2016 Camaro (#CamaroSix ) / Camaro Videos

Autoline After Hours 29: Al Oppenheiser, Chief Engineer, Chevrolet Camaro

CamaroNews – Al Oppenheiser joins Autoline to talk about the new Camaro Six. The Chief engineer spoke mostly about the current models and would not talk about future performance models. This is a very good interview and the points we found are listed below for your enjoyment.

  • the 4 & 6 cylinders are going to be roughly equal in weight
  • there are 2 main reasons for the turbo4: the youngin’s who like tinkering with such engines, and the CAFE standards.
  • LT models are going to be nearly 300 lbs lighter than 5th gen equivalents (putting them approximately at 3450 lbs)
  • Weight was more or less the biggest disappointment on the 5th gen, thus the main area of improvement on the 6th
  • Second area of focus was the interior. 5th gen was based on the 2006 Concept … and nearly a decade later, its time to move on
  • track mode changes the exhaust note (through electronic bi-modal exhaust), steering inputs, and throttle response. Other modes alter the same parameters.
  • MRC is an option (rather than integrated into a package, like 2SS … probably)
  • Visibility has been addressed slightly, through a lower beltine and better upward visibility (presumably roof/windshield area), and a less cramped interior space
  • However, customers have told GM that styling is much more important than visibility, GM should fix it with technology.
  • Ambient lighting, though not a major element of the 6th gen, has defaults according to the different driving modes -but this can be changed based on driver preference (ex, track is orange but could be changed to red or white or blue or whatever)
  • It has to be seen in person, rather than through pics
  • Feels like a ‘middle weight’ boxer, rather than a ‘heavy weight’ -leaner, quicker, faster.
  • As to a high revving engine (like early 1st gen Z/28) … Al was rather evasive -but he did say that GM is open to new technology that helps performance. The following 2 points are speculation on my part …
    • possible turbo/supercharged Z/28
    • hybrid ‘boost’ like KERS or similar tech
  • With the 5th gen, they feel like they solidified what various Camaro things mean: styling must be long hood/short deck, Z/28 is the all out racer, 1LE is the affordable track package, ZL1 is the high powered beast. In my opinion, I take this to mean that the sub-models/packages on the 6th will be pretty similar in concept/scope to the 5th gen.
  • With regard to weight reduction, their work was a continuation of what Cadillac was doing (presumably on the CTS). For example, if a bolt has more than 3 or 4 threads exposed cut the extras off to save a bit of weight. My personal comment … the Camaro is slightly larger than the ATS, but looks like it will weigh about the same -validating what Al said.
  • On AWD … indicated that there would be limited interest, would add extra cost, the car should stay true to its DNA, and that AWD doesn’t fit with the Camaro. So it sounds like a ‘no’ until at least the 7th gen … and my own guess says don’t count on it then or in the 8th gen either.

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