It’s tricky to concisely summarize the sixth-gen Camaro — well, I suppose “lifeless” is a great deal concise. But eye-grabbing superlatives these as “best bad auto” or “worst fantastic automobile” don’t seriously apply, nor is it strictly “neglected” nor “underappreciated.” It truly is underpinned by the very best chassis of any pony car or truck ever crafted, presenting a around-ideal blend of outright effectiveness and trip top quality (and sufficient alternatives for each to fulfill pretty much any bottom). Nonetheless it failed to seize our hearts, not to mention the lion’s share of revenue.
Why? Is it due to the fact V8-powered American cars and trucks in normal are no more time neat? That undoubtedly has not gotten in the way of the Dodge Challenger — a vehicle in continual hazard of falling aside below the sheer mass of its own charisma. The large, brutish coupe is ending its absurdly very long operate at the top of the V8 American coupe sales chart — an admittedly doubtful accomplishment in light of Covid’s impact on profits figures, but its lasting appeal speaks for itself.
But Camaro are not able to blame the coronavirus for its incapability to woo us our minds were created up long just before our lungs acquired gunky. Camaro came out of the gate with an just about imperceptible limp it was missing the spark that elevates likable to lovable. Why? I can only speculate, but if I were being a betting guy, I would put my cash on the chance that GM fully commited a acquainted unforced error: Putting far too substantially faith in The Net™.
You know, that spot the place we all go to rage anonymously about issues the individuals in our actual life are unwell of listening to about. The identical online exactly where people today say they’d gladly purchase an over-weary Radio Flyer with a V8 strapped to it, if only the fun police would just get out of the way. Oh, but it demands to expense $2,500, be exceptional only to people today who upvoted a specific thread on (enthusiast forum in this article), and arrive with a 12-calendar year, 240,000-mile warranty with service executed only by major hunting men and women in white satisfies, not the dirty wage slave who replaced the brake pads on your sister’s Equinox.
I exaggerate, but not by a great deal. For a long time, American general performance automobiles have been held to an unreasonable double-regular. In the eyes of many, not only should they be objectively and subjectively superior than just about anything made available by a foreign producer, they ought to do so at a dramatically reduce rate point to be worth using a probability on. Unless of course we’re chatting about Corvettes, of course, in which situation they need to be priced higher to be taken severely. As opposed to the NSX, you know, (*waves arms*) for reasons.
Let us go back a number of a long time. Outdoors of GM fandom, the fifth-gen Camaro was derided as concurrently much too large to be a superior overall performance automobile and as well cramped to be really worth driving every single working day. To evaluate it with the imaginary rocket-wagon over is patently unfair, but having done more than my share of pontificating within the cozy digital confines of an enthusiast echo-chamber, I assure you that the sentiment is just not that far off. Even the beastly Z/28 was not enough to fulfill the snobs. “Develop one that is just not significant and bloated and kicks ass right out of the box, and I will buy 1,” the net bluffed.
And GM termed. The sixth-gen Camaro introduced in 2016 to close to-common praise from each individual outlet with even the slightest fanatic lean. It did all the things right: It bought more compact, lighter and far more potent. It was greater by each individual tangible and intangible overall performance metric. It was this sort of a hit that Camaro profits (checks notes) ongoing a steady decrease that started right after peaking at 91,000 vehicles in 2012.
Wait around, what? In circumstance you haven’t picked up on my refined hints, I’ve been letting on that The Internet™ is complete of ****.
I can condense any pony automobile shootout down to two uncomplicated ending orders. If you treatment about how the car drives, it truly is Camaro very first, Mustang next and Challenger previous. If working day-to-working day livability is your precedence, then reverse them. It is that simple. Hunting at it that way, it truly is no shock that Mustang was so dominant for so long. As its positioning suggests, it genuinely was an outstanding compromise, with a lean towards effectiveness alternatively than practicality.
But a easy ending order would not inform the complete tale there is certainly much more to it than what’s 1st and what is worst. The Camaro is so excellent to drive that an fanatic can most likely glance earlier its shortcomings, but did it need to have them in the initial spot? Did its compromises make it a better performer? That is hard to say. Its pinched trunk opening would certainly lead to a stiffer chassis, which possibly saved GM some bodyweight, and to what extent did the gun slit home windows and cramped footwell do the very same? How a great deal additional Camaro could we have had without the need of offering up what built it so insanely fantastic? The way I see it, GM has answered that problem already. Two times.
You will find a flip aspect to this, of class. Do we know for sure that the Camaro would have marketed better if GM’s priorities had been rearranged — if the variation concerning Camaro and Mustang had appear down to no more than choice? Additional significant, would it have mattered given that Stellantis can probably shake free Challengers out of its break room sofa? The answer of program is no.
What I do know is that GM’s performance ICE engineers have practically nothing at all to be ashamed of. Whether or not it truly is Camaro, Corvette or Blackwing, there is no lousy fuel-burning overall performance car or truck in the firm’s present portfolio. I’ll pass up the Camaro, but I wish I was going to pass up it a lot more.