Chevrolet Camaro Might Be Killed Off, Return As An EV

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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Rumor has it, Chevrolet intends to kill off the Camaro in 2023. However given some recent actions within the company, we believe there’s a good chance it will rise (once again) from the ashes, as an EV.

  • Chevrolet is rumored to be planning the discontinuation of the Camaro in 2023, following dwindling sales.
  • It might bring back the storied pony car as an electric vehicle in 2026.
  • Camaro was first killed off in 2003, only to return in 2009.

Last week, the rumor that Chevrolet intends to kill off the Camaro in 2023 swirled across the internet. The reason for the second demise (Camaro was first canceled in 2003 only to be brought back in 2009) of Chevy’s iconic pony car is simple: its sales continue to decline. Accordingly, its research and development costs could be better used elsewhere in the company. What isn’t lifting the General Motor’s ship is subject to execution.

However, several new reports, including one from GM Authority, suggest that the Camaro might be brought back in 2025 or 2026. But this time, it’d be resurrected as an electric vehicle.

Why Build An Electric Camaro

First, over the next few years, GM will whittle its platforms down to just four. These are code named Vehicle Strategy Set (VSS). They include front-wheel drive (VSS-F), rear-wheel drive (VSS-R), SUV (VSS-S), and truck (VSS-T). Camaro could easily ride on VSS-R. However, the first vehicle due on that platform will be the next-generation Cadillac CT6 in 2025. So, Camaro couldn’t follow until that Caddy debuts. That pegs the reborn seventh-gen Camaro reveal for around the 2026 timeframe.

The eCOPO Camaro Concept offers an electrified vision of drag racing, with an electric motor and GM’s first 800-volt battery pack replacing the gas engine, enabling 9-second quarter-mile times. | Photo: Chevrolet
 

Secondly, Al Oppenheiser, the chief engineer for the fifth- and sixth-generation Camaros and the man who brought Camaro back from the grave in 2009, was recently moved to lead all of GM’s electrification efforts. I’ve discussed Oppenheiser’s reassignment before. I’ve marked it as an important move for the proliferation of EVs. Camaro holds a soft spot in Oppenheiser’s heart. So it stands to reason he’d do whatever he could to see it live on (again).

Third, Chevy has already shown it’s been thinking about electrifying the Camaro. In fact, it did so in concept form late last year with the eCOPO Camaro drag-racer. And that car has inspired other similar electrified Camaro race cars, albeit from independent outfits.

Lastly, Chevrolet prides itself on being a performance brand. It will have the mid-engine Corvette, which is said to be at least partially electrified. However, that’s not a terribly accessible performance model — at least not compared to the Camaro. So it’s not wholly unrealistic to imagine that Chevy will want some sort of entry-level performance EV. Why not let it be badged Camaro?

Will Electricity Jump Start The Pony Car

All of that said, pony cars like the Camaro aren’t selling very well. Even the Mustang, which started the breed, saw a 25% sales decline in 2018. Buyers are gravitating toward crossovers and SUVS — performance or otherwise. Why would they return to Chevy showrooms to buy a low-slung, electric performance coupe in seven years if they’re not buying the gas-powered one now? I wager they won’t.

No, if anything, given Chevy’s penchant for giving new life to old storied nameplates like the Blazer and Trailblazer lately, I reckon that if the Camaro is reborn someday, it’ll be a pure-electric performance crossover. Yes, purists will poo-poo it. But they’d eventually get over it. And I bet the thing would sell like hotcakes.


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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