Camaro to be killed off by 2023? Chevrolet respond to speculation
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The future of the Chevrolet Camaro has been called into question following a report published in the US. Although, the speculative nature of the report is worth an early mention.
The article, published by American publication Muscle Cars And Trucks, says that development of a seventh-generation Camaro has been suspended according to numerous unnamed sources within General Motors.
It adds that other Michigan-built models that share the current Camaro's dynamic 'Alpha' platform from Cadillac — the ATS and CTS — are being discontinued. Those models will be replaced by the CT4 and CT5 respectively, but they will be built on an alternative version of the Alpha platform called the A2XX and powered by V6 engines.
Approached by numerous publications for comment regarding the story, Chevrolet issued the following statement;
“While we will not engage in speculation, we will remind you of our recently announced updates coming to the Camaro lineup this fall. An all-new LT1 model will provide customers V8 power with the design and affordability of our LT trim. The award-winning SS model will feature a new front fascia from the Camaro Shock concept. All of our updates are customer-driven to improve the car and its driving experience.”
The response from Chevrolet, notably, doesn't include any denials of the early claims. But nonetheless, it's worth taking each word of the initial article with a few grains of salt.
In addition, Driven approached HSV New Zealand for comment. In a similar fashion, they weren't willing to comment on the "highly speculative" story. Instead, they underlined the "very positive" dealer and customer reaction to New Zealand's upcoming MY19 Camaro range.
Sales of the Camaro in the US have been mixed. Sales of the pony-car platform are said to have dropped in 2018 by 25 per cent over 2017. There has been an upswing, with sales up by 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 year-on-year (the only two-door sports car to not show a decline in America during that period). But, it still plays third fiddle to the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger overall.
While Chevrolet has flirted in the press with the idea of hybridising the Camaro line-up, Ford has confirmed not only that a hybrid Mustang is on the cards, but that a a fully electric Mustang-inspired SUV is coming too.
It's worth noting too that Chevrolet have killed the Camaro off once in the past — 'ending' production of the muscle coupe in 2002 only to bring it back a few years later.
Do any of these elements prove that the Camaro nameplate is in decline? No. But, perhaps they do underline how important it is for the face-lifted Camaro to be a success in showrooms as well as when placed in the hands of critics.
Meanwhile, the first of New Zealand's 2019 Camaro models are soon to hit Kiwi roads. They include the revised 2SS, which now comes with a brash new face, some new tech features, and the option of a manual transmission. Plus, we're set to get the 6.2-litre LT4 V8–powered ZL1 for the first time.
Whether the Camaro will last beyond 2023 remains to be seen. But, regardless of the legitimacy of reporting, rest assured that there are petrol-heads all over the world with their fingers tightly crossed.