A certain trademark has been allowed to expire.
The future of the Chevrolet Camaro is probably safe. A fairly recent report claimed the current sixth-generation Camaro will not have a successor, but this was quickly dismissed. Instead, today's Camaro will likely have an extended lifecycle because the automaker remains, at the moment, undecided about what the famed muscle car should become. An all-electric, perhaps? It's not a complete impossibility. In the meantime, the current car will continue to see improvements, trim packages, and new variants – with the exception of at least one.
According to GM Authority, General Motors has decided to abandon its application to trademark the IROC-Z nameplate with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It turns out GM did, in fact, apply to file this trademark back in October 2018 for three categories: non-luminous and non-mechanical metal signs, T-shifts, and scale model vehicles. All three have now been abandoned.
When it was first learned GM was making an effort to trademark IROC-Z, many Camaro fans rightfully became quite excited. The IROC name, an acronym for International Race of Champions, was used on a special edition third-generation Camaro way back in 1985. It was actually a packaged offered on top of the Z28 that offered powertrain and chassis improvements as well as some exterior enhancements.
Both the Camaro and Pontiac Trans Am competed in the IROC series, which first started in 1974 and lasted until 2006. IROC was unique in that it tested a driver's ability because the competing cars were production-based and prepared identically by just one team of mechanics. No one driver had any advantage over another.
Now, if there won't be a new IROC-Z Camaro, is this also a death sentence for a sixth-gen Z/28? It's a fair question and we've reached out to Chevrolet seeking comment. We'll update this space if we receive a relevant reply. But the fact remains: the Camaro is not selling nearly as well as its arch-rival, the Ford Mustang. Likely because of this, GM management can't justify the investment on a niche model for an already fairly slow-selling vehicle.