Chevrolet Considers Adding V8 Engines to Lower Trim Camaro Models
With growing pressure to stay ahead in the performance market, the team at Chevrolet is looking to make V8 engines more accessible for Camaro drivers
Automotive rivalries don’t get much more heated than the one between the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. For the past decade, the modern interpretations of these muscle car classics have been pitted against each other, usually with the Ford Mustang coming out on top.
Even with a large 30% sales decline in 2017, the Mustang is still the top model, with 50,814 units sold so far this year. At the same time, the Camaro is locked in battle with another of its rivals: the Dodge Challenger.
While the Camaro’s popularity has been on a slight decline in 2017, the Challenger has only become more popular. At the end of July, the Camaro was just barely ahead of the Challenger, with sales of 41,280 and 41,243 vehicles, respectively.
With the Camaro now fending off the Challenger from overtaking it while still trying to catch up with the Mustang, General Motors has realized that something has to change to rejuvenate the Camaro’s success. The conclusion GM came to is that achieving more power in the Camaro needs to be more accessible to the driving masses.
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For example, the base model of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro comes with a $26,900 price tag. The model also comes installed with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine.
Meanwhile, the Mustang’s base model has a smaller price tag of $26,085, yet still comes packaged with a more powerful 3.7-liter V6 engine. The base 2017 Dodge Challenger might have a larger price tag of $28,090, but it too comes standard with a V6 engine.
If Camaro drivers want a V6 under the hood, they have to pay at least $28,395. Yet what many automotive enthusiasts are truly after is the V8 engine.
The Chevy Camaro does come offered with a V8 engine in the SS trim level. Still, this Camaro costs at least $38,000, while both Mustang and Challenger drivers can obtain a V8 performance for a starting price of approximately $34,100.
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The team at Chevrolet realized that those drivers looking for a powerful muscle car might look toward either Ford or Dodge due to Chevy’s higher asking price. As such, Mark Reuss, the Camaro’s product chief, has begun hinting at the possibility of a V8-powered Camaro with a much smaller price tag.
“I think we’ve got opportunities at the very low end of the Camaro range and some remix of some of the V-8 options on it so we don’t force people to buy all the options with a V-8, just to get a V-8,” Reuss told reporters at a Chevrolet media event earlier this summer.
While no official statements have been made, nor any official timetable set, other members of Chevrolet’s staff have confirmed that the company is exploring its options. In the long run, Chevy’s proposed decision to make V8 power more accessible for all Camaro drivers has the potential to provide the signature performance vehicle with the push it needs to race past its recently weakened nemesis.
News Source: Automotive News