The Camaro should return as slightly retro, all-electric

Three thoughts on what Chevy should do next

I find it hard to believe the Chevy Camaro will be dead for long. Much like the Toyota Land Cruiser and its Chevy stablemate, the Bolt, I think the Camaro will be back. Nothing is confirmed, so that means I’m free to speculate. Here’s a recipe for a future Camaro:

Make it all-electric. Well, duh, you might say, even Dodge finally caved to electric power for its muscle cars. But Porsche and Ford plan to run internal combustion engines for as long as possible in the 911 and the Mustang, or at least as long as federal regulations allow. Plus Dodge’s plans are super vague. We know the current Charger and Challenger are done after this model year, but other than the vague notion of "electric muscle" and a ‘68 Charger concept — well, what are they doing? That’s where Chevy comes in. General Motors’ Ultium batteries are highly flexible and configurable. You could argue it’s more of an idea than a specific powerplant, fitting everything from the Hummer to the next-gen Bolt. I’m sure there’s something that would fit under the hood of a Camaro and provide more than enough power. Be the all-American electric sports car.

Let’s go retro. But only slightly. Figure out what the meaning of a Camaro is in 2024 and hone in on that. Chevy has never been quite as throwback as its Ford and Dodge rivals are with their muscle coupes, and with electric power, this would also be the time to make a design statement. Look at what Toyota did with the recently revealed Land Cruiser. It has some cues from the FJ62 (1985-92), and it looks retro if you want to see it that way; but really it’s a modern design. Chevy should return to that same era and use the third-generation Camaro (1982-92) as inspiration. It’s not just a time that never fully gets its due. It’s also the time period many Geriatric Millennials and Gen Xers recall from childhood and their teen years. This group has a lot of buying power right now. No need to fully do an I-ROC with a T-Top, but the third generation had sleek proportions that made for a timeless silhouette. And as the Land Cruiser proves, 1980s square headlights can be nicely reprised with LEDs.

Don’t do a sedan: If you’re going to make an electric four-door Chevy sedan — great idea — please do! But don’t call it a Camaro. We’re past the point about being sanctimonious about names, body styles and how they all relate to the past. The Maverick is a pickup. The Blazer is a crossover. Times change. In this case, it’s just a practical matter. Chevy has plenty of great sedan names on the shelf, Impala, Caprice anyone? And the Malibu is still on sale. There’s just no need to make a Camaro sedan.

The Mustang has continued in an unbroken line since 1965. The Camaro has taken a few years off (remember the 2000s Monte Carlo?) and so has some flexibility to marinate and come back right. The Camaro has a lot of supporters inside GM, like EV boss Al Oppenheiser, who’s none other than the former chief engineer of the Camaro, and of course, CEO Mary Barra. They, and others, should make it happen.

Chevrolet Camaro Information

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