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We Break Down What It Is And What It Is Very Much Not

There have been attempts at tugging at the heartstrings of the Chevrolet Camaro faithful, with clickbait headlines going as far as speculating that, somehow, a showroom condition third-gen Camaro spied outside the General Motors Milford Proving Grounds is some kind of early indicator of an all-new seventh-generation model – because there’s an M-plate on it and Chevrolet Performance stickers.

Unfortunately, some die-hard fans have really taken this to heart. We’re not going to sugar coat it for you here, but we are going to explore very unconfirmed possibilities of what this M-plate 80’s Camaro could mean. However, lets start first with clearing the air…


A Seventh Generation Chevrolet Camaro Mule

Sorry, everybody. As the original source for reporting that the seventh-generation Chevrolet Camaro program has been put on ice, in addition to the sixth-generation Camaro Z/28 program getting the axe, we will firmly plant our heels in, and insist that this is not an early prototype of the seventh-generation Chevrolet Camaro. Like everything else, there are patterns and indicators to help identify what could be a test mule for a future automotive product. Unanimously, they are chop-jobs, often with strange wheel alignments, mismatched paneling, and giveaway diagnostic equipment. This third-gen Chevrolet Camaro exhibits none of that.

As we reported previously: the Camaro is not transitioning to the A2xx platform, and the sixth-generation will see the end of its life cycle by 2023. There is nothing charted after that, according to sources. The only way the fate of the Camaro wouldn’t be sealed is if General Motors was seriously foolish enough to wrap the legendary pony car into another one of its exercises in post-modernism, and turn it into a highly top-secret electric vehicle. But we have no indication of that. Nevertheless, it still wouldn’t make this (gas-engine-powered) Gen. III Camaro a test bed for such a program.

The Chevrolet Performance L96 Crate Engine.


Possible SEMA Concept

We’re also willing to bet this is an unlikely scenario, as GM Design tends to oversee the building of all Chevrolet SEMA project vehicles in a garage in Warren, Michigan. They usually stay put, and don’t require plating. Moreover, they’re one-off concept vehicles, making driving them on public roads a huge risk to the project. However, we will not rule this out.

Validation Testing For A New Crate Engine/Transmission Combination

A six-speed manual transmission with a possible supercharged V8 straight out of the Chevrolet Performance Parts catalog would be a dream come true for the deep pockets in the pro touring scene. This Camaro could be serving as a test bed for that – at best. The current Chevrolet Performance line of Connect and Cruise engine/transmission combos may run deep, but it’s missing a few notable combinations. such as any of Gen. IV or Gen. V small block V8 engines and their respective transmissions. This is the most likely scenario.

Chevrolet Starting A Sort Of Classic Vehicle Restoration Program

With new vehicles becoming more difficult for the hobbyist to work on, and missing some of the magic at the same time, late-model icons such as the Chevrolet Camaro have greatly appreciated. High-budget restorations have burgeoned a small industry, and OEMs are starting to take notice. Nissan, for example, has its vintage NISMO Heritage restoration program for late model R33 and R34 GT-R in Japan. General Motors may be getting on the wagon, as well, with Chevrolet leading the charge. If Chevrolet isn’t doing this, it damn well should.


Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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