History of the Gen6 Camaro
History of the 6th Generation Camaro
GEN6 CHEVROLET CAMARO
The sixth generation of the Chevrolet Camaro began in the 2016 model year, and the current Camaro is still in the sixth generation through the 2022 model year. This Camaro uses the GM Alpha Platform, which is also shared by the Cadillac ATS and CTS. Production for the sixth-generation Camaro takes place in the USA, whereas the fourth and fifth-generation Camaros were produced in Canada.
For the sixth generation, the Camaro is still available (as of late 2021) in a coupe or convertible body style.
History of the 6th Gen Camaro (2016 - 2022)
According to GM sources, 70% of the 6th Gen Camaro's architectural components are unique to the Camaro, despite its shared platform with the Cadillac ATS and CTS. Designers for the 6th Gen Camaro focused on making the car lighter with better aerodynamics than the 5th Gen. The goal was described as a Corvette with a back seat. As a result, the new Camaro became more lightweight and more powerful than ever before.
The 6th Gen Camaro still resembles the 5th generation with some differences, such as a more aggressive grille and front end. The 6th Gen is also 2.3 inches shorter, almost an inch narrower, and 1.1 inches shorter in height. Even though it uses a similar engine and equipment to the 5th Gen, the 6th Gen Camaro is about 200 pounds lighter.
Three special editions have been available so far during the sixth generation. The 50th Anniversary Special Edition and Hot Wheels Edition were introduced in 2017, and the Redline Edition became known for the 2018 model year.
6th Gen Camaro Evolution and Changes
The trim levels introduced for the 6th Gen Camaro debut were the LT and the SS. Standard equipment included air conditioning, cruise control, seven airbags, parking assist, satellite radio, and an adjustable steering wheel. There were three engines available on the 2016 Camaro:
- The LTG EcoTec 2.0-liter turbocharged straight-four with an output of 275 horsepower (standard on the LT trims)
- The LGX 3.6-liter V6 with an output of 356 horsepower (available as an upgrade on the LT trims)
- The LT1 6.2-liter V8 (shared with the C7 Corvette) with an output of 455 horsepower (standard on the SS trims)
For the 2017 Camaro, GM added a base LS trim. The equipment for this trim was exactly the same as the previous base LT trim, except that the four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission became the only available powertrain, i.e., there was no upgrade to the V6 engine on this trim. The LS trim initially only came in a coupe layout, but a convertible was introduced later. Standard equipment on the LT trim for 2017 included an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The 1LE performance packages returned for 2017 as upgrades for the V6 and V8 coupes with the six-speed manual transmission.
The ZL1 was introduced in the 2017 model year as well. This high-performance version of the SS Camaro featured the LT4 6.2-liter supercharged V8, which is shared with the Corvette Z06. The LT4 motor made 650 horsepower. As previously mentioned, there were two special editions released in 2017, the 50th Anniversary and Hot Wheels editions. Both special editions were available as coupe and convertible body styles and were available on the 2LT and 2SS trims. All Camaros in 2017 wore "FIFTY" badges on the bottom of the steering wheel.
The big news for 2018 was the creation of the Camaro ZL1 1LE, Camaro ZL1 which became the fastest, most powerful, and best-handling Camaro to date. The ZL1 1LE continued with the supercharged V8 LT4 motor and added a unique adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, and thinner rear glass to lower its total weight. 2018 also saw another special edition hit the market in the Redline Edition, which was primarily an aesthetic package paired with 20-inch wheels. The Redline Edition became an upgrade package that was later reintroduced for the 2020 model and beyond.
In 2019, the Camaro received a visual refresh with an edgy front and rear bumper/headlight combo that became lively debate material for Camaro enthusiasts. Some loved the upgrade, while others were less enthused. This visual refresh was applied to all models except for the ZL1. Another change for 2019 was the LE1 package adding the four-cylinder turbo as an available engine.
Only a few new options were added for the 2020 model year. The 10-speed automatic transmission became available with the V6 engine. The LT trim began offering Recaro sports seats and 20-inch wheels as available upgrades. A new Rally Green color option was also introduced. The Camaro SS received a minor front-end styling refresh with a body-colored bumper, and the Chevy bowtie moved to the upper grille. An entry-level V8 trim dubbed the Camaro LT1 V8 was also introduced for 2021. During this model year's run, there were some rumors that it might be the last year of the Camaro. However, that turned out not to be true when the 2021 model was announced.
The most interesting news to come out of the Camaro's 2021 model year was the banning of the ZL1 and SS models in both California and Washington. The reason was new standards for toxic metals in brake pads, which the new Camaros did not meet. GM soon released plans to reintroduce the banned models for 2022 with revised brake pads. Otherwise, nothing new was introduced for 2021 except for a Wild Cherry Design Package and standard Apple and Android wireless connectivity for all trims.
Rumors of the Camaro's demise continued to swirl as the 2022 model was announced. For this model year, a new Redline Package was introduced and Design Package 3 with some extra exterior flourishes. As previously mentioned, a copper-free Brembo brake system became available for the top trims in order to facilitate sales in Washington and California.
6th Gen Camaro Fun Facts
- LT4 blower swaps became common mods to get more performance out of the LT4 motor
- 2016 Motor Trend Magazine Car of the Year Award
- 2016 and 2017 Car and Driver 10 Best Cars Award
- A 6th Gen Camaro concept car appeared in the Transformers: Age of Extinction movie
- A preview of the 2018 redesign also appeared in the Transformers: The Last Knight movie
- The Camaro won its first NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2020
- In 2017, Pratt & Miller developed the GT4.R Camaro for GT4 international racing
- The 6th generation ZL1 shares its motor and supercharger with both the C7 Corvette Z06 and the 3rd generation Cadillac CTS-V
Legacy of the 6th Gen Camaro
The 6th Gen Camaro may very well be the last generation of Camaro. 2024 is expected to be the final year of the 6th Gen Camaro, and indeed, the last year of the Camaro period. GM plans to introduce an electric performance sedan to take the Camaro's place as part of its goal for an electric-only lineup by 2035. It's rumored that GM might use the Camaro name, but it won't be the same car by any means. GM is also discontinuing the Alpha platform that the Camaro is built on, so that doesn't bode well for any continuation of the Camaro muscle car in the future.
Want more Camaro history? Read about the 5th Gen Camaro (2010 - 2015).