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Tom Peters Is Standing Behind The Design Direction Of His Team And Its Product

The sixth generation Chevrolet Camaro stands on its own two feet as the best handling muscle car/pony car that has so far been sold. From the base turbo model, all the way up to the world-beating Camaro ZL1 1LE, the vehicle family has a stacked lineup of athletes, and everybody paying attention seems to recognize this. However, where the dynamics of the American icon are unanimously agreed upon, a point of controversy nevertheless remains among enthusiasts: the design.

Some have vocalized their adoration for the styling direction of the sixth-generation Chevrolet pony car, even the controversial 2019 model year refresh, which has been adjusted for the 2020 model year. Others have criticized the car as being too similar to the fifth-gen model, or even unattractive. So we asked the person tasked with overseeing its shape if they had any regrets.

The 2019 model year Camaro SS.

Simply put: “Nope,” according to Tom Peters, sixth-generation Camaro exterior design director, when we asked if there was anything he would change regarding car’s styling, hindsight 20/20. Peters retired from General Motors earlier this year, and also oversaw styling direction for the fifth-generation Camaro, as well as the C7 and C8 Corvette.

“We had the same team working on Camaro and C7… we wanted to add more sculpture, more flavor, and more unique shape to (the sixth-gen),” in comparison to the more literal throwback design language of the fifth-gen from 2010-2015. Much in the same way, the C8 avoided literal design cues from previous Corvette models, such as a split rear window.

Peters also mentioned that there was a lot of excitement to design the pony car on the nimble Alpha platform – an architecture that continues to dominate in ride and handling comparison tests.

As MC&T first reported, the Chevrolet Camaro is not transitioning onto the updated A2 architecture that underpins the upcoming Cadillac CT4 and CT5, which will also be built alongside the Camaro at the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant launching this year. Despite this, the lifecycle for the sixth-gen Camaro is charted until 2023.

The Refreshed 2020 Camaro SS

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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