2019 Chevrolet Camaro Revealed, Packing a Few New Goodies and a Fancy New Face
The mid-life refresh for GM's iconic muscle car should help it keep crosstown rivals at bay for a few more years.
Hard as it may be to believe for those of us who still have memories of the crude Camaros of ages past, it's been three years since General Motors released the sixth-generation version of Chevrolet's fabled Mustang-fighting muscle car to the buying public. In that time, the latest Camaro has racked up accolades from media and marketplace alike, including plenty of praise from The Drive's own chief auto critic Lawrence Ulrich. But with the Mustang hot off a comprehensive 2018 mid-cycle freshening that brought a facelifted front, new performance packages, and a 10-speed automatic transmission to Ford's pony, the Chevy is due for its own midlife crisis. And funny enough, the 2019 Camaro's upgrades include a facelifted front, new performance packages, and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Well, the latter feature, at least, is restricted to the V-8-powered 2019 Camaro SS. It's a trickle-down feature from the Camaro ZL1 (which means it's closely related to the one in said 2018 Mustang, but don't go telling Chevyheads that unless you're looking to score a broken nose); lesser slushbox Camaros are forced to stick with the eight-speed automatic. (A six-speed manual remains standard across the board; those seven-speed stick rumors have turned out to be just that, at least for now.) In addition to two extra cogs, that 10-speed brings with it a line lock function and a new version of launch control.
It'll be easier to tell SS-model 'Maro's from other ones now, as well, thanks to the revised styling that brings a lot more black trim to the front end of Camaros packing the naturally-aspirated smallblock. (If that new looks seems oddly familiar, you were probably one of the millions who suffered through Transformers: Age of Extinction and noticed Bumblebee's new look.) With the 2019 facelift, the basic LS and LT, sportified lower-powered RS, and eight-cylinder SS Camaros have more visual differentiation than before: even the entry-level ones benefit from new LED headlights and taillamps, front and rear fascias, hood, and grille, while RS models also add a polished black grille with chrome inserts and a unique rear fascia; SS cars pick up aero-friendly air curtains, different headlights, and the open-air flowtie Chevy emblem from the ZL1. RS and SS models also score special 20-inch wheels, as well.
Obviously, no mid-cycle refresh these days would be complete without a hefty tech update. For the 2019 Camaro, the centerpiece of the technological upgrades is the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 touchscreen system in the dash, which ditches some of the outdated parts of the old MyLink setup—both in terms of processing power and design layout alike—for newer, more up-to-date versions, which are now capable of downloading over-the-air updates, Tesla-style. A seven-inch screen version comes standard, while an eight-inch screen setup is available as an option.
In addition, there are several new safety-minded tech features; a forward collision alert system has been added as an option, while GM's rearview mirror that doubles as a display for a tail-mounted wide-angle camera now comes standard on SS and ZL1 Camaros.
Finally, Chevy has finally gotten around to extending the 1LE track package to the entire Camaro lineup with the addition of the 2.0T 1LE. While it doesn't bring any extra power for the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, it does add on the same sort of braking- and handling-focused goodies found on the V-6 1LE, including Brembo brakes, a drive mode selector that adds new Track and Competition setups, the suspension from the Camaro SS, and summer tires, among other tasty treats. Chevrolet even brought out a couple of 2.0T 1LE prototypes for the media to drive at the unveil event in Las Vegas in early April; if you want to know what it's like to take a few laps in the latest track-tastic Camaro, all you gotta do is click here.
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