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Due out in late 2015, the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro could get smaller engine options but isn’t likely to change its design theme too much hints chief engineer Al Oppenheiser.
With development of the car currently under way, a finished product is still a long way off, but recent comments by Oppenheiser reveal the key areas of concern, from weight, to fuel economy, to the sports car’s distinctive styling.
From an engineering standpoint, weight is a major issue. Oppenheiser admits the current car has been critiqued for being heavy. “We always get hammered for mass, and that’s not going to be getting easier going forward,” he told Automotive News.
Related to that is the choice of engines, with CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) targets requiring significantly more efficient engines. As a result, Oppenheiser says everything is currently on the table, from displacement to the number of cylinders. And with rumors of a turbocharged V6 Mustang or even a turbo 4-cylinder, Chevy has to be thinking similar thoughts.
But perhaps the biggest issue of concern is the styling of the modern Camaro, which is believed to be much of the reason for the car’s success, overtaking the Mustang in sales for the past two years. Oppenheiser readily admits that, “In some ways it is actually going to be tougher,” to redesign what has become an instant fan favorite.
Perhaps his most telling comment, Oppenheiser hints that the styling update is likely to be evolution and not revolution. “We always have to stay fresh and ahead.” Still, he says, “we do not want to lose the fact that we have nearly 40 percent of the market.”