DRIVE AMERICAN: 2020 Camaro gets a lower cost V-8

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New LT1 trim offers hot engine for $3,000 less

By KEVIN WEAKS

AN ALL-NEW 2020 CAMARO LT1 model adds a more affordable choice to those seeking V-8 performance and stylish looks.

Wishing for a V-8 Camaro like the good old days, but not at the higher price Chevy has been asking?

Chevrolet is introducing for 2020 a new, affordable model called the LT1 that offers the burly 6.2-liter V-8 engine, previously offered only in the SS, at a lower price point. The Camaro LT1 starts at $34,995, a $3,000 drop compared to the current 2019 Camaro’s cheapest V-8 model, the 1SS, which starts at $37,995.

UPDATES FOR THE 2020 CAMARO model year include a new front-end design. At left is a 2018 and at right the 2020 Camaro.

It also just undercuts the cheapest V-8–powered Ford Mustang, the $36,450 GT. The Camaro LT1 is essentially the same as the Camaro’s 1LT trim level, but with the 455-hp V-8 under the hood.

The first-generation Chevrolet Camaro appeared in Chevrolet dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year on a brand-new, rear-wheel-drive F-body platform and was available as a two-door, 2+2 seat, hardtop or convertible, with the choice of either a straight-6 or V-8 engine. It was originally labeled the “Panther,” but later changed to Camaro, a name Chevrolet said meant “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”

The sixth-generation Camaro offers a spunky turbo four or V-6 that gets you where you’re going on less gas, but there’s something about a V-8 Camaro that’s, well, perfect. And now, with the addition of the LT1 model to the 2020 lineup, it just got a little bit cheaper to take home a 455-hp Camaro.

SIX-SPEED OR 10-SPEED

THE 2020 CAMARO LT1 gets LT exterior styling overall but adds the SS’s vented hood, LT1 fender badges, and black bowtie emblems. It also gets 8.5-inch-wide, 20-inch SS wheels.

The first Camaro cost just $2,572. That was the base price of the debut Camaro in 1967. A half-century later, the 2020 LT1starts at $34,995.

According to Chevy, the LT1 combines the previous Camaro 1LT specification with the SS. Offered with a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2020 Camaro LT1 gets LT exterior styling overall but adds the SS’s vented hood, LT1 fender badges, and black bowtie emblems. It also gets 8.5-inch-wide, 20-inch SS wheels at all four corners (unlike the SS’s staggered setup), and all-season tires instead of performance rubber.
“It might not be quite as quick as an SS out of the box, but with the $3,000 you’ll save, there’s plenty of money left for tires or other go-fast stuff,” says Automobile.com.

NEW FRONT-END DESIGN
Other updates for the 2020 Camaro model year include a new front-end design for the SS that’s based on the Camaro “Shock” concept at last year’s SEMA show. Chevy revised the Camaro SS’s front end back in 2018, and pretty much everyone hated it, notes Road and Track magazine. The main tweaks for 2020 include moving the bowtie emblem from the front crossbar to the upper grille, as well as making the crossbar the body color rather than black.

“Customers spoke, and we listened,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Shock’s stylized design helped prompt its transition from concept to production.”

AN AD FOR THE 1967 DEBUT of the Chevrolet Camaro lineup. The Camaro, designed to compete with the Ford Mustang, was originally called the Panther.

Camaro’s first over-400 hp V-8 hit the road in 1969. “The new Camaro LT1 is a great choice for those seeking a pure V-8 performance experience,” said Majoros. “And at less than $35,000, it will be one of the most affordable V-8 performers on the market.”

If a V-8 is not to your tastes, the 3.6-liter V-6 Camaro LT also gets a few changes for 2020, including now being available with the 10-speed automatic transmission previously only available with V-8 engines. Chevy says the transmission is based on the same design used with the SS and ZL1 but modified to suit the performance envelope of the V-6. The Camaro 3LT now comes standard with the previously optional 2.0L Turbo engine and the Convenience and Lighting package.

Additional 2020 updates include a new exterior color and an expanded range of available features across the lineup, giving customers more ways to personalize their new Camaro.

Among them are a Rally Green exterior color, rear spoiler available on LS and LT (previously RS package only), dark-tinted taillamps available on LS and LT, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels available on LT, LT1 and SS, red or orange brake calipers available on LT, LT1 and SS models, RECARO performance seats available on LT (previously 1LE only), alloy pedals available on all models (previously ZL1 only), a microfiber-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob available on the SS and LT, and red seat belts available on all models (previously ZL1 only).

The 2020 Camaro lineup goes on sale early this fall, with production by UAW members at General Motors’s Lansing Grand River Assembly facility in Michigan.

Contact Kevin Weaks at kweaks@labortribune.com


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