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Old 02-22-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
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Thoughts about the 6th gen and beyond

After giving it considerable thought as well as putting in time on concept car designs in an attempt to provide constructive ideas for the Camaro, I've reached the conclusion that one of two things are either going to happen, or need to happen.

In order to be successful at changing the Camaro, due to the extreme sensitivity of the Camaro crowd, for the 6th gen GM is probably going to "upgrade" the 5th gen slightly so that overall it looks "new" but is still pretty close to the 5th gen. The Camaro crowd is likely to throw up and pass out on the floor because some features have changed and start playing the OMG IT LOOKS LIKE!!! (name the car from the past) game, but overall it will still look familiar enough that it will survive. The 7th gen is another matter altogether.

There are really only 2 possible directions for GM to go here. Because the Camaro crowd is so sensitive to change, GM has to either make very small incremental changes over time so people don't freak-out, or just go all-out and change the car completely so it looks nothing like the past. As they've already seen from the 2014 refresh, doing small incremental changes doesn't avoid the freak-out. If they go all-out and do something completely different people would still blow chunks and pass out on the floor because 'IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A CAMARO!!! (from the past) but it's the only way to wean people off the retro look. And honestly, as much as I love the looks of the 5th gen and some of the cars from the past, it's time to step into the future. And by future I mean one where we control our cars; not sit in them as passengers staring at our phones while "the system" moves us around like cattle in a cattle yard. No "driverless" concept cars. I think it is probably too late for GM to go radical with the 6th gen, but the 7th gen is the one in my opinion they should use to make this change happen.

It's like removing old bandaids. Remember what that was like? The worst way was to pull on it slowly and try to gradually peel it off. That was the most painful and took the longest. The best way was to yank it off suddenly. It still stung but only briefly... and you lived. (That was a VERY IMPORTANT POINT to kids).

I have a feeling the reason why we aren't seeing anything yet on the 6th gen is they are still struggling with the appearance. The 5th gen is such a tough act to follow that it's an almost impossible task to "evolve" it. I honestly believe they would be wise to just leave the past behind and start with a completely new design. It would give them the most freedom including using entirely new materials and construction techniques. It would be risky but I believe it would be less risky than a gradual "improvement" that causes the "I'll stick with the old 5th gen" reaction because it isn't as good at capturing the retro feel as the 5th gen is. That's the standard they have to reach with the 6th gen IF they decide to make it a retro evolutionary design. A complete break from the past frees them from that problem and gives them the freedom to wow us with something entirely fresh and new. Or at least fresh and new for a Camaro.

Regardless of over-the-top artist's sketches, there's a reality that comes into play when creating a car. Just like Camaros from the past, a new Camaro is still going to have 4 wheels, 4 seats, needs wide doors for access to the rear seats, an engine up front that requires a radiator and cooling systems, a gas tank, and must meet crash, safety and roll-over regulations. Oh and don't forget getting great gas mileage! The idea that they can design a car with those requirements that doesn't look like anything ever seen before is unrealistic. Cars have been around for too long and there's been too many designs done by designers all over the world for people to expect something truly new that doesn't have some kind of similarity to something from the past. That doesn't mean they can't design a new car, just that people need to have realistic expectations and not beat up the designers if there are elements on it that may have a similarity to a previous design. Unless we can now make anti-gravity hover cars that don't need wheels or gasoline, there are going to be some elements that are similar to past elements. As long as people have realistic expectations that's perfectly okay.

We shall see but I'm hoping they have the courage to break from the past and step into the future.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:19 PM   #2
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I fully agree the 6Gen will have to be an evolution to be successful. Looking too far into the future is very very difficult. To try and discern what the needs, wants, desires and such will be then current is impossible.
Look at a car that is very successful, the BMW. It has always been an evolution. I believe the Camaro should remain evolutionary, the Corvette should be revolutionary.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #3
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As long as they don't regress the look….
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:54 PM   #4
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I think you are gonna see a semi-radical ATS-Coupe re-skin. The ATS Coupe I just saw at the Dallas Auto Show has a 109.3 inch wheelbase (2.2 inches longer than the 2005 thru 2015 Mustangs). The conservative (nice, pleasant) styling is one side of the spectrum and I expect the 2016 Camaro to be built on the same platform, only more flamboyantly styled toward the "exciting", look-at-me side of the spectrum. It is certainly 2+2, but they'll have to re-organize under the hood (coolant recovery tank location, et al) to put a big V-8. But as I've noted elsewhere, I've seen Chevy Monzas with V8s from the factory. The design was set in concrete a while ago, there is no discussion going on beyond light lenses.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:01 AM   #5
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Just look at the response to the new Mustang....it is all over the place! Even in apex chases thread there is the same response from posters. His observation about the kids and the old vs. the new is somewhat telling, young people seem to gravitate towards the old model while the new model is more sophisticated. If you goal is trying to get young and entry level buyers the old one is for you, but if you are moving your goal upward the new one might work. This is a very difficult predicament for designers and car companies in general. Will the new Mustang be a hit? Only time will tell. I like it.....but its not a Camaro.

I love the 5th gen for what it is and it was a very modern concept with definite cues to the past however I would like to see some bulk taken out of it and I don't mean just weight. The whole look needs to be a little more streamlined yet not loose the muscle car look. Although the Camaro was really not a muscle car in the beginning it was a pony car. To me it was the family mans Corvette, the best of both worlds really. So if there are any cues from the vette I for one do not have a problem with it as long as it has its own identity. It doesn't need to be revolutionary but if it is and it looks good who cares? I do not care for the bloated look of some of the renders I have seen yet it seems a lot of people like them on this forum... so what do I know.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WATCHER View Post
I think you are gonna see a semi-radical ATS-Coupe re-skin. The ATS Coupe I just saw at the Dallas Auto Show has a 109.3 inch wheelbase (2.2 inches longer than the 2005 thru 2015 Mustangs). The conservative (nice, pleasant) styling is one side of the spectrum and I expect the 2016 Camaro to be built on the same platform, only more flamboyantly styled toward the "exciting", look-at-me side of the spectrum. It is certainly 2+2, but they'll have to re-organize under the hood (coolant recovery tank location, et al) to put a big V-8. But as I've noted elsewhere, I've seen Chevy Monzas with V8s from the factory. The design was set in concrete a while ago, there is no discussion going on beyond light lenses.
So are you saying you have inside information that the design is final and the only thing they are still working on are the light lenses?
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:28 AM   #7
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i hope the change is as different as going from the 2nd gen to the 3rd gen... the 5th gen overall is nice, but they need to get the size and weight down to be more sporty IMHO. i was really excited when the 5th gen was first announced but never ended up pulling the trigger as it just seems to big to me compared to the previous generations... it wouldn't bother me if the general theme was similar to the 5th gen in styling but they need to shrink it
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:33 PM   #8
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So are you saying you have inside information that the design is final and the only thing they are still working on are the light lenses?
I would guess it's very close to being done.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:57 PM   #9
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Just because there are/were a bunch of whiners on this site doesn't mean that the general public wasn't happy overall with the refresh. Last months sales numbers confirm that and put us back ahead of the Mustang. I think they need to stay far from the design of the fifth gen to be successful. The performance of the sixth gen will be improved but it won't be light years ahead of what we have now. They can come up with something new and exciting and still make it look like a Camaro. My guess is none of the renderings we've seen are even close. I think the main consensus is that the first gen has
a timeless design and that the fifth gen is a modern interpretation of that design. It's held my interest long enough for me to stare at thousands of pics of fifth gens and still end up buying one, but how long can that last? Change is necessary and the initial shock of seeing the sixth gen will wear off and people will grow to love it if they have the guts to do something different. If not, people will kind of like the same old design and sales will slowly decrease.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:41 PM   #10
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My son is one of a few people who has seen the current version of the 6th Generation. In person. The mule. What has he told me? NOTHING. They are keeping this very tight lipped. I know a few things, not from my son but from others, and from an engineering perspective, it will be revolutionary. It should be one bad a.. car. Think this year's Corvette compared to last year's for an analogy.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:05 PM   #11
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My son is one of a few people who has seen the current version of the 6th Generation. In person. The mule. What has he told me? NOTHING. They are keeping this very tight lipped. I know a few things, not from my son but from others, and from an engineering perspective, it will be revolutionary. It should be one bad a.. car. Think this year's Corvette compared to last year's for an analogy.
jus turned me on
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:16 PM   #12
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My son is one of a few people who has seen the current version of the 6th Generation. In person. The mule. What has he told me? NOTHING. They are keeping this very tight lipped. I know a few things, not from my son but from others, and from an engineering perspective, it will be revolutionary. It should be one bad a.. car. Think this year's Corvette compared to last year's for an analogy.
Awesome. I love hearing things like this. Not much real information but it really keeps the interest up.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:34 PM   #13
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This is a topic I could go on and on about. But I'll try and keep it short.

Basically...I freaking love the 5th gen. In my eyes, it is the best looking Camaro...and I like them all for the most part...2nd gen being my least favorite. Sure it has a bit of a retro feel, but its not the kind of retro that say...the Challenger is. It is a very modern interpretation of a sport/muscle car, but general design ques that go back to the original.

For me...there are certain things I want to see in this next car no matter if it ends up as an evolution or revolution. DONT go soft on us (like Ford did with the Mustang. Yep,thats how I feel). The new Mustang is good looking, but its looks like a European sport with a few Mustang cues thrown in. I hope the Camaro remains hard and chiseled.

Remember how the 5th gen made you feel when you first saw it?? I encourage everyone to go back and find the youtube video of the 5th gen concept reveal in 2006. It still gets my blood pumping. There was nothing else like it, and when it hit the road it still looked very much like that concept. People say its getting old and stale, but honestly I'm still getting stares and compliments on my ride. It still looks like nothing else on the road. How many other cars can say that? Not many. Not even the new Mustang can say that in my opinion, and it hasn't even been released yet.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:38 PM   #14
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By this point they most certainly have the design finalized. They might be doing interior tweaks or maybe styling rims, headlights and colors....I can say one thing and that is 2016 is going to be an awesome year for camaro!
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:20 PM   #15
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This is a topic I could go on and on about. But I'll try and keep it short.

Basically...I freaking love the 5th gen. In my eyes, it is the best looking Camaro...and I like them all for the most part...2nd gen being my least favorite. Sure it has a bit of a retro feel, but its not the kind of retro that say...the Challenger is. It is a very modern interpretation of a sport/muscle car, but general design ques that go back to the original.

For me...there are certain things I want to see in this next car no matter if it ends up as an evolution or revolution. DONT go soft on us (like Ford did with the Mustang. Yep,thats how I feel). The new Mustang is good looking, but its looks like a European sport with a few Mustang cues thrown in. I hope the Camaro remains hard and chiseled.

Remember how the 5th gen made you feel when you first saw it?? I encourage everyone to go back and find the youtube video of the 5th gen concept reveal in 2006. It still gets my blood pumping. There was nothing else like it, and when it hit the road it still looked very much like that concept. People say its getting old and stale, but honestly I'm still getting stares and compliments on my ride. It still looks like nothing else on the road. How many other cars can say that? Not many. Not even the new Mustang can say that in my opinion, and it hasn't even been released yet.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:26 PM   #16
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Camaro5 is filled with enthusiasts, and that means a lot of people here are passionate about the Camaro. Everybody likes something different about it, and some of those things have to change. We'll see the full spectrum of responses here, but I promise you this: the new Camaro will be fast, fun, and built by Chevrolet.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:28 AM   #17
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We'll see....fast no doubt...fun no doubt...but the all most important aspect is the look. That's what captures Camaro enthusiasts, outside brand perspective buyers, and first timers the most. Does it have the look? Time will tell....
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:05 PM   #18
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Sorry, I can't say anymore, people could lose their jobs.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:50 AM   #19
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...and previous credible testimony has told a sad tale of such outcomes. But, we have seen blowhards and tale tellers around here more often than not saying they are a Sage and know this or that more often than guys who got canned for leaking info. That's well known within the industry, and runs deeper than you think. Loose lips sink ships. It's a slippery slope. But we well know the risks and understand the underlying issue you refer to.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:06 PM   #20
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We'll see....fast no doubt...fun no doubt...but the all most important aspect is the look. That's what captures Camaro enthusiasts, outside brand perspective buyers, and first timers the most. Does it have the look? Time will tell....
I dont think the look is the most important feature at all....
I buy it because it has hand me down corvette drivetrains for a fraction of cost.

So handme down drivetrain is a gimme...what i want is some weight reduction. Which is being done.

So i guess that means sold? Here chevy take my money. Unless the c7z flappy paddle is worth it. Then take more money.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:44 PM   #21
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I dont think the look is the most important feature at all....
I buy it because it has hand me down corvette drivetrains for a fraction of cost.

So handme down drivetrain is a gimme...what i want is some weight reduction. Which is being done.

So i guess that means sold? Here chevy take my money. Unless the c7z flappy paddle is worth it. Then take more money.
It has got to look good. Period.

If most people don't like it...and I mean truely don't like it (not that initial hate that everyone has when something changes and then they get over it) and if it doesn't stir some excitement in our souls....it will not sell like the 5th gen.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:53 PM   #22
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I would have to guess that the car is at least 98% finialized at this point.
When you consider all the design and work that goes into creating the assembly line itself and all the processes involved, it has to take at least a year just to get the new assembly line process installed and tested, and they can't do that unless the car is pretty much finialized.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:40 PM   #23
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Expect Cadillac hand-me-downs before the Corvette ones. This will be a VERY GOOD THING !
EXCITEMENT TIME !
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:46 PM   #24
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So are you saying you have inside information that the design is final and the only thing they are still working on are the light lenses?
Rhetorical. They probably didn't put ANYTHING in concrete, either.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:21 PM   #25
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After giving it considerable thought as well as putting in time on concept car designs in an attempt to provide constructive ideas for the Camaro, I've reached the conclusion that one of two things are either going to happen, or need to happen.

In order to be successful at changing the Camaro, due to the extreme sensitivity of the Camaro crowd, for the 6th gen GM is probably going to "upgrade" the 5th gen slightly so that overall it looks "new" but is still pretty close to the 5th gen. The Camaro crowd is likely to throw up and pass out on the floor because some features have changed and start playing the OMG IT LOOKS LIKE!!! (name the car from the past) game, but overall it will still look familiar enough that it will survive. The 7th gen is another matter altogether.

There are really only 2 possible directions for GM to go here. Because the Camaro crowd is so sensitive to change, GM has to either make very small incremental changes over time so people don't freak-out, or just go all-out and change the car completely so it looks nothing like the past. As they've already seen from the 2014 refresh, doing small incremental changes doesn't avoid the freak-out. If they go all-out and do something completely different people would still blow chunks and pass out on the floor because 'IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A CAMARO!!! (from the past) but it's the only way to wean people off the retro look. And honestly, as much as I love the looks of the 5th gen and some of the cars from the past, it's time to step into the future. And by future I mean one where we control our cars; not sit in them as passengers staring at our phones while "the system" moves us around like cattle in a cattle yard. No "driverless" concept cars. I think it is probably too late for GM to go radical with the 6th gen, but the 7th gen is the one in my opinion they should use to make this change happen.

It's like removing old bandaids. Remember what that was like? The worst way was to pull on it slowly and try to gradually peel it off. That was the most painful and took the longest. The best way was to yank it off suddenly. It still stung but only briefly... and you lived. (That was a VERY IMPORTANT POINT to kids).

I have a feeling the reason why we aren't seeing anything yet on the 6th gen is they are still struggling with the appearance. The 5th gen is such a tough act to follow that it's an almost impossible task to "evolve" it. I honestly believe they would be wise to just leave the past behind and start with a completely new design. It would give them the most freedom including using entirely new materials and construction techniques. It would be risky but I believe it would be less risky than a gradual "improvement" that causes the "I'll stick with the old 5th gen" reaction because it isn't as good at capturing the retro feel as the 5th gen is. That's the standard they have to reach with the 6th gen IF they decide to make it a retro evolutionary design. A complete break from the past frees them from that problem and gives them the freedom to wow us with something entirely fresh and new. Or at least fresh and new for a Camaro.

Regardless of over-the-top artist's sketches, there's a reality that comes into play when creating a car. Just like Camaros from the past, a new Camaro is still going to have 4 wheels, 4 seats, needs wide doors for access to the rear seats, an engine up front that requires a radiator and cooling systems, a gas tank, and must meet crash, safety and roll-over regulations. Oh and don't forget getting great gas mileage! The idea that they can design a car with those requirements that doesn't look like anything ever seen before is unrealistic. Cars have been around for too long and there's been too many designs done by designers all over the world for people to expect something truly new that doesn't have some kind of similarity to something from the past. That doesn't mean they can't design a new car, just that people need to have realistic expectations and not beat up the designers if there are elements on it that may have a similarity to a previous design. Unless we can now make anti-gravity hover cars that don't need wheels or gasoline, there are going to be some elements that are similar to past elements. As long as people have realistic expectations that's perfectly okay.

We shall see but I'm hoping they have the courage to break from the past and step into the future.
Doc, I think through your experimentation and feedback, you discovered something that the Camaro team struggles with on a daily basis: Design is everything to this car.

It's the reason it has succeeded in the marketplace...it's the reason everyone recognizes it on the road...And design is the reason they have to be VERY VERY careful in bringing the car into the next generation.

The Camaro has had a very clear personality through the years, though...and people clearly respond to certain proportions and lines better than others on a performance car.

I, personally, don't see anything "retro" about the current car. I know people will point to things like the side gills and gauges...but I don't see anything more than a family resemblance...retro is way too strong a word, imo. I believe they should follow the patterns of Aston Martin and Corvette....slow, intentional, well thought-out design evolution.

Nevertheless - my thoughts are part of what makes this so difficult to come up with a "solution" to the problem of the 6th gen design.

For what it's worth - the same people that brought us the 14 refresh and the 14 Stingray are working on the new Camaro. I'm not at all worried for the future.
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