Chevrolet’s all-new, sixth-generation Camaro is set to be revealed May 16 at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, just two weeks before IndyCar’s Belle Isle Grand Prix is held at the site. That means we won’t be seeing the car at this week’s 2015 New York Auto Show, but that’s okay as Chevy has dropped plenty of details to keep us satisfied until the May reveal.
We’ve already been treated via official means to a teaser image, a look at one of the car’s badges and confirmation that the car will offer the 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 found in the Corvette. On top of this, we’ve also seen numerous spy shots of prototypes and seen one of the car's key body dies.
Now, Chevy has confirmed that the sixth-generation Camaro will weigh more than 200 pounds less than the current model thanks to a series of weight-saving measures. The goal for designers was ensuring that the new car was superior to the current model in three main areas: handling, acceleration and fuel economy.
The current Camaro is relatively heavy due to its more utilitarian Zeta architecture, weighing in at around 3,750 lbs, and this reduced its performance compared to more exotic machines. Given the previous comments about weight savings, we may end up seeing the new Camaro tip the scales at less than 3,500 lbs. The lightest of the sixth-gen Mustangs, the EcoBoost, weighs 3,532 lbs.
The development team already had a good starting point with General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] brilliant Alpha platform, but to further reduce weight they made dozens of small changes. For example, the beam that supports the instrument panel is now made of aluminum, saving 9.7 lbs over the steel beam on the current model.
In addition, the front and rear suspension assemblies are now aluminum, and links on some models feature an intricate, structurally optimized design made with a rigid composite material that’s even lighter than aluminum. As a result, the total weight for the suspension is 21 percent lighter compared to current steel-intensive assemblies.
The result is a car that should perform better than its predecessor in most key benchmarks, something the car’s chief engineer Al Oppenheiser is promising: “The new Camaro brakes harder, flicks into corners more quickly, and drives out of the corner faster—we expect it will set the benchmark in the segment and give many sports cars a challenge.”