The refreshed 2019 Camaro sure looks happy to be here judging by the grin on its newly shaped face — and it has several reasons to be smiling.
Aside from the restyled front fascia, which isn’t as clean looking as before (Chevy says the new “Flowtie” grille treatment and vents optimise airflow to maximize cooling and address drag and lift — while around back, a revised bumper and new LED taillights help to identify the 2019 car; we’re glad to see the signature quad round design theme return) it has a handful of tweaks and changes under the skin.
The 3.6-litre V6 RS gets a sportier appearance including a polished black grille, 20in aluminium wheels, smoked taillights and a rear diffuser panel while the SS (with a 6.2-litre V8) ditches the eight-speed automatic transmission for an optional 10-speed unit which has trickled down from the ZL1 and yep, it’s the one that was co-developed with Ford and which is offered in the Mustang. These fierce rivals have learned to share, so get over it... The SS also gets a new launch control mode and line lock — Ford fans have been enjoying the latter for several years on the Pony (in fact back in the Sixties, most muscle cars could be fitted with a tyre-shredding option), and it’s good to see it’s finally made an appearance on the revised sixth-generation Camaro — because who doesn’t love extra smoky burnouts?
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Perhaps the biggest news is that the Chevy will also be offered with a new Turbo 1LE Performance Package for the 2.0-litre blown four-cylinder motor. GM fans will only be too aware of the first time a four-pot was fitted to the muscle car, and how woeful the infamous Iron Duke (aka Iron Puke...) was. The poor third-generation lumbered with this mill didn’t even make 100 horses. It was a product of the Malaise Era where performance was sacrificed for fuel economy but thankfully those dark days are long gone as the 1LE four-pot cars — which come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard — produce a storming 275 horses.
The pack, which was previously available just for the V6 and V8 models, also nets buyers an upgraded suspension and tyres, a Brembo brake package, driver-selectable Track and Competition modes, a suede flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob, and available Recaro bucket seats. Throw in a near-50/50 weight distribution and it is bound to make track days a real treat.
The most aggressive in the line-up will be the ZL1 and although there aren’t any images of it yet, we know that it will be one mean machine making a whopping 650 horses from its LT4 supercharged 6.2-litre V8 mated to the six-speed manual or 10-speed auto sending the grunt to the rear wheels of course. Last but not least, the 2019 cars get a handful of new technology features including GM’s Rear Camera Mirror, a new infotainment system with a 7.0in or optional 8.0in touchscreen and a more intuitive interface along with OnStar 4G LTE with WiFi hotspot support, and a forward collision warning system.
It should go on sale later this year with prices possibly ranging between Dh135,000 for the RS to Dh275,000 for the ZL1.
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