What do you do when you’re building the Gen 6 Camaro? Why if you’re Chevrolet you spend 9 million hours computing its driving experience, before even turning a wheel on a prototype. Chevy says that’s how much computational time its engineers spent designing the all-new 2016 Camaro which will be unmasked in just over a month from now.
Chevy says all the work paid off because the computer aided engineering makes it 28 percent structurally stiffer that the current outgoing model.
“The modeling abilities of computer aided engineering are advancing at incredible rates,” said Jim Karlavage, Camaro program engineering manager. “Today, we can accurately model opportunities to add torsional strength without adding unnecessary mass. The result is a lighter, stiffer structure that benefits every aspect of the driving experience.”
According to Chevy’s website, the more rigid body structure allowed the engineers to more precisely calibrate the steering and suspension systems because they didn’t have to compensate for chassis flex. The lighter structure also enabled the size and mass of elements such as the wheels, tires and brakes to be scaled accordingly.
“The structural weight savings are compounded by opportunities to reduce un-sprung weight,” said Karlavage. “The result is a more nimble driving experience that rewards the driver with satisfying feelings of responsiveness and control.”
Chevy’s already told us that 70% of architectural components are unique to the Gen 6 Camaro, including exterior dimensions, suspension geometry and powertrain components. In fact, only two parts carry over from the current model, those being the bowtie emblem on the taillamp panel and the SS badge.
The new Camaro is based on General Motors’ Alpha architecture, which is designed to compete with premium European brands.
“Alpha provided a strong foundation, but more than 70 percent of the components are unique to the Gen 6 Camaro, including exterior and interior dimensions, an all-new interior, front and rear suspension, and powertrain components,” he said. “The minute you see – and hear – the Gen 6, you know it’s a Camaro, from the stance to the driving experience to the sound of the Small Block V-8.”
Chevrolet will introduce the all-new Gen 6 Camaro on Saturday, May 16, during a day long fan celebration at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park. The RSVP period looks like its ended. Space was limited and Chevy estimated only 1000 would be able to attend the event.
“This will be an event Camaro fans will not want to miss,” said Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager. “This is only the sixth time we have introduced an all-new Camaro. We wanted to share the moment with the customers and fans who have helped make Camaro both America’s favorite performance car for the past five years, and a cultural icon since 1967.”
So let the countdown to May 16th begin.