The Camaro just isn’t as hot as it used to be, and it’s a shame because GM was cooking up something huge for the Z28 badgeby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 04:27
When we saw the teaser of what looked like a Camaro-based Ford Mach-E competitor, we came right out and said it was time for the Chevy Camaro to die. In fact, that exact statement was based on the fact that Chevy can’t even justify the Camaro’s existence anymore. In late 2020, a new report said that Chevy was considering killing off the Camaro post-2023 when we would get a new-gen model, which was followed by news that the current model would run until 2026, making the current model some 10 years old when it will be retired. We don’t have any updates about that, but we’ve learned that previous rumors of the Camaro Z28’s cancellation are likely true, and a new report says it would have been a brutal beast.
The Camaro Z28 Would Have Been Great
Latest reports about the now-dead Camaro Z28 come courtesy of Motor Trend, who quotes their anonymous source “Deep Burble.” According to Deep Burble, the new Z28 would have featured the 5.5-liter, flat-plane crank, DOHC, V-8. That’s the very same engine that’s expected to land in the new Corvette Z06. This engine is said to be capable of pumping out 617 horsepower and can redline at 9,000 rpm. This would be a huge improvement over the fifth-gen Camaro Z28, which had a 7.0-liter V-8 that was good for 505 ponies and 481 pound-feet of torque and just a hair shy of the 650-horsepower Camaro ZL1.
This news is also contradicting previous rumors that Chevy had made it as far as planning the powertrain and business side of the Z28. At the time, the company was torn between going with the 6.6-liter LT3 V-8 or the an evolution of the 7.0-liter LS7 V-8 that powered the last Z28. According to Deep Burble there was even the possibility for a manual gearbox, which wouldn’t land in the C8 Z06 but would have given the Z28 a strong selling point.
Why Did Chevy Cancel the Camaro Z28
The Chevy Z28 hasn’t been officially cancelled, but it would honestly make a lot of sense for Chevy to forgo building it. The Camaro, in general, has become quite a failure in the last couple of years. In 2020 Chevy managed to move just 29,775 examples of its famed muscle car, a figure that is 38.3-percent short of the 48,265 examples sold in 2019. We’re willing to bet that 2021 hasn’t exactly been a comeback year for the Camaro. The problem is likely that Chevy doesn’t realize that there’s more to a muscle car that just performance or, as Deep Burble told Motor Trend:
“ [Chevy is] like, 'We can't believe it's not selling. It's so much better than the competition. [Chevy] fails to realize that most people buy styling over performance.”
It’s also hard to believe that Chevy is struggling to sell a muscle car that starts at just $25,000, but that’s the world we live in, it seems. Oddly enough, the Z28 released in the fifth-gen Camaro’s life cycle sold like it was going out of style, no pun intended. That model sold out withing months, despite carrying an extreme price tag for a GM-made vehicle, plastic included: $75,000 before options taxes, and delivery, among other fees. However, with the Camaro selling so poorly now, it’s hard to imagine that too many people would spend that kind of money, when you can get a car like the C8 Corvette for $59,900.
The Chevy Camaro’s Future
At this point, there’s no telling what’s going to happen to the Camaro. There’s a really good chance, however, that GM is going to continue producing the same car until the new 2026 cut-off, and then just let it die. The name could be slapped on an electric SUV of sorts in hopes of using the iconic name to battle the Ford Mach-E, but after the drama that came when the company pissed all over the Blazer name, the company would be smart to avoid doing exactly that. I’d prefer to see the Camaro take a breather and come back as an electric muscle car that will take on the Challenger and Mustang EVS that will undoubtedly happen within the next 5 years.
Source: Motor Trend