Chevrolet lifted the veil off of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro earlier this month and it seems to have been a hit. While I was not invited to the grand opening, ah hem GM, I do have a strong opinion on why I think it will become more popular than the 2016 Ford Mustang. Even a raccoon with an unfortunate case of rabies would pick the Camaro over the Mustang in the looks department. But I am not a raccoon, nor do I worry about trivial matters such as looks – that’s why I drive a burnt-orange Miata.
What I do care about is a simple, understandable lineage throughout a vehicle’s lineup. And the new Camaro’s lineup will draw more people in because of that simple fact. Let me explain.
The majority – and I really wanted to say every here, but I’m sure there are a few cars that go against the mold – of cars have a very singular lineage. Let’s use the Dodge Challenger as an example. As a random yet interesting fact, there are 10 different Challengers that you can choose from, but that’s completely off topic and has nothing to do with this article, or does it?
Either way, we can see the simple and profitable progression in the car’s lineup. The cheapest Challenger comes with a 3.6-L Pentastar V-6. I’ve never driven a Challenger, so there’s nothing I can say about the engine. The next engine is a 5.7-L V-8 producing more horsepower than the base V-6. Do you see what’s happening here?
The next model up is the Challenger R/T Scat Pack that comes with a 6.4-L V-8 and boasts even more power over its cheaper counterparts. The most expensive and most powerful Challenger is the SRT Hellcat, which features a supercharged 6.2-L HEMI V-8. The Challenger’s lineup is the prime example of a simple and linear arrangement.
The smallest engine requires you to take the least out of your wallet while the most powerful model will make you trickle into your retirement fund. In other words, the more money you throw at a salesman, you’ll wind up getting a larger engine. However, that’s not the case with the Mustang’s lineup.
The Mustang’s lineup is a confusing set of numbers that don’t make sense for my money. The base Mustang is a 3.7-L V-6 while the next step up is a 2.3-L EcoBost engine and the 5.0-L V-8 is the range-topping one. Excuse me? Since when does my hard earned money get me into a four-cylinder engine over the V-6?
What’s even more confusing about the Mustang’s lineup is that the base V-6 produces 10-hp less than the four-cylinder turbo. These are two American sports cars and if I were to buy one, it would have to be the one that has the largest engine and the most power. Could you imagine having a beer at the local watering hole and saying that you spent over $25,000 for a 300 hp four-cylinder engine?
If I frequented a place that offered great prices on only American beer, I don’t think I could have the heart to disclose the price of my new Mustang with a four-cylinder engine in it. I wouldn’t mind stating that I paid approximately the same price for a new Camaro and that has a larger, more powerful V-6.
Why would this be the case? Because they’re both American Sports Cars and in America, bigger is always better. Who in their right mind wants to spend more to get a smaller engine in a muscle car? That’s like saying, “yes, I want a cheeseburger, but please take the cheese off and I’ll pay you more than your asking price.”
While other sports cars can get away with smaller, turbocharged engines, these two vehicles are descendants of truly glorious automotive dreams. Either way, both downsized faux American sports cars are now available with a turbocharged-four-cylinder engine, but the V-8s will reign supreme, as they should.
The new Camaro will be more popular with people, not because of its looks or revised interior, but due to its ability to fulfill the American dream. You work hard to afford a powerful car with a large, American engine. Thanks to a focus group that thinks Chevrolets look like BMWs – I hate those freaking commercials – GM’s engineers have made the new Camaro have something that the new Mustang doesn’t. Which is an understandable and desirable progression in engines.
It may seem like a small thing, but it’s usually the little things that make the largest difference. And to Americans like me, bigger is better.