On the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro: The Sixth Generation
“The Camaro should not have been a design success, as it was based on an existing architecture and admittedly hurried to market to address the personal coupe revolution occurring with the Baby Boomer customers,” said Ed Welburn, General Motors vice president of Global Design, about the first-generation Chevy Camaro, which ran from model years 1967 to 1969. Of course, back then, no one knew what a “Baby Boomer” was. And no one knew that there would be a generation-six Camaro.
And this would particularly be the case after generation four (1993 to 2002). Kirk Bennion, Camaro exterior design manager, recalled, “It was a very aggressive design intended to evolve the proportion from the third-generation car with a provocative exterior and greater aerodynamic performance. It has a very sculptural form vocabulary that was definitely all-new for the Camaro.”
But then there wasn’t another Camaro until model year 2010.
Tom Peters, Camaro exterior design director, said, “They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and that couldn’t have been truer than as demonstrated with the enthusiasm that followed the introduction of the fifth-generation Camaro. After an eight-year absence, the return of the Camaro was a thunderbolt that reignited the passion of Camaro enthusiasts around the word. It’s a car design for those who like to drive, and its elegant design makes you smile every time.”
Gen Five had its run until model year 2015.*
And now there is Six.
The car came out of Peters’ Performance Car studio, penned by Hawsup Lee. Clearly, he had good bones to work with.
While the 2016 Camaro is unmistakably a post-Gen Five Camaro, this is a different car. The only carryover part is the rear bowtie emblem (and the SS version has a carryover SS badge, too, but that’s it).
Among the terms that are typically used to describe vehicle designs—and often applied to even cars that have the physique of Homer Simpson—are sculpted and athletic. You can stare for hours at the sheet metal of some cars so characterized and wonder what the person using those terms was thinking. (Maybe it is wishful thinking.)
Those terms are absolutely spot on for the Gen Six Camaro. The front fascia has a bigger and lower grille opening, but the upper grille, which connects the available LED headlamps, is much tighter. Around the back the taillamps are sculpted into the vertical surface of the decklid and the rear fascia has lines and edges that provide more of a machined aesthetic than in the previous generation car.
For one thing, it is simply a tighter exterior package compared with the Gen Five car. That is: