A few years ago, a set of spy photos of a sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro set enthusiasts ablaze about the potential return of the track-focused Camaro Z/28. As it turned out, those spy shots showed the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with the 1LE extreme track performance package. And while some held out for the sixth-gen Camaro Z28, the waiting game is over – as we have exclusive information suggesting that the sixth-gen Camaro Z28 will never take place.
In the not-too-distant past, Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser went on record to say that the Camaro team is still at looking for “any available horsepower that will fit in the car,” meaning that the beastly ZL1 1LE is far from a performance cap for the nameplate. What’s more is that there have been spy shots of performance-variant Camaro prototypes.
But according to our sources, the Camaro Z28 was canceled shortly after being started. In fact, it never moved past very initial stages, which involved vehicle planning and just a smidge of initial engineering work.
To blame for the cancellation of the Camaro Z28 project are various GM strategic initiatives. At the end of 2018, The General tightened its belt to refocus on more profitable ventures, cutting several models such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Impala, and Volt, along with the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS, while shuttering five plants across the U.S. and Canada in the process.
Meanwhile, The General was already investing heavily in alternative transportation initiatives such as an onslaught of electric vehicles and a robo-taxi service as part of its Cruise division. Notably, GM will double resources for those initiatives in the near future.
All that prevented the Camaro Z28 project from ever truly gaining traction, and the team was reassigned before even making its first prototype. Worse still is that those initiatives may result in the discontinuation of the Camaro altogether… though there is still hope for a mainstream two-door car sports from Chevrolet in the future.
For the time being, the most track-capable Chevrolet Camaro is dead, before it could ever be. And that’s a shame, given that a Z28 variant of the sixth-gen would have been a very compelling proposition. But hey, at least we have the ZL1 1LE.