Exclusive: Seventh-Generation Chevrolet Camaro Shelved

Sources Say The Camaro Will Live Until 2023

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Multiple sources within GM have told Muscle Cars & Trucks that the seventh-generation Chevrolet Camaro program initially in development has been suspended, and the nameplate will likely be shelved after 2023. At the very least, this means that there’s going to be some gap years, again.

The current Camaro, the sixth-generation model, utilizes the dynamic Alpha platform that the Cadillac ATS and CTS utilized. Both are being discontinued, and will be replaced by the Cadillac CT4 and CT5, which utilize an updated version of the Alpha platform, called A2XX. Both the Camaro and the two Cadillac passenger cars mentioned are/will be built at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in central Michigan.

Sources tell us that the Camaro will not transition to the A2XX platform, and 2023 is as far as the vehicle is charted out. Then nothing.

This kind of hiatus happened to the storied nameplate previously, where the last of the fourth-generation Camaros rolled off the assembly line in 2002. All was quiet until 2006, when Chevrolet revived the Camaro name on a concept car, which left people ecstatic. That concept car eventually came to be the extremely popular fifth-generation Camaro, which restarted Camaro production in 2009, the year GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Fifth-Generation Camaro looks nearly identical to the 2006 concept, pictured.

Despite the emergency, the fifth-generation Camaro was an instant hit, with sales regularly tallying beyond 80,000 units per year. To put it simply, the Camaro consistently battled the Ford Mustang for the top sales spot between the two iconic pony cars and the larger but equally iconic Dodge Challenger.

The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro launched in the fall of 2015 as a 2016 model, and was marketed as lighter, sleeker, and more athletic than before. Yet it was tighter inside, and more expensive, especially when it came to the LT1-powered SS model.

Whether you prefer the current Camaro or not, the sales charts are sobering: just under 51,000 deliveries were tallied for the Camaro in 2018, which was a 25 percent drop from the year prior (67,940 deliveries). In short, the Camaro Six has yet to see the sales success as seen with Camaro Five.

2019 Camaro SS

There were warning signs that the Camaro program was on thin ice. Here are a few:

    1. Reception to the 2019 Camaro design refresh from enthusiasts wasn’t just negative, it was hostile. Angry comments throughout every social media channel, sales have so far sunk even further, and the futile attempts to dowse the flames may have sent product planners into a snap reaction.
    2. Feedback from a survey asking Camaro customers about potential future powertrains, including a V8 hybrid, may not have been as positive as Chevrolet had hoped. Remember, the sixth-generation Camaro is already facing pricing pressure through its life cycle when it comes to accessing its LT1 V8 engine. Pitching an $8,000 V8 hybrid option probably wasn’t helping the cause to increase sales and/or curb appeal.
    3. Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser was assigned to an electric vehicle program, while other notable figureheads on the Camaro team were given new work, as well. This left a skeleton crew to oversee the remainder of the Camaro Six’s life cycle.
    4. GM’s current postmodernist tagline of “zero crashes, zero emissions, zero congestion” is at odds with several core principles that the Camaro has symbolized for its enthusiast audience. It’s nearly impossible to imagine a world where an electric Camaro drives its occupants down an autonomous vehicle highway, as it would attempt to manipulate the decades of what the Camaro has otherwise represented: personal freedom. Our tinfoil hats might be on too tight, but it would otherwise seem as if GM product planners would seek to kill the Camaro, instead of departing from current marching orders from the top.
2020 Camaro SS in Shock

Despite our valid critiques here at MC&T regarding Camaro Six, it nevertheless remains the best-handling pony car/muscle car on the market, and remains true throughout the lineup. Because where the current Camaro may fall short in packaging, price structure, and practicality, the athletic 1LE package is currently offered on every model. This gives the entry-level Camaro Turbo features like tires and brakes from the Camaro SS, as is the case with the Camaro V6 1LE. The Camaro SS featured pull-down parts from the 650 horsepower ZL1, while the mighty Camaro ZL1 1LE absolutely bullied the C7 Corvette in the school cafeteria. However, this might have been its biggest problem: playing too closely to the Corvette’s sandbox.

Alas, we only have until 2023 to enjoy new Camaro products, pending an 11th hour miracle. And hey, clutch moments happened for the Corvette at least twice. Fortune could smile on the Camaro, too.

2019 Camaro Turbo 1LE

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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  1. They f*ck up the design, and then discontinue it because of lack of sales……..total idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. OK Ladies and Gentlemen, …first off the sales of the Camaro depends on if you bought one before the latest one ,to be clear most importantly not trying to collect all of them that might make the sales drop (you think),so if you could make them not so high in price (helloooo)I’m pretty sure you would sale a great deal more (obviously)I mean if the front of only one Cameron out of all is going to do it that is no excuse to cut the car out completely (really),it started out as a muscle car,then it will leave as one,at least we know it was not the performance aspect so if you want “luxury and performance “,then a “muscle car” is not for anyone, then go for a “Caddy “,but beware of the price tag as well, as for “GM”,then build a worthy “Camaro”replacement with a manual as a “standard “,and available “Corvette “engine as well as reardrive and new platform for starters.

  3. If they discontinue the Camaro and GM drops all the rest of their car like they announced they won’t be racing NASCAR since they are b not producing a production car that qualifies to race.

  4. How do we know you’re not just trying to clickbait everyone into reading your site with a “rumor” report, Manny?

    • First of all, welcome. Since you asked, and since others are bound to think the same thing: I’ve been breaking GM product news since 2009. Just because this is a new site, it does not discredit my track record of accurate reporting, nor does it dismiss that the automotive media at large recognizes me as an authoritative source for automotive product news.

      Car and Driver, Motor1, Autoblog, AutoGuide, Motor Authority, Roadshow, etc. wouldn’t cite my works if my reporting was not reputable. In addition to breaking product news, I’ve interviewed everybody from Chevrolet small car marketing managers, to HD truck chief engineers, to product chief Mark Reuss, to CEO Mary Barra.

      I’ve given the internet nothing but reason to believe my reporting.

      The very first report I published here on MC&T was about how the cybersecurity of the C8 Corvette ECU will make tuning it more difficult than any previous GM product before it. Just another exclusive news story to add to my resume. People didn’t want to believe me, so I was able to get a Mark Reuss quote shortly after: https://www.musclecarsandtrucks.com/2020-c8-corvette-ecu-mark-reuss-gives-details/

      To sum it up, if you or anybody wants to think I write clickbait, that’s on you. Hope you enjoy the news to come, because that will be the focus here.

  5. Say it ain’t so! Nooooo! I drove my 2001 Z-28 Camaro until GTO in 2006 then SS Camaro in 2011. Own a 2017 SS Camaro now.

  6. When GM dropped the F-bodies before, it was tragic. As a result, American manufacturers lost ground to all the cheap imports and America’s love affair with cars DIED!!! When it was just the Mustang, there was nothing to get excited about. But when Dodge brought back the Challenger – hell ya! It was on! It’s too late to bring back the mass appeal for American made high performance, but there are a small number of us enthusiasts left and we fight the continual emotional upheaval of seeing the very things we love and support be molested and forced into the sea of mass availability. First the scare about no more V8 engines. Then when they had to eat those words, the threat of going all electric. And now even the GT500 is no longer available in a manual. WTF??? If you can’t drive a stick, don’t get a muscle car! It’s all about the equation of driver + car. It’s the art of driving and perfecting those shifts and pushing the handling ever further – that loud reverberating growl and bad-ass loping – that’s what makes us love cars. Take away any of those things and it’s just another unexciting daily driver. Getting rid of the Camaro is a mistake, just like it was in 02. Dodge and Ford will run away with that market like they did before and many loyal Camaro lovers will permanently jump ship because they’re sick of this shit.

    Yeah, I have more to say, but I’ll stop there. I love my pony cars and every time we go through this a part of me dies. What a boring future our kids and grandkids will have without true American muscle.

  7. Well with all the SUV sales hardly any cars are sold. Check out the sales of Lincoln’s car line or Ford. My son was going to buy a Ford Focus RS and the sales person said that Ford was going to discontinue most of their car line due to lack of sales. Lincoln, Cadillac and just about every-other maker of cars are dirt cheap compared to buying a SUV.

  8. Sooo, do we as taxpayers, who bailed out GM from their last fcuk up, not have a say in what to manufacture? OR was it just obuma giving(and receiving) his union bosses the keys to the bank within GM? if GM goes belly up again, will we the taxpayers bail it out again??I hope not.

  9. So maybe it’s time to move from multiple iterations of the ‘69 camaro and get on to the 70-73 version of the second Gen. People get bored when the design doesn’t change. For gods sake Chevrolet pull your head out of your ass and try something different.

  10. 1) If you don’t think that electric powered cars can be/are fast check out all the exotics with hybrid drive trains. The fastest lambo ever tested ran a 5lt v10 with a 285hp electric in front.

    2) Again why an automatic over a manual: A, look over the Atlantic and find a high performance machine with a manual, it won’t happen. B, No one not even the best pro driver can shift faster. Ford claims that their 8spd dual clutch automatic can change gears in .0180/sec or 3 times faster than the blink of an eye.

    3) Try stopping faster than a traction brake (the braking action where power is no longer supplied to the electric motor thus turning it into a generator)

  11. I have an ’11 SS 2LE and a ’14 GT500. Both bought new.

    Both are fantastic, well built machines. Having both (Camaro & Mustang) in production makes both better, if one leaves the market, the other will become a lesser car.

    I want these incredible performance cars to go forever but a paradigm shift in the way car manufacturers survive or even thrive is coming shortly.

    Regulations and a new generation not wanting to own a car, let alone an ICE performance car are on their way.

    Just typing This depresses me.

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