After the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE whipped around the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany in 7:16:04, Camaro joined the ranks of the world’s fastest rear-wheel-drive cars. But what can we expect from the 2020 Camaro?
According to Camaro’s chief engineer, Al Oppenheiser, Chevy’s got big plans. The company has set its sights on smoking Nurburgring in under 7:00:00, and they want to clinch their position as king of the road.
Carmakers are getting more experimental with their vehicles with each passing year. Read on to learn about what the 2020 Camaro has in store for you.
Speeding into the Future
While we have to consult the crystal ball for some of our predictions when it comes to the Camaro 2020, we’ve also got some clear trends from Chevy on which to base our assumptions. For one, the Camaro continues to get faster and faster.
The fifth generation 2014 Camaro Z/28 500 hp’s official time (a wet lap) came in at 7:37:00. The sixth generation 2017 Camaro ZL1 650 hp ran the track in 7:29:00, eight minutes faster. And the 2018 model did it with 13 minutes to spare.
These records show that Chevy continues to aggressively aim for increased speed. So, don’t act surprised when the 2020 Chevy Camaro continues to chip away at that Nurburgring record.
Can it get below 7:00:00 as Oppenheiser hopes? Who knows…
But no matter what, the Camaro will continue to hold its own as a supercar. (And, one far more reasonably priced than the competition.) That said, change sits on the horizon, and some of it will literally shock you.
Fast speeds and great performance don’t pose serious shocks. But, get ready for the kicker; the Camaro will boast both electric and gas motors. These will ensure more total power and instant torque.
In fact, Chevy will feature electric-hybrid and electric drivetrains for all of its next-generation vehicles. It’s a risky move that GM will back up with groundbreaking new technologies.
Like Tesla, Chevy remains focused on innovation and performance. This means more than just faster 0 to 60 speeds. Vehicles will also offer improved cornering, better braking, and excellent handling on the skidpad.
What’s more, engineering tricks will keep component parts light. That way, Chevy can offset the weight of a hybrid battery.
Sounds too good to be true from a hybrid? GM appears to have the technology — and the patents — to back up their claims. Let’s take a look at some of the rumors coming through the grapevine to get a better sense of what this could mean.
Why do we hold out hope of the 2020 Camaro performing as well (if not better) than its predecessors? Among the most favorable signs remain GM’s patents for kinetic energy storage.
Filed earlier this year, these patents rely on capacitors for energy storage. The car will also have a regenerative braking process that harnesses the latent power of forward momentum to generate energy during the stopping process.
When it comes to the hybrid parts that remain out of sight and mind, they include a sub-200lb system. This system will help with low-end torque, which means the 2020 model should prove faster and more powerful than its predecessors.
Once a Camaro…
While news of Chevy’s transition to manufacturing hybrid and electric vehicles will stun loyal fans, that doesn’t mean the Camaro they’ve known and loved no longer exists. GM takes the old adage “once a Camaro, always a Camaro” very seriously.
In fact, Chevy engineers continue to work hard to ensure the traditional feel and performance of their sports car. Despite its electric assisting motor(s) and capacitors, customers won’t see the electrical components.
According to GM engineers, the Camaro will continue to feel like a beastly road monster. And its performance will prove so addictive that, quite frankly, you won’t care how it’s powered.
Its hybrid powertrain will provide many opportunities for third-party shops to optimize performance further, and it will feature elements like:
- a turbo
- variable valve timing
- direct injection
- electric assist
In other words, get ready for a supercar with a massive yet smooth power band. According to inside sources, GM’s hybrid drivetrain with attached 2.0 L turbocharged inline-four has reached 512 lb-feet of torque and 451 hp. Not bad!
To continue breaking records, Chevy will have to up their aerodynamic game further while decreasing their downforce numbers. This proves a somewhat tricky proposition considering the excellent lines of the Camaro ZL1 1LE’s.
After all, it’s got canards! What more can you do to tweak that? Here’s where designers will have to get even more creative and design-focused.
That said, we’ll put money on a couple of things. First, look for an impressive wing worthy of a seventh-generation Camaro. Second, get ready for the largest front splitter ever featured on a Camaro.
Let’s Talk Suspension
When it comes to suspension, Chevy has some room for improvement. For example, they could add cross-bracing and control arms. The Camaro 2020 could also use some big, sexy sway bars.
Besides this, we hope to see another dose of those marvelous Multimatic DSSV dampers that grace the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE. These prepped shock absorbers seriously take the cake, and we’re begging for a repeat.
To keep sizzling around the racetrack, GM engineers must also decrease the 2020’s vehicle weights. That means going over every single component with a fine-toothed comb.
To give you an idea of the painstaking process, 70 percent of the sixth generation 2016 Camaro’s parts remain specific to that model. That means more than two-thirds of its components aren’t shared with any other GM vehicle…including previous versions of the Camaro. How’s that for tender loving care?
In fact, the sixth generation only shared two parts with its fifth-generation doppelganger: the SS badge and the bowtie emblem on the taillamp panel.
These unique architectural components contributed to a car weighing approximately 200 lbs less than its predecessor. Look for similar innovations on future versions as GM engineers sweat the small stuff to bring consumers the speediest vehicle yet.
For the 2018 model, the weight loss continued. Introducing the ZLE1 1LE package, Chevy ensured its latest version raced three seconds faster than models. This required better aerodynamics and decreased weight.
GM poured over other component parts to reduce heaviness. All told, they got the 2018 model down by an additional 60 lbs. We can safely assume the weight loss will continue.
Carbon Fiber Rumors
Weight loss requires dropping all unnecessary parts and getting creative. Chevy can do this by thinning out the glass in its vehicles. It can also minimize the interior and reduce NVH foam where possible.
The process also equates to more carbon fiber. Since GM has invested serious effort into legitimizing carbon fiber wheels, that last detail won’t come as too much of a surprise. But they may consider other parts such as a fiber hood.
According to rumors, the mass carbon fiber supplier Teijin may be manufacturing structural components and body panels en masse. Going this route could save Chevy hundreds of pounds of weight over previous versions of the Camaro.
The bottom line remains dropping some serious poundage. That way, the Camaro can continue surging forward speed-wise while offsetting the weight of more power and a hybrid battery.
A Timeless Vehicle
Despite radical innovations and a foray into the hybrid vehicle universe, one thing is for sure. The Chevy team remains committed to the original vision of the Camaro. In fact, they celebrate the Camaro’s powerful heritage in every aspect of their work.
Engineers continue to push the envelope, combining dramatic design with superior performance. These efforts will help them, yet again, capture the spirit of one of the most popular sports coupes to ever tear up the roadway.
While some fans may feel hesitant about a new hybrid version of their beloved classic, the devil is in the details. GM engineers continue to work hard to ensure the seventh generation of the Camaro will live up to (and even exceed) expectations.
Of course, all bets are off until the 2020 Chevy Camaro hits the track at Nurburgring. We can’t wait to see how this new version of a timeless vehicle holds up to all of the hype. If it does, the future of hybrids will appear that much brighter.
2020 Camaro Predictions
While the 2020 Camaro will offer the best in sportswear handling combined with the latest innovations coming out of the hybrid world, it’s the little things that will count. Innovation begets innovation, and improving upon these babies will no doubt offer the best in exhilarating performance and power.
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