The new 2020 Chevrolet Camaro SS has been refreshed with a new grille to address concerns that the muscle car was just too ugly.
While most iterations of the refreshed 2019 Chevrolet Camaro looked, well, fresh, the popular SS model clearly fell on its face sometime before leaving the factory.
By blacking out the grille’s thick horizontal crossbar and migrating the bowtie emblem from the upper opening to a central position, Chevy designers greatly increased the face’s visual height. The resulting Camaro SS looked somewhat ill.
It looks like rumors of an emergency refresh were 100 percent true, as the 2020 model, seen above, has emerged from under the knife with a new nose. For the upcoming model year, Chevy also wants to get you into a V8 for less cash.
Many people griped about the new look, which looked awful next to the clean look of, say, the 1LE. (See the 2019 SS below.) The SEMA show car revealed shortly after the 2019 model’s introduction, as well as Chevy’s NASCAR Xfinity Series entry, hinted that the automaker was having sudden second thoughts about the model’s appearance.
Some people suggested that Chevy place the emblem back up where it belongs. The company went one further, making the fat crossbar body-colored, further reducing visual height.
Indeed, Chevrolet is willing to (tacitly) admit it made a mistake.
“Customers spoke, and we listened,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing, in a statement. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Shock’s stylized design helped prompt its transition from concept to production.”
Changes to the Camaro line don’t end with the SS, as there’s a sales slide to arrest. For the upcoming model year, Chevy is adding an LT1 trim to the roster, which can only indicate the presence of a GM V8 engine. In this case, a 455-horsepower, 6.2-liter eight-cylinder borrowed from the SS and dropped into a model positioned between the LT and SS.
After-destination sticker price for the LT1 is $34,995, three grand below a base 2019 SS, with buyers offered a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. Coupe and convertible body styles are available.
Elsewhere, content changes abound, with the V6-powered LT models gaining a 10-speed auto (tailored for V6 performance, Chevy claims). All models can be had with Rally Green paint, red seatbelts and kneepads, and alloy pedals, while LS and LT models can be optioned out with rear spoilers and tinted tail lamps. Twenty-inch wheels and a choice of red or orange brake calipers appear on the LT, LT1, and SS option lists. Recaro performance seats migrate from the 1LE to the LT, as well.
The (V6) 3LT trim added for 2019 can now be had with the 2.0-liter turbo four and Chevy’s Convenience and Lighting package.
All of these changes come as General Motors attempt to reverse the pony car’s falling sales. Last year saw Camaro sales fall 25 percent, though the first quarter of 2019 showed the model up 2.5 percent. Offering more for less is a time-honored ploy to populate showrooms, and so is undercutting your competition. A base 2019 Ford Mustang GT coupe stickers for $36,350 after destination, placing the cheaper Camaro V8 in good standing. However, an existing cash incentive pushes the base Mustang V8’s price $45 lower than that of the 2020 Camaro LT1.
Pricing for the full Camaro line should come into focus before the 2020 model goes on sale this fall.
A version of this article first appeared on TTAC.com