Al Oppenheiser isn't about that life.
Al Oppenheiser seems like a really good guy to interview. The head engineer of the Camaro recently spoke with GM Authority and more or less said the new Camaro 1LE would best the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. Now in an interview with AutoGuide he’s spilling the beans on the future of the Camaro. Purists, you’ll love Oppenheiser’s vision. He was asked a variety of questions, but when the subject of a diesel or all-wheel-drive version of the iconic muscle car was brought up he was adamant that it wouldn’t happen.
“Not while I have the keys to the store,” he said when asked about a Diesel Camaro. “Same with all-wheel drive; it’s not in the DNA. I wouldn’t say ‘never’ but it’s not in the DNA of the Camaro.” While Chevy has kept with the times (and competition) in offering a turbo-four Camaro it’s nice to see that the iconic muscle car won’t stray too far from its roots. Indeed, history is something the Camaro’s chief engineer and his team seem to value. “Those of us that work on the Camaro are purists, we love the original, long hood, the strong shoulders, the mantra that ‘nobody needs a Camaro, they want a Camaro.' You know, I think for the foreseeable future, you’re going to see us stay true to Camaro heritage,” he said.
When it comes to a hybrid system, well you can just guess Oppenheiser’s position on that. (He’s not into it.) In addition to speaking about powertrains and fuel there was also talk about the 1LE. Oppenheiser forecasts yearly sales of around 1,500 to 2,000 units and there are no plans to offer it on the convertible. With regard to a beefier engine, well let’s just say that talk of a twin-turbo V6 wasn’t shot down out of hand. In sum: The Camaro is safe from the sort of meddling modern sports cars are subject to (hybridization and all-wheel drive) and won’t go diesel any time soon. Count this as a win, purists.