The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro has been spied for the first time, giving us our first look at the sixth-generation ‘pony car’ that will go head-to-head with the new Ford Mustang.
The next-gen Camaro – codenamed ‘A1BC’ – will be new from the ground up, trading its ageing, Australian-engineered Zeta architecture underpinnings for a version of the newer, lighter Alpha rear-wheel-drive chassis shared with the Cadillac ATS and CTS models.
The new Chevrolet Camaro is expected to be smaller than the current, fifth-generation model, with its wheelbase said to shrink by about 75mm to 2775mm. It is spied here alongside the Chevrolet Impala, which measures 5110mm from nose to tail and 2840mm between the wheels.
Reports also suggest the switch to the new platform and the new Camaro’s smaller size could see weight fall by between 135 and 180 kilograms.
Much of the car’s finer styling points are obscured by heavy plastic camouflage material, though from the prototype’s basic shape it appears the new model will feature a shorter bonnet and boot lid, a lower, faster roofline, and a more rounded rear end.
Quad exhaust outlets indicate the spied prototype is a V8-powered variant – its twin-spoke alloy wheels and seemingly large rear spoiler potentially identifying it as the new high-performance Camaro ZL1.
V8 and V6 engines will continue to headline the Camaro model range, while a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit is expected to slide under the bonnet of the base model to take on Ford’s upcoming 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost turbo Mustang.
Our spies believe production of the new Chevrolet Camaro will begin in October 2014 at the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Michigan, pointing to an early-2015 debut, likely at January’s Detroit auto show or April’s New York show.
General Motors is yet to confirm whether it will follow Ford’s lead and offer the next-generation Camaro around the world in left- and right-hand drive. GM North America president Mark Reuss revealed to Australian media in January that “everything from now on we’re trying to do in right-hand drive”, though did not speak specifically about the chances of a RHD Camaro.
Holden would almost certainly jump at the opportunity to offer the Camaro to customers in Australia – the compact two-door sports car helping to fill the void left by V8-powered versions of the Commodore that will be discontinued in 2017 and giving the brand a direct rival for the new Mustang, which Ford Australia is set to introduce in the second half of 2015.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the new Camaro.