Everything falls into place
Have you heard the rumor? Chevrolet is killing the Camaro. Apparently, the current sixth-generation car will soldier on ‘till the early 2020s, then cruise into the sunset. Chevrolet is said to have commenced development of a seventh-generation Camaro, but after some soul searching (and a look at the numbers), decided to cancel the program and stretch the lifespan of today’s car. After that, the Camaro will die.
Nonsense. Thanks to the C8 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, the Camaro isn’t going anywhere. Here’s why.
At the C8 launch, Chevrolet acknowledged that the move to mid-engine was because the front-engine layout had reached its zenith. Chevrolet’s own Camaro seems to contradict that. Even with its base turbo I-4 engine, the Camaro shines on track with the 1LE package. We called our long-term V-8, six-speed-equipped SS “A revelation,” concluding that it’s “one of the finest driver’s cars in the world.” If these Camaros show anything, it’s that a front-engine car can pack serious performance.
Cannibalism within a lineup—losing sales of higher-margin vehicles to cheaper but similarly performing cars—is a concern for automakers. A problem for the C7 Z06 was the equally powerful but Stingray-expensive Camaro ZL1. Fitted with the 1LE package, it turns into a legitimate track record hunter for a smidge over $70,000 USD. With that firepower, at that price, it likely stole more than a few Corvette customers. Now that the mid-engine revolution has commenced, risk of cannibalism is diminished, and there’s newfound room for the Camaro.
In today’s crossover craze, sporty coupes have a hard time proving a business case. But despite its ancient platform, Dodge Challenger sales remain strong. And even as Ford cancelled its cars, the Camaro’s arch-nemesis, the Mustang, boldly powers on. Chevrolet may make similar lineup shifts, but the C8’s arrival creates new potential for the brand’s other longstanding performance nameplate. Would Chevrolet be so short-sighted as to cancel the Camaro and let Motown rivals eat its lunch? We think not—rather, its seventh generation will arrive better than ever and ready to take on the world.