Chevrolet Camaro: 2016 Car of the Year Nominee

Chevy’s iconic Camaro has received a ground-up redesign for 2016, a makeover that’s transformed it from a muscle machine into a world-beating sports car. But is that enough?

It now shares the same underlying architecture as the luxurious and oh-so-lovely Cadillac ATS. These bones grace this high-performance coupe with myriad benefits; it’s smaller, lighter, faster and tighter than before.

It may look like a relic from the 1960s, but nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously, the new platform it rides atop attests to this, but it only takes one peek under the hood to realize there’s more to this story.

A full range of modern powerplants is available in this car, an engine lineup that spookily mirrors a certain crosstown rival. Like the Ford Mustang, this Camaro is available with one of three different mechanical hearts.

The entry-level engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It delivers a totally competent 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of twist. A decade and a half ago, these were V8-beating figures, but now they’re offered in the most basic Camaro.

Stepping up from there, you can opt for a mid-range V6 that displaces 3.6L and puts out 335 horses along with 284 lb-ft of peak torque. Our car-of-the-year tester was fitted with this smooth and snarly powerplant, which was paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is also available, and preferable.

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Until special-edition models like the ZL1 and Z28 come out, the range-topping engine in the new Camaro is a 6.2-liter V8, which delivers a 455-horse stampede and an identical measure of torque. This is the propulsion unit to get; it seems the most appropriate and will, no doubt, sound the best.

SS models feature that rompin’ V8 and can be up-fitted with GM’s brilliant magnetic ride control, which allows you to adjust the suspension’s compliance, keeping it soft for cruising and tight for carving corners. Speaking of advanced technology, Apple CarPlay is also on the options menu, making cellular connectivity a breeze, as long as you own an iPhone.

The Chevrolet Camaro melds aggressive, retro-inspired good looks with thoroughly modern mechanicals creating an addictively fun package. It combines the brute strength of a professional wrestler with the finesse of a virtuoso piano player. Noteworthy plusses indeed, though this car is not quite perfect.

Holding it back is a less than premium cabin and horrendous sightlines. Like its predecessor, this coupe is nearly impossible to see out of! Epic blind spots are the new Camaro’s greatest weakness, and something that could hold it back from winning the 2016 Car of the Year award. But do they? Stick around to find out: We announce the winner on December 15.

Discuss this story on our sixth-gen Chevy Camaro Forum