Sixth-Generation Camaro Z/28 Cancelled: Exclusive

GM’s Latest Restructuring Efforts May Be To Blame

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Logo

There was a reason why the clumsily-named Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE wasn’t called the Z/28. Today MC&T is the first to report that General Motors was indeed working on a sixth-generation Camaro Z/28 that would have capped the lineup of the most capable muscle car Chevrolet has ever built. This program has been cancelled, according to sources.

This only adds salt into the wounds of Camaro enthusiasts. Last week, MC&T broke the news to the world that the sixth-generation Camaro will run its course by the 2023 model year, leading to another hiatus for the iconic nameplate, as plans for the seventh-generation model have been shelved. In those four years there will just be minor updates, and some visual packages here and there, such as the Shock and Steel Special Edition, and Redline Edition.

2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
The fifth-gen Camaro Z/28 was lighter than the fifth-gen ZL1 by 300 pounds thanks to clever engineering.

Powertrain work and business planning was as far as things went for the sixth-generation Camaro Z/28. Then came GM’s restructuring plan to free cash flow at the end of 2018 for financial security, and to further fund far-reaching programs such as Cruise Automation and an extensive electric vehicle portfolio. Outwardly, this entailed shrinking its manufacturing footprint in North America, and laying off thousands of salaried employees. Internally, this also meant the demise of select vehicle programs, say sources. This hyper-Camaro was one of them.

The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was also slated to get its own engine unique from any General Motors vehicle on sale today, called the LT3. It would have had a displacement of 6.6 liters, a higher redline than the LT1, and would have been naturally aspirated. In short, it would have been the spiritual successor to the legendary 427 cubic-inch LS7 in the fifth-gen Z/28 and C6 Corvette Z06. This engine program was also canned in November 2018.

It wasn’t disclosed to us if the LT3 would have been more powerful than the 650 horsepower LT4 engine found in the Camaro ZL1.

Speaking of which, this news gives us no reason to forget how much of a world-beater the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is. And naming aside, it’s nevertheless the spiritual successor to the Camaro Z/28, despite not having a naturally aspirated engine.

Like the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28, the ZL1 1LE possesses trick Multimatic DSSV dampers, where lesser variants do not. The ZL1 1LE also built on the former Z/28’s capabilities with extensive aero work, highlighted by front dive planes and an exposed weave carbon fiber rear wing that adds up to 300 lbs of downforce. The suspension system can also be adjusted for different setups, including the front ride height, camber, and rear sway bar.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

In short, the extreme nature of the Camaro ZL1 1LE will not be easily outmatched by its rivals, as Chevrolet really outdid themselves with its capabilities. Its incredible Nurburgring lap time of 7:16.04 is proof of that. Then again, with an MSRP of $71,295, customers are certainly paying for it. That said, it still undercuts the price of the (760 horsepower) 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Logo

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. GM shoots itself in the foot AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stupid decision by a bunch of jackass bean counters!!!!!!!

  2. Deliveries for the sixth-generation Camaro have been abysmal, falling steadily since its 2016 introduction. Last year, just under 51,000 found homes. Sales figures for 2019 aren’t looking much better. However, sales for its crosstown competitor, the Ford Mustang, are also down, though nowhere near as extreme as Camaro sales. GM’s hesitation with another costly development program makes sense.

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