A 7th Generation Camaro Reimagined for the Modern Era
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Camaro news has been quite the buzz lately, with sources reporting that the sixth generation of Chevrolet’s iconic sports car will end production in 2023 with no immediate replacement following after. Sources have reported that GM may have opted to withhold from placing a 7thgeneration on the company’s Alpha 2 platform, soon to underpin the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans, and instead opt for the forthcoming flexible rear wheel drive architecture (labeled Vehicle Strategy Set (VSS)-RWD) for a completed reimagined Camaro in the mid 20s. It could also be on table for the company to completely electrify the Camaro as part of its new Electric Vehicle strategy. Regardless, most car enthusiasts would be dumbfounded if GM scrapped one of its most iconic nameplates, and considering major investment in its current factory, it doesn’t make much sense. In lieu of these rumors, I have compiled some of the 7thGeneration “Must Haves” for the Camaro that will help bring the sports car into the modern era in order to please enthusiasts and fans alike.
1. Retro Inspired Design:
It’s no mystery that a large part of Camaro’s success in recent years has been due to its design that took heavy inspiration off the first generation Camaro built from 1967-1969. While the 5th and 6th generations are also iconic in their designs, GM did not drastically change the Camaro too much in styling for its 6thgeneration. As a result, first generation inspired design has been soldiering on for 10 years. The high belt line and narrow windows from this design make poor driving visibility and a very small trunk. Sitting in the current generation Camaro has been compared to sitting in a bathtub, and while not wrong, the Mustang and Challenger do not suffer similar issues, and feature larger trunks.
In order to create better visibility, it’s time for Camaro design to take inspiration from the 2ndgeneration that ran from 1970-1981. Due to a low beltline, the second generation was longer and sleeker in appearance, which could do Camaro well in order to look more modern and be easier to see out of. In addition, this new design can allow a larger trunk to be set in place, this time with a hatch type design for easier loading and storage space. An interesting design element, that was briefly seen in the early 70s, could make a return in the form of round tail-lights. This was typically synonymous with the Corvette, but hasn’t been seen on the Vette since the C6 ended production in 2013.
2. C7 Corvette Performance Enhancements:
The Corvette has always been GM’s halo sports car, and many of the performance breakthroughs the company made, before trickling down the lineup, started on the Vette. With the Corvette about to move upmarket by switching to its new mid engine platform, this leaves Camaro room to grow and mature, as it will be GM’s last front engine sports coupe. The C7 Vette’s cooling tricks for the brakes and rear differential, and suspension upgrades can do Camaro well in its future maturity. V8 engine technology is still advancing, not as much as it use to, although GM could squeeze a bit more power and torque out of its current power plant offerings.
3. Electrification in some form:
The future of GM is electric, and while an all electric Camaro would most likely sour many enthusiasts that enjoy the roar of a loud V8, the company needs to convince its customer base that it can prove itself in the electric vehicle segment with sporty vehicles. In this development, a plug in hybrid variant would serve the Camaro well in proving that GM can take the Camaro to a new level in the future once it is fully electric. While its still up in the air, there is still potential that the Gen 7 Camaro will be fully electric, although I highly doubt it at this current time.
4. All Wheel Drive:
Poor visibility and trunk space aren’t the only hurtles that convince many customers the Camaro is better suited as a second vehicle rather than a primary daily driver. The Camaro has never been a good performer is slippery or icy conditions, and an available all wheel drive system, while costly, will allow customers to drive their Camaro’s all year with less worry. GM has the engineering capability to offer all wheel drive, as its already available on most Cadillacs that ride on the alpha platform, they just need to make it function well for a vehicle with higher horsepower and torque outputs.
5. T Tops:
Camaro has not had T tops since the 90s, in fact no GM vehicle has since the Camaro’s 4thgeneration. While Corvette’s fully removable hard top is great, T tops were iconic for adding different style in the 70s that become synonymous with fans until today. Resurrecting this element will again add retro design, but provide a new generation of customers an experience that have not had yet. In today’s automotive market, little quirks and features can make a big difference, and this one would delight old and new buyers alike.
6. Firebird Trans Am Variant:
Okay, this one is a stretch, and while GM has no current plans to bring Pontiac back into the lineup, a compelling case can be made. The Trans Am is known mostly for its bold styling and great performance. Bringing an entire Firebird lineup would be costly and compete very directly with Camaro, hence why it would serve well to only build a Trans Am on top of the Camaro SS’s roots. With the same powertrain, the T/A would only need different styling elements to set it apart from Camaro, and a bit of exhaust and suspension tuning. It would be set to stand as an all round “Grand Tourer,” not a track monster like the ZL1. I have plans for what GM could do with the Pontiac brand if it were to resurface, so stay tuned for an in depth article diving into this concept at a later date. Just wanted to post this idea here as it links directly to plans of a 7th Generation Camaro!