When we opened up MC&T last year, one of our stories that set the internet ablaze was the audacious report that the seventh-generation Chevrolet Camaro as we knew it was shelved. The Camaro will not transition onto the GM A2 platform that underpins the Cadillac CT4 and CT5, and the product timeline for the iconic American muscle car will, once again, go dark after 2023. At best, it means some gap years, as was the case between the fourth- and fifth-generation models.
And yet, there’s this. A quick teaser image of what appears to be a Chevrolet Camaro silhouette over a rolling EV skateboard platform. But is it actually an electric Camaro? Or is it something else?
5-10 years from now, and perhaps farther down the road, the Camaro ethos will not change. And any General Motors strategy that involves only selling an electric Chevrolet Camaro to customers would be a lot like a historic and renown steakhouse – Peter Luger, let’s say – suddenly pushing soy-based imitation proteins to satiate, in place of the real thing. Underestimating this would result in outright rejection of the product. An early example of this rejection is the no-sale of the eCOPO Camaro concept.
What we’re saying is the cure for low Camaro sales probably isn’t going to be an electric one. But Chevrolet has made strides in fixing some of the issues that have held it down, such as bringing down the price of the V8 to more agreeable levels. In fact, the 2020 Camaro LT1 trim level is the most affordable V8 muscle car on the market right now, and could have helped kick off a sales turnaround seen at the end of last year. That said, more expensive fixes, such as aligning it closer to the demands of the muscle car segment as a whole, can’t be amended without a complete do-over.
While the automaker has no shortage of blunders on its record, even extremely recently (CT6, anyone?), it’s hard for us to think the hive mind within the company would actually be so obtuse as to push an electric pony car and only an electric pony car.
GM seems to be keen on selling gasoline-only products for several years to come, such as its breadwinning Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, as well as its utility vehicles. Meanwhile, in the near future, GM will also offer a line of electric pickup trucks and utility vehicles, such as the Hummer EV and electric Cadillac Escalade. In other words, the automaker is hedging the bet. Just as Ford Motor Company appears to be hedging the bet with the F-150, and the Mustang.
Oppositely, the Camaro product timeline currently does not imply a future with a roaring internal combustion engine. No drama of a thundering V8 to offset the simulacrum of sound from an electrified model. Considering GM’s strategy with its full-size trucks and SUVs, we’re left extremely skeptical that what was teased is even a “Camaro” at all.
As the original source to reporting the shelving of the seventh-generation Camaro, here is what we know for sure: the GM BEV3 electric vehicle platform is wildly flexible, and can support an array of vehicles in a wide variety of segments, and can utilize front- rear- or all-wheel-drive layouts. One of them is called ‘BEV3 Low Roof’ and it’s implied that this version will underpin sleek, rakish and otherwise sporty vehicles such as the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq electric vehicle, which will be a hand-built flagship EV. BEV3 Low Roof will likely underpin a Chevrolet of some kind as well. It’s just too early to assume it’s going to be an electric Camaro.
Finally, while there were several vehicles teased that are still a few years out, there was no Chevrolet Camaro EV teased this week during GM’s highly revealing future electric vehicle event that happened at the Design Dome at the Warren Technical Center.
Our all-new modular platform and Ultium batteries will be the heartbeat of our all-electric future – powering electric vehicles in every segment to meet the needs of every person. https://t.co/6rHye50N3w pic.twitter.com/biMvKalc7g
— General Motors (@GM) March 5, 2020