Is this the end of the road for the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car?

Published Mar 27, 2023


Detroit - General Motors says it will retire the Chevrolet Camaro next year, leaving an uncertain future for the classic muscle car as the carmaker continues a broader transition away from petrol-powered vehicles.

The Camaro, which rivals the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, was first introduced in 1966, while the latest, sixth-generation model was launched in 2016.

The last Camaros will roll off the line in January 2024, Chevy said recently, although it did hint at the possibility of a new version being introduced later, with Scott Bell, vice president of Global Chevrolet, adding, "This is not the end of Camaro's story."

Chevy spokesman Trevor Thompkins said the company is "keeping the hope alive" for a new generation but declined to say whether any new releases would be petrol-powered, hybrid or all-electric.

However, and all-electric Chevrolet Camaro is probably the most likely outcome, given the company’s electrification goals, and such a vehicle would likely rival the upcoming Dodge Charger EV, leaving Ford’s Mustang as the only pony car galloping on traditional ‘horsepower’.

General Motors, like other legacy carmakers, is phasing out petrol-powered vehicles. It pledged to do so by 2035, an endeavor backed by a planned $35 billion (R640 billion) investment and upgrades to manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan.

The transition to electric vehicles has left an uncertain future for longtime fans of the company's petrol-powered cars. The muscle car, in particular.

Dodge, whose petrol-powered Challenger and Charger muscle cars are being phased out this year, has opted for an all-electric release with the Charger SRT, which repackages the engine's roar into an all-electric format.

Alton Freeman, curator of the Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexandria City, Alabama, expects Chevy to follow Dodge's lead and reprise its muscle car.

"I think they'll take that Camaro and make it into an electric vehicle, that's what everything is going to," said Freeman, who sees it as a tactic to force longtime muscle-car enthusiasts to buy an electric vehicle.

But the experience isn't the same, he said.

"With a muscle car, you like to get in there, hear the motor and feel all of that power," Freeman said. "You get in there with an electric car, all you feel is nothing."

The Washington Post & IOL