A fresh rumor claims that Chevrolet will pull the plug on the Camaro after the 2023 model year, meaning there won’t be a seventh-generation of Chevrolet’s pony car to carry on its legacy of affordable performance.
Citing unnamed sources within General Motors, the article on musclecarsandtrucks.com states that Camaro won’t move on to the A2XX platform, an evolution of Camaro’s current Alpha chassis, that will underpin the Cadillac CT4 and CT5.
[UPDATE: GMauthority.com, also citing intel from unnamed sources, is claiming that the seventh-gen Camaro has been delayed, not canceled.]
One piece of well-known information that could back up the claim is the departure of long-time Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser. Oppenheiser and his team tuned the Australian-developed Zeta platform they inherited for the fifth-generation Camaro and honed it into several iterations that delighted drivers before tweaking the Alpha platform to make the sixth-generation Camaro a world-class driver’s car. Now he heads up electric vehicle development.
After the fifth-generation Camaro captured the pony car sales title away from Mustang for several years straight, the redesigned Mustang took it back. The sixth-generation Camaro’s higher transaction prices couldn’t win the war, while the Dodge Challenger, buoyed by frequent additions to the lineup and tremendous horsepower, grew its sales year after year. Now Camaro is at third place among the rekindled pony car wars and critics have lambasted the 2019 model’s facelift, so much so that Chevrolet readied a refresh for 2020.
In 2018 Chevrolet sold 51,000 Camaros in the United States, down 25 percent from 2017. That 51,000 is still more than the combined sales of the Corvette, Fiat 124, Mazda Miata, Nissan 370Z, BMW 2 Series, Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, and Jaguar F-type. They’re not all direct competitors, but Camaro does make up a sizable chunk of the sporty coupe market.
Camaro’s 2018 sales were also more than double the combined sales of its Alpha platform mates, Cadillac ATS and CTS. To dump the Camaro and lose more than half of the platform’s volume, all from a single Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, seems a bit of an odd move, especially as Chevrolet moves the Corvette to its new, mid-engine configuration and, presumably, a higher base price. With no Camaro in the showroom, Chevrolet would have a huge gap in its lineup
If this rumor is true, it wouldn’t be the first time since its September 1966 debut that we’ve been without a Camaro. After the fourth-generation F-body ended, Camaro was off the market from 2003-2009. Still, we’ve gotten used to a world with an affordable, capable Camaro so we hope there’s something in the works to replace the sixth-generation when the time comes.
Could Al Oppenheiser and his new team come through with an all-electric Camaro to save Chevrolet’s pony car yet again?