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Friday, August 21, 2015

Chevrolet’s New Camaro Is More Expensive Than Before—Here’s Why That’s Okay

CAR & DRIVER

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 Photography by Roy Ritchie and the Manufacturer         
2016 Chevrolet Camaro
Typically, when a new car is priced several thousand dollars above the base price of its predecessor, it is cause for ire. The fanboys will yowl in protest. Armchair car pricers—if there were such a thing—will declare it a bust, robbery on the highest order.  Faces will melt like that guy’s in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or will they? Chevrolet has just announced pricing for the sixth-generation Camaro coupe, and while it will cost more than the fifth-gen model, it’s really not cause for alarm.
For starters, at $26,695, the 2016 Camaro coupe is $1995 more expensive than last year’s base Camaro. But that price comparison ignores how last year’s base trim level, the 1LS, is now gone; compare the more similarly equipped 2015 1LT to the 2016 1LT (now the lowest-spec Camaro trim), and the 2016 model is actually $5 cheaper.

 The new 1LT comes with Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment setup and a 7-inch touch screen, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot, a drive-mode selector, keyless entry with push-button ignition, a backup camera, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power driver’s seat and a six-way power passenger seat, and LED running lights.

 Some of those bits were standard on the 2015 1LT, but most of those items are new and mark a fresh high-water mark for the Camaro’s value proposition. Heck, even the automatic-equipped 1LT comes with remote engine starting.


2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Also new to the roster is the 1LT’s standard 275-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine; a heavily upgraded and more powerful version of last year’s base engine, a 3.6-liter V-6, makes 335 horsepower and is optional on 1LT and 2LT trim levels. Pricing for the V-6 option isn’t out yet, but we do know that the SS models, which come with a 455-hp 6.2-liter V-8 shared with the Corvette Stingray, will start at $37,295.


Of course, we can’t mention the Camaro’s prices without also bringing up that galloping equine in the room, the Ford Mustang. The base, price-leader Mustang V-6 starts at $24,700 (Ford makes its turbo four the optional upgrade, not the V-6); but we’ve derided that car for offering few options and even fewer standard features.

The least-expensive turbocharged Mustang EcoBoost? That’ll set you back $26,200, still less than the Camaro, but again with fewer standard features. And now for the V-8s: The Mustang clobbers the Camaro with a $33,200 entrance fee to the V-8 party.

 Even factoring in equipment differences between the two (the Camaro comes with high-performance hardware such as summer tires, Brembo brakes, and coolers for the differential, oil, and transmission fluid—stuff that Mustang buyers must pony up $2495 for the Performance package to get), that’s a difficult hurdle for Chevy to jump when holding a $5095 price premium.

Price comparisons will only take this long-running battle so far—we’ll need to pit the various Camaros and Mustangs against one another to truly determine a winner. That time should come soon, since dealers are taking orders for the Camaro now, and Chevrolet tells us that the first deliveries will begin in November, with convertibles arriving shortly after that.


2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS