GM product chief Reuss confident 2016 Chevrolet Camaro has what it takes

2016 Chevrolet Camaro teaser image

2016 Chevrolet Camaro teaser image  (Chevrolet)

Now that the New York Auto Show is out of the way, all eyes in the automotive world are looking toward May 16th for the next big car reveal.

That’s when the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will make its debut at an event in Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, just up the river from General Motors headquarters.

Much about the car is still secret, but GM has begun trickling out a few details leading up to the unveiling.

It’ll be built on the platform also used for the Cadillac ATS Coupe, but with 70 percent unique parts. As was the case with the new Cadillac CT6 and Chevy Malibu, dropping pounds was a major goal for the Camaro.

GM VP of Global Product Development Mark Ruess told me at the New York Auto show that his team keeps all of the lessons learned developing in one car in mind when they work on the next, even if they’re not all that much alike, then builds on that knowledge to come up with new approaches.

“There are some really cool things in the Camaro, that are quite different than the Malibu, [or the] CT6,” he said.

A smart use of materials throughout the car, including aluminum for the dashboard frame and suspension, and unique composite drop links for the front stabilizer bar, are a couple of examples. The result being that the new Camaro will weigh at least 200 pounds less than the current one. That puts in at least on par with the 2015 Ford Mustang.

That probably goes for power, too. The Camaro will get a version of Chevy’s latest 6.2-liter LT1 V8 that’s currently under the hood of the Corvette Stingray, where it puts out up to 460 hp, compared to the Mustang’s 435 hp 5.0-liter V8. Expect turbocharged 4-cylinder and naturally aspirated V6 options, as well, although that's not been confirmed.

But will it all be enough to win back the pony car crown from the Mustang?

Since Ford has already shown its hand, I asked Ruess if he’s confident if the Camaro will be more efficient, faster, and better handling than the Mustang. He says and he said he personally drove them back to back last week.

“I’m confident. Very confident.”

In other words: it’s on.


Gary Gastelu is's Automotive Editor.