So many interesting possibilities have now opened up.
Chevrolet announced earlier this week that its sixth-generation Camaro will officially cease production in January 2024. No direct successor was confirmed by GM, but the Bowtie division's chief explicitly stated that "this is not the end of Camaro's story."
What was not said, at least in an official capacity, is that this is the end of the internal combustion-powered Camaro. Sad? Yes, to an extent. But the future of Chevy's pony car just got a whole lot brighter thanks to - you guessed it - electrification.
Love or hate the technology, it opens up all kinds of possibilities for the Camaro that was never there before, and we're not just talking about improved performance (which will certainly happen). Chevy has the opportunity to completely reinvent the Camaro not just as a muscle car but, dare we say, with an additional body style.
We'll get back to that shortly. But first, it's important to examine the sixth-gen's history, beginning in 2016 when it went on sale.
Based on GM's rear-wheel-drive Alpha platform, this Camaro, unlike its immediate predecessor, was built in the US. The fifth-gen, which rode on the Zeta platform, was manufactured in Australia alongside the now-deceased Pontiac G8 that later became the Chevy SS.
The new Camaro was lighter, smaller, and more powerful, but its exterior styling was more evolutionary than revolutionary. Everyone loved the retro-themed fifth-gen Camaro, but some voiced concern (us included) that its successor's design wasn't different enough. In some ways, it looked more like a refresh rather than a complete redesign.
Underneath, Chevy took the opportunity to improve things like handling and overall refinement to make it a better competitor against the best-selling Ford Mustang.
Unfortunately, Chevy's efforts didn't pay off quite as planned. The Camaro was consistently outsold by the Mustang and, later, the Dodge Challenger. The car itself was and still is fantastic - especially with Magnetic Ride Control - but Chevy just didn't know how to market it effectively.
Living in the Corvette's shadow also didn't help matters. That's all in the past now, and hopefully, Chevy knows that because full-on electrification means a Camaro reincarnation. How so? If and only if Chevy plays its cards right, there's an opening for not just the familiar coupe (already teased in silhouette form) and convertible body styles but also a sedan. No SUV is necessary because the Blazer EV will already fill that role, especially if there'll be an SS variant.
Picture an all-electric Camaro liftback sedan living alongside a coupe and convertible, all riding on GM's Ultium platform and built in America. If Ford can successfully turn the Mustang into the Mustang Mach-E, then why can't Chevy build the EV muscle sedan the Blue Ovals currently lacks? Dodge is rumored to have a one-two punch coming with BEV Challenger and Charger successors, so there's no reason for Chevy to miss out. And then there's the Corvette.
Late last year came word about plans for a Corvette brand, supposedly launching in 2025, that will include a high-performance all-electric SUV and sedan. The former makes more sense. The C8's mid-engine layout places it with exotic supercars in terms of power, performance, and handling like never before - and it's still sold at a bargain price. Eventually, the Corvette will go fully electric, whether it'll be the C9 or C10. An electric Corvette SUV would give GM an immediate spot in the ultra-high-performance SUV segment that's already exploding.
What would a Corvette sedan provide? Not much. Neither Ferrari, Lamborghini, nor McLaren builds sedans, but they all have SUVs. Hence a Camaro EV sedan makes more sense, and the reputation the sixth-gen has for handling could be just the basis GM needs upon which to build a new image for the nameplate.
It would also be more affordable, but that's not to say Chevy couldn't do a high-end variant, similar to what Tesla does with the Model S Plaid. Who wouldn't want to see a four-door Camaro EV set a Nurburgring sedan lap record? An electric Camaro coupe, convertible, and sedan powerhouse would ideally demonstrate GM's performance and handling capabilities on an electrified platform at pony car prices. There'd be no need for a separate Camaro brand, and Chevy could finally move the nameplate away from glorified rental car status in Florida.
Basically, GM should reinvent the Camaro, not as a sub-brand, but as a range of two- and four-door performance cars that provide Taycan-like performance with more space and comfort at a lower price. Not everybody wants crossover and SUVs, or even coupes. Chevrolet could corner the EV sedan market and make it its own.
So wipe away your sixth-gen Camaro tears (if they're even there) and embrace change. We hope we're on the same page with Chevy, but the ball is ultimately in its hands.
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