Since the Camaro, and to some extent the Firebird, stopped production in 2002, fans have been salivating for any
shred of news regarding a possible return of their beloved Camaro. Some sketches, computer generated images and
basically rampant speculation has fueled intense debate over what's real and what isn't. This will be an ongoing
resource for past, present and future information on the vehicle, even if it never comes to production.
Motor Trend runs a story on the possibility of a next generation Camaro to replace the then still in production car.
One GM insider says ?We?d be absolutely crazy to let the Camaro name die.? Back in 2001 the sales of coupes were
declining as SUVs ruled. Toda, the new Mustang is ready to blow that conception out of the water and even during the
past few years the former Mustang still sold well without any GM competition. Another source said, at the time, they
were not even at the earliest stages of developing a new Camaro.
Instead the company was planning the launch of the SSR. We now know how badly that turned out. Funny enough, in retrospect, is this line ?Firebird enthusiasts can cling to the whispers that the GTO moniker may be resurrected.? Hah! The new GTO?s price is keeping it out of the hands of the people who should be buying it. The article also mentions the Camaro might be built on the Sigma platform, the same as the Cadillac CTS (which has done well). In the end the story proves to be wrong on almost every case but does provide an eerie retro sketch (above) that is similar to the latest artwork on the Internet.
January 2003 Detroit Auto Show
About a year and a half after the Motor Trend story ran, Chevrolet unveiled a likely successor to the Camaro simply called SS. The SS married the Camaro and Corvette into a 2-door sedan with rear doors like the Mazda RX-8. There?s some testosterone in the concept but, unfortunately, there?s also a similar front end to the SSR. From Car Design News ?A small block V8 under the hood, a longitudinal, all-aluminum, 6-liter engine that provides 430 hp and 430 lb.-ft. torque. Of course, as this is a ?family sedan,? there is Displacement on Demand: no one wants to waste fuel ? and it is worth noting that a lightweight aluminum chassis is used, too.?
That?s a lot of power but also a lot of car. This would never win over Camaro fans looking for a true two-door.
September 2003 Popular Hot Rodding
Interestingly enough one of the places that has had the biggest impact on the future of the Camaro has been an independent automotive publication. Popular Hot Rodding Magazine ran a story called ?The Fifth Element? and had a 19-year-old designer, Kris Horton, show off what he thought the next generation Camaro should look like. These images blew the doors off all the Camaro fans. Even those that were against the retro design were happy that this at least looked like a viable way to get their Camaro back.
The Horton images jumpstarted the talk of a Camaro rebirth and since then, the buzz has just gotten bigger. Horton returned in a future issue with a revised Camaro (photo) complete with hidden headlights.
August 2004 Popular Hot Rodding
Guy McKoy and Johnny Hunkins wrote a quick lead-up to where we are now and included a sketch from popular GM enthusiast website Cheers and Gears. They then had their good friend Kris Horton render a new digital image of the sketch and bam: a concept very close to what many GM insiders say will be rolling off the lines for the 2007 model year (below).
Cheers and Gears writer Josh452 writes an opinion column on why the next gen Camaro will remain on the Zeta platform that is rumored to be the format currently in development. There were rumors the Camaro could move the smaller Kappa architecture that underpins the new Pontiac Solstice. But that seems unlikely considering that the public is getting used to large cars again and the Mustang is on a similar sized frame.
History of the Camaro
Edmunds has a tidy history of the Chevy Camaro. If you want to get up to date quickly and efficiently check it out.
Note: This is in no way a final version of the 2007?s history. We know it is impossible that we could have gathered everything that is floating around out there. If you have some tips, commentary, inside knowledge or a thought please let us know. We plan to regularly update this feature and hope our readers will get in on the act.