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Ignition - - Contents Table 0f - BY SHAUN KEENAN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY CHEVRO­LET

Camaro 5 vs. Camaro 6

Nearly 50 years have passed since Chevro­let launched the first-gen Camaro (1967MY) in Septem­ber ’66. Three dif­fer­ent plat­forms and six gen­er­a­tions later, the orig­i­nal mis­sion – to com­pete squarely against the ven­er­a­ble Ford Mus­tang – has not changed.

But while the Mus­tang’s Cana­dian sales were up by nearly 24 per cent in 2015 (6,933 to­tal units) com­pared to 2014, the Camaro had slipped by some seven per cent over the same pe­riod (with 2,668 units sold). The fact that Ford’s cur­rent, sixth-gen ’Stang is newer – al­ready into its se­cond year of sales – is a big rea­son for that, but don’t ex­pect the Chevy to roll over.

In fact, GM is op­ti­mistic it will see a big surge in Camaro sales fol­low­ing the re­lease of the all-new, gen-six that was un­veiled to a large gath­er­ing of en­thu­si­asts in Detroit ahead of last sum­mer’s Belle Isle Grand Prix.

This new ver­sion is a real tour de force, too. Only two parts carry over from the fifth gen (Zeta) to the sixth gen­er­a­tion (Al­pha) Camaro – the Chevy bowtie on the tail­lamp panel and the SS badge. More­over, ac­cord­ing to Mark Reuss, GM Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Global Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment, “…more than 70 per cent of the com­po­nents are unique to the gen-six Camaro, in­clud­ing ex­te­rior and in­te­rior di­men­sions, an all-new in­te­rior, front and rear sus­pen­sion, and pow­er­train com­po­nents.”

Less weight and more power is the com­bi­na­tion for per­for­mance suc­cess, and en­gi­neers of the 2016 mod­els have been able to save up to 177 kg. Chevro­let’s own test­ing shows the all-new, 455hp Camaro SS coupe – the most pow­er­ful Camaro SS ever – sprints from 0-97 km/h in four sec­onds and cov­ers the quar­ter­mile in 12.3 sec­onds, when equipped with the all-new eight-speed pad­dle-shift au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The SS fea­tures Ea­gle F1 Asym­met­ric 3 run-flat sum­meronly tires, en­abling 0.97 g in cor­ner­ing and 97-0 brak­ing in 35.6 me­tres.

The other new Camaro coupe mod­els are com­men­su­rately quick, with the 275-hp 2.0L Turbo de­liv­er­ing 5.4-se­cond 0-97 km/h per­for­mance and a 14-se­cond quar­ter-mile with the six-speed man­ual. With the avail­able 335-hp 3.6L V6 and eight-speed au­to­matic, the Camaro zips to 97 km/h in 5.1 sec­onds and down the quar­ter-mile in only 13.5 sec­onds.

“The per­for­mance of the Camaro 2.0L Turbo will chal­lenge many of the iconic mus­cle cars from the 1960s, while the Camaro SS’S per­for­mance makes it one of the most ca­pa­ble 2+2 coupes on the mar­ket,” says Al Op­pen­heiser, Camaro Chief En­gi­neer. “The per­for­mance num­bers only tell half of the story, be­cause the lighter curb weight also makes the new Camaro feel more re­spon­sive and ag­ile be­hind the wheel. It brakes more pow­er­fully, dives into cor­ners quicker, ac­cel­er­ates faster and is more fun to drive than ever.”

Much of the Camaro’s per­for­mance can be at­trib­uted to the de­vel­op­ment team’s fo­cus on re­duc­ing ve­hi­cle mass and im­prov­ing struc­tural stiff­ness. They in­vested 9 mil­lion hours of com­pu­ta­tional time look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to make the chas­sis lighter and stiffer. That com­puter-aided en­gi­neer­ing led to a mod­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture strat­egy that tailored the chas­sis to each model.

“Ev­ery Camaro model of­fers ex­cep­tional chas­sis strength and rigid­ity, but the mod­u­lar de­sign made the ar­chi­tec­ture more adapt­able and mass­ef­fi­cient, be­cause we didn’t have to com­pen­sate for the unique de­mands of, say, the SS con­vert­ible when build­ing a 2.0L Turbo coupe,” says Op­pen­heiser. “The re­sult was an el­e­gant en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tion: 12 chas­sis com­po­nents that could be com­bined to meet the struc­tural re­quire­ments of each spe­cific model, with­out adding un­nec­es­sary mass to other mod­els.”

Con­se­quently, the base curb weight for the 2016 Camaro is 167 kg lighter than the pre­vi­ous model. The 1SS model is 102 kg lighter, while of­fer­ing 29 more horse­power, for a 14 per cent im­prove­ment in its power-to-weight ra­tio.

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