General Motors Design’s social media pages are brimming with fascinating what-ifs. Most of these cars are extremely futuristic and not intended to preview production models, but an enigmatic Camaro published recently might be an exception to this unwritten rule.
Posted on Instagram, the sketch depicts a sixth-generation Camaro whose design looks far more aggressive than anything in Chevrolet’s regular-production range. It’s characterized by huge intakes chiseled into both sides of the bumpers, a big front splitter, and vents cut into the hood, among other styling cues. We’re guessing the rear end looks suitably muscular with a wide diffuser and prominent exhaust outlets, but only a single photo was published on the account; similarly, we don’t know what the interior looks like — assuming it has one.
None of the numerous hashtags used to categorize the post shed light on what we’re looking at. All we can learn from them is that this is indeed a Camaro. The caption isn’t much use, either, but enthusiast website Muscle Car & Trucks speculates we’re looking at the long-awaited Z/28 that was allegedly canceled due in part to slow sales earlier in 2021.
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Had it been launched, the Z/28 would have reportedly landed with a model-specific version of the naturally-aspirated, 5.5-liter V8 engine that will power the next-generation Corvette Z06. Fitted with a flat-plane crankshaft, the eight-cylinder would have put about 600 horsepower under the driver’s right foot, an increase of about 100 horses over the 7.0-liter V8 in the last-generation car. Rumors claim that executives decided Camaro sales are too low to justify finishing the Z/28’s development, so the Instagram post may be the only time we’ll ever see it.
If the Z/28 isn’t on its way, what’s next? At this stage, it’s difficult to tell. Some claim the seventh-generation Camaro has been canceled, while others believe it has merely been delayed until the second half of this decade. What’s certain is that all is not well in the Camaro’s cosmos. Annual sales fell to 29,777 units in 2020, a 38.3% drop compared to 2019. Almost everyone agrees that the Camaro needs to be fixed; how to fix it is open to debate, whether you’re an enthusiast or part of the team running Chevrolet. Over at the Renaissance Center, the solution may be to alchemize the storied nameplate into an electric sedan, a move that would ruffle more than a few feathers.