car shoppers are reacting to the redesigned Camaro.
As sales of the new sixth-generation Camaro continue, that percentage is likely to drop, Christensen said, and other customers will choose the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or the 3.6-liter V6.
"There's a wide spectrum of Camaro buyers," he said. "Some want performance and horsepower, but others just want a stylish, sporty car. So we expect sales of the 2.0-liter to hit about 30 percent when things even out."
Not surprisingly, more buyers of the V8-powered Camaro SS choose a manual transmission than those who opt for other power plants, 20 percent, compared to 15 percent. And SS owners like to be sure their vehicles sound like a muscle car; fully 75 percent of them opt for the dual-mode exhaust system, which at the flip of a switch delivers a more aggressive exhaust note.
But buyers of the LT versions, those without V8s, still like a bit of pizzazz with their Camaros. Half of them tick the box for the stylish RS package, which includes 20-inch aluminum wheels, a sportier grille and LED lighting.
Christensen said that most Camaro fans — as well as owners of Chevrolet Corvettes and trucks — like to personalize their vehicles. More than half of Camaro buyers order or purchase at least one accessory, including ambient interior lighting, spoilers, ground effects and custom graphics.
When it comes to color choices, the vibrant Hyper Blue Metallic has been a big seller, along with old standbys like black and white, although Camaro fans aren't completely ignoring other eye-catching exterior paint schemes like Red Hot, Bright Yellow and Blue Velvet Metallic.
And what has been the response so far from buyers of the sixth-generation 2016 Camaro?
"We've gotten amazing feedback from owners," Christensen said. "Fans are going nuts. But we've created an interesting dilemma for them. Some ordered early, while others are waiting to see what we may come up with next."
Some performance-minded enthusiasts may be waiting for the 2017 Camaro ZL1 coupe, which will be the most powerful factory Camaro ever, when it begins arriving at Chevrolet dealerships in December, following its debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show.
The 2017 Camaro ZL1 is equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that churns out an estimated 640 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque.
Nevertheless, sales of the 2016 Gen 6 Camaros have been extremely strong since they began arriving at dealers last fall.
In fact, said Christensen, "there's less inventory across the country right now than usual at this time of year. At the moment, dealers are trying to deliver on orders that have been placed and are trying to build their inventories."
Edmunds says: The 2016 Camaro has created significant buzz among fans and is proving to be a worthy competitor to its traditional rival, the 2016 Ford Mustang.