11 Surprising Facts About the New Camaro
1. It’s built on a completely different platform
Despite the strong familial resemblance to the previous car, the dirty bits of the new Camaro are based on GM’s Alpha platform, used on the Cadillac ATS and CTS models, rather than the previous Zeta platform. As a result, all of the underbody pieces are completely different and not interchangeable.
2. Its standard four-cylinder engine is the first in 30 years
The entry-level LT model comes with a four-cylinder engine—the first one in a Camaro in 30 years. It’s the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder borrowed from the ATS, developing about 270 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. That’s roughly triple the horsepower of the 2.5-liter “Iron Duke” four offered in the 1982–1986 models.
3. The V-8 engine has three radiators
The main radiator is located in the conventional position, and two smaller radiators are stationed on either side, mounted at right angles.
4. The automatic transmission cooler is horizontal
At the bottom of the box formed by the V-8’s three radiators lies a horizontally mounted transmission cooler, through which air flows downward.
5. To save weight, the anti-roll bar drop-links are plastic
The front anti-roll bar drop-links on the V-6 models are described as composite. But they are actually a high-strength plastic, not reinforced by any fibrous material.
6. The HVAC vents do double duty
In a clever touch designed to minimize the number of buttons while making it easy to adjust the temperature setting of the HVAC system, each outer ring on the central air outlet rotates to set the system temperature. The set temp is then shown briefly on the central LCD display.
7. It took an unconventional path to a wider track
In order to preserve most of the Alpha platform structure that had been carefully developed for the ATS and CTS, the Camaro’s wider track (1.6 inches greater up front, 1.2 inches wider at the back—Camaro SS versus CTS) was achieved by using longer suspension pieces on the same pickup points. Most of these bits are aluminum, and, in total, they’re 21-percent lighter than the corresponding parts on the fifth-gen Camaro.
8. The roof is laser-welded
On most cars, the roof is MIG-welded to the sides of the car, leaving an untidy seam that must either be covered by a plastic strip, or hand filled and finished. On the lesser versions of a car, the plastic strips serve as an obvious reminder that you bought the cheap model. On the Camaro, this seam is laser-welded, producing a much neater seam that requires no handwork and looks better on all versions.
9. The instrument cluster is highly customizable
On the upper-trim versions, you get an 8-inch LCD screen that sits between the analog speedometer and tach. On this screen, you can display three different instrument configurations on the top third and at least four different screens underneath. These are independent of what is on the 8-inch LCD screen on the dash.
10. The SS model is “track capable”
In anticipation of expected hard driving, the Camaro SS is rated as track capable. That means that it can run for an entire tank of fuel at maximum speed around GM’s Milford Road Course without cooking its engine, transmission, differential, or brakes. That’s why it has so many radiators.
11. The hood vents are functional
The vents on the aluminum hood of the Camaro SS are functional and serve to relieve excess air from the engine compartment. This helps cooling flow and reduces lift. The position of the vents was chosen so that low-pressure air flowing over the hood would help extract the underhood air.