2016 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Concept
The fires of bowtie fandom are surely burning bright in Vegas this year, as Chevy is raiding the 2015 SEMA Show with a handful of modified Camaros, each with its own unique take on the upcoming sixth-gen muscle icon. Dealerships are expecting new model deliveries later this month, which means the time is right to showcase what can be done to make the 2016 Camaro better looking, more comfortable, and of course, faster. Such is the case with the Performance Concept you see here, which proudly displays upgrades for the new SS in each of the previously mentioned areas, including one-off parts and commercially available add-ons.
It’s the right mix of show and go, and the result is a product that looks both top-shelf and reasonably accessible to the everyday consumer. There’s sheet metal, not sculpted bondo, the ride height won’t scoop dimes off the pavement, and the doors open like, well, doors. It’s a modern-day enthusiast’s muscle car with OEM class, and that’s how I like it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro Performance Concept.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Concept
0-60 time:4 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
To build the Performance Concept, Chevy first started with a 2016 Camaro SS coated in crisp, factory-spec Summit White paint. Each of the sixth generation’s styling updates was included, such as the new front fascia and tweaked rear end. While the new Camaro is certainly quite striking right out of the box, Chevy saw fit to add several bits and pieces to up the aggression level even further.
Laid on top of the Summit White paint is a racing stripes graphics package
Laid on top of the Summit White paint is a racing stripes graphics package that runs from the hood to the trunk, with a wide, solid black line offset by a red accent streak. It’s an asymmetric design relegated to the left side of the vehicle, presumably announcing the car’s driver-centric focus. Running along the bottom portion of the left-side flank is a similar (but smaller) black and red streak.
Of course, we all know racing stripes clip at least a half second from your lap times, but it doesn’t hurt to throw on some complementary go-faster parts as well. For the exterior, that translates into new aero, with the pointy nose receiving a new splitter-esque “fascia extension,” and the rear receiving a “blade-style” spoiler. No word on actual downforce numbers, but they certainly look quite effective.
Making the Camaro’s face even more menacing is an SS grille with fang-like red inserts, while the tail gets a blacked-out panel flanked by darkened taillights, effectively enhancing the car’s visual rear-end width. In the corners are unique, concept-only 20-inch wheels, while black bowtie emblems are sprinkled front to back.
Chevy redesigned the Camaro’s interior for 2016, adding things like HD display screens and LED ambient lighting for a little more upscale feel in the cabin space. The Performance Concept seeks to expand on this with a selection of premium materials and upholstery accessories.
Jet Black leather can be found throughout, while Red Hot accent trim is on the doors.
Starting things off, Jet Black leather can be found throughout, while Red Hot accent trim is on the doors. Chevrolet Performance-branded pieces are used for the console armrest cover and floor mats. There are also new pedal covers, and more black is found in the suede knee pads.
While black- and red-colored leather and suede are certainly nice-to-haves, it would have been even better if Chevy threw in a few features that were geared towards functionality. For example, deeply bolstered bucket seats would improve the experience behind the wheel much more effectively than new knee pads.
Take a peek under that racing stripe, and the first thing you’ll see is a new red engine cover. It won’t do much for your ET, but hey, at least you’ll have a reason to pop your hood at the local meet.
But I know what you’re thinking: “This is the Camaro Performance Concept, so it should come with, you know, some extra performance, right?”
Fear not, Internet denizen, your assumptions here are well founded.
Under that bit of powerplant bling is Chevy’s 6.2-liter LT1 V-8, which features direct injection and variable valve timing to help it produce 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque in stock form. But thankfully, the Performance Concept isn’t stock.
The mods are modest, but present nonetheless.
The mods are modest, but present nonetheless. Atmosphere enters via a new intake with an open-element air filter, while spent gasses exit via a new high-flow axle-back exhaust with a “performance sound” and “premium appearance.” Chevy doesn’t say exactly how much the new breathing parts add to overall output, but an educated guess would say at most 10 extra horses and 10 extra pound-feet at the rear wheels.
Chevy also declines to say whether the bumped-up LT1 is mated to an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual, but considering the concept’s namesake, I’m hoping the paddle shifters were left at home.
Chassis And Handling
The new Camaro SS is significantly lighter than its predecessor – 223 pounds lighter to be exact. It’s also quite a bit stiffer. This should result in decidedly un-muscle-car-like handling benefits.
Of course, you can’t have too much of a good thing when it comes to performance. As such, Chevy threw on a new suspension lowering kit with higher-rate springs and retuned shocks and struts. The new components lower the Camaro’s ride height by 0.8 inch, which looks great crouched over those 20-inch wheels (while presumably adding some prowess in the twisties as well).
Braking is improved courtesy of Brembo. Up front, you’ll find six-piston monoblock aluminum calipers, appropriately finished in red and equipped with high-performance pads. Meanwhile, the rotors are two-piece vented and slotted Duralife discs. These measure in at 14.6 inches for the width, 1.3 inches for the depth, and use cast-iron braking rings and aluminum hats.
The Chevrolet Camaro Performance Concept does well to light the way for future enthusiasts looking to give their ride a little something special, especially when it comes to the exterior. I think the overall look is contemporary and mean, successfully mixing old-school muscle cues and new-school lines. It’s the kind of look that makes people move over to the right lane.
Beyond that, I find the whole concept lacking slightly. I feel like the fantastic exterior promises more than nice interior materials, engine breathing mods, lower suspension, and a big brake kit. I want coilovers, a giant blower, and drag slicks. Basically, I want more performance.
But all that is probably a bit extreme for this model. In the end, the Performance Concept is a street car for showing off and peeling out at stoplights, not dominating at the drag strip. Street performance is what most people want anyway, and that’s perfectly alright.
However, if you want something that breathes fire and eats quarter-mile times for breakfast, look no further than this year’s SEMA show, because Chevy also brought out something called the COPO.