Since the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro debuted, the car has failed to capture the same audience the fifth-generation model did for five straight years. The Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger from 2010 to 2014, but today, the Mustang is top dog.
That’s something Chevrolet Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser wants to change. The lead engineer told Automotive News (subscription required) the Mustang has “been eating our lunch.” This year, the Camaro now sits in third place, even behind the Dodge Challenger, in the sales race.
“The low [transaction prices] of a four-cylinder … that’s where the bulk of the sales are and that’s where our pricing strategy needed improvement. We plan to go head to head — and win,” Oppenheiser said.
Part of the correction plan is a refreshed 2019 Chevrolet Camaro with a new face and a Camaro Turbo 1LE model. The 1LE gains track-focused equipment from the previously offered Camaro V6 1LE. Performance and other cosmetic enhancements include suspension and chassis tweaks courtesy of the Camaro V6 1LE, 20-inch wheels, a suede steering wheel and optional Recaro seats. A six-speed manual transmission handles shifting duties.
Under the hood sits a familiar 2.0-liter LTG turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Chevy hopes the Camaro Turbo 1LE will appeal to those shopping hot hatchbacks like the Honda Civic Type R and even cars like the Kia Stinger.
Chevy has also slashed pricing at the bottom of the spectrum for a Camaro 1LS by $1,000 to start at $25,995 including destination. Similar price cuts are present for the 1LT and 2LT models, though V8-powered Camaros soldier on without price drops. The brand has held steady on higher profit margins for its Camaro SS despite lower sales.
Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, said the sales woes may have more to do with rivals channeling the past.
“It just doesn’t have the personality that the other two cars offer,” he said.