It’s been a big week for American muscle.
First, Dodge releases the Demon 170 — a final edition engineering powerhouse that throws even the kitchen sink at low quarter-mile ETs. It was delivered to a crowded launch party at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway via twin-rotor helicopter. Then it ran 8s in the quarter at over 150 mph.
Talk about an entrance. And exit.
Then Chevrolet announces that the sixth-gen Camaro will cease production in January 2024.
“As we prepare to say goodbye to the current generation Camaro, it is difficult to overstate our gratitude to every Camaro customer, Camaro assembly line employee and race fan,” said Scott Bell, vice president, Global Chevrolet in a press release on the Chevrolet Media site. “While we are not announcing an immediate successor today, rest assured, this is not the end of Camaro’s story.”
Dodge’s performance line and Mustang’s Shelby variants arguably carry more swagger in the modern muscle car world than most Camaros, but that’s not to say that the Camaro isn’t a better car in a lot of ways. The 1LE package makes the current Camaro a track and street powerhouse, and the 650-hp range-topping ZL1 is spectacular as an all-out performance machine, even if it doesn’t carry the horsepower clout of the baddest of the Mopar monsters.
To celebrate the run of the sixth-get Camaro, GM will be launching a Collectors’ Edition package on the 2024 RS and SS, as well as on a short run of ZL1-fitted cars. They’ve be available late in 2023.
Now, this may seem like sad news, particularly for GM lovers, but there’s a silver lining here. First, note that Chevrolet is careful to point out that this isn’t the end of Camaro’s story, and also, the company pointed out that it will be continuing to use the car in racing series such as NASCAR, IMSA, SRO, NHRA and the Supercars Championship (see more about that in the current issue of Linkage). So that’s good news for the nameplate — GM is clearly invested in keeping it alive for whatever is next.
But what will the next Camaro look like? Will it be an EV? Either way, let’s hope it’s close to its roots. I’m thinking more new Bronco, less new Blazer.