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2019 Chevrolet Camaro Design Discussion
AKA Let’s All Dunk on the new Chevy Camaro

Patrick Hoffstetter April 11, 2018 All Things Hoon, Featured 25 Comments

The automotive world was recently introduced to the newly refreshed Chevrolet Camaro. Reactions have been mixed, at best. Regardless, this is an important car to the enthusiast market, so I thought it might be best to get the opinions of the Hooniverse staff. Surely we all have different thoughts on this one… right?

Read on to find out.

The front end looks like a nerdy, shy robot that just discovered eyeliner. And is using that eyeliner to hide its awkward smile.

I’m pretty sure the taillights were stolen from some anime version of the Corvette. Those are Manga Corvette taillights.

Still, I’m sure it drives wonderfully. And I’m genuinely curious about the turbo-four-banger 1LE version. I’ll always prefer a V8, but that could be a seriously competent “bargain” sports car. Like a giant Miata.    

-Jeff

To me the taillights look like cartoon-ified versions of those off the Malibu, which makes them stand out much more than those on the pre-refresh 6th-gen rear end but simultaneously makes them look like they’re trying too hard to “be modern” (not unlike those on the C7).

The front, even more unfortunate, gives the impression that the car that the Camaro ate for breakfast is trying to climb face-first back out through the grille. It’s unfortunate, this redesign, and I actually stared longingly at the current-gen’s relatively attractive front end when I passed one yesterday shortly after the updated body was revealed.

But like Jeff said, I’m sure with the magnetic suspension wizardry, six-speed stick, and the magnificent LT1, even the lowly SS will continue to be a massive amount of performance car for the money. That money figure continues to increase though, and the comparable Mustang is drastically better looking in my eyes, and, in addition to be much easier to see out of, is probably 95% as rewarding to drive while being much easier to live with…not to mention sounding better than its Chevy counterpart.

Advantage anywhere except the track: Ford.

-Ross

This was a big letdown for me. The current Camaro looks so good. It’s a perfect mixt of aggressive styling but not over-the-top compensatory. I understand the point of varying your styling to differentiate trims and models from each other, but come on Chevy, front ends that were robbed from the Impala and Silverado (or even hints of Dodge’s Charger) and the Malibu derived tail lights…why?

-Robby

This is new? Looks like the old one. But I wouldn’t know because I don’t think I’ve seen a new Camaro is years. And if I have seen one, I probably missed it because it looked just like the one before but with LED lights.

There just don’t seem to be many of them around the northeast. I don’t see any advertising for them, either. This, the lazy redesign, and GM’s recent announcement that it will stop posting it’s monthly and annual sales leads me to believe that perhaps GM just doesn’t care about selling these cars. I don’t know.

And with this update, like with the whole current and previous generation, Chevy did not address the two areas where the Camaro was always did poorly – visibility and interior.

The visibility from the Camaros of this decade has been atrocious. The side windows are short, the pillars are thick, and the rear window is useless for reversing. Good thing we have cameras and beep-beep sensors now – don’t buy your Camaro without them.

While GM has not released the interior pictures, assume it to be just like the old one but with a bigger center screen. Because that’s all it can be. There will still be a tall wall of plastic in front of the passenger and there will be some retro styling bits. Yawn.

I’m sure it will drive well, be fast, and put up impressive numbers. But… it’s a Camaro, same one it’s been this whole decade.

-Kamil

Thanks, Chevrolet. Now the 2018 Mustang I want to get can no longer be called the ugliest of the pony cars. I think it looked great in person already, but now it’s like Alfa Romeo levels of pretty in comparison.

First I saw the SS model with its black facial accents and thought “eh, it doesn’t look terrible”. Then I saw the base model sans face paint and threw up a little in my mouth. And the back is just awkward. It’ll still be a blast to drive with that new 1LE turbo model and they’ll continue to sell a ton which I guess is all that matters, but they need to stop taking so much inspiration from the Transformers movies.

-Greg

—-

So there you have it, the opinions of the best and brightest in the industry. Here are my own final thoughts on the 2019 Camaro.

Like the Mustang before it, the 2019 Camaro has been given a horrible refresh. While I applaud Chevy for at least trying to complete its move away from retro-based styling, this new direction ruins a fine looking car. I thought that seeing shots of it out in public would help matters, as they do on the 2018 Mustang. Unfortunately that is not the case.

The front end is everything bad about Acura and Lexus, and the taillights are a genuine tragedy. Seriously, those rear lights are the worst LED work I’ve ever seen from an OEM. I hope that new turbo-four 1LE can stun enough to distract from the rest of the car.

At least when you’re driving it you can pretend you’re in a better looking car.

  • Alff
  • tonyola

    I don’t really get Chevy’s obsession with dual roundish taillights for the Camaro. The only years that the classic Camaro had dual round lights was 1970.5 to 1973. As for the messy front end, I prefer the treatment on the blue car with the black divider bar. The silver car looks like it’s having its lower lip pulled down.

  • neight428

    I like it less than the last version, but never would have bought it on looks anyway. Ford is bound to love how this makes the Mustang look though.

    FCA needs to pull a rabbit out of their hat and make the next Challenger based on the Giulia.

    • crank_case

      Upvote for the Italian AmerIcan Charger idea.

    • Zentropy

      FCA had intentions a couple of years ago to do just that. But last year I think they ditched the Giorgio (Giulia/Stelvio) platform idea and are instead going to put the Challenger and Charger on the M157 (Maserati Ghibli) platform. The Ghibli’s size is very similar to that of the current Charger, but the Giulia is smaller in all dimensions (WB -9″, L -17″, W -1″, H -2″).
      FCA basically shot themselves in the foot by letting the Giulia usurp the Ghibli’s lofty position (as it handily destroys it in bang-for-buck category), so maybe they are looking for a good home for the M157 platform and thereby justify development of a superior Ghibli.

  • SlowJoeCrow

    The first iteration of the revived Camaro looked like an oversized caricature of the 67 Camaro and the two successive generations have become uglier, more cartoonish and less usable. I test drove a 2010 and outward visibility was on par with a buttoned up Sherman tank and the trunk opening looked like a mail slot. I’d consider a Mustang or maybe a Challenger but no Camaro made after 1985.

    • Tomsk

      If GM is truly serious about improving outward visibility they’ll give the 7th gen a wraparound/wrapover rear window treatment like the facelifted ’75 and later 2nd gens and the hatchback 3rd gens. Then again, they’ll probably find a way to turn that into a pillbox, too…

      • SlowJoeCrow

        If they were serious about doing something different, they would base the next Camaro on the second generation since they were genuinely good looking and equally iconic. It would also repeat the actual evolution and provide an opportunity to dial back the current cartoonish styling.

        • Zentropy

          Mimicking the 2nd-gen car wouldn’t be doing something different– it would be maintaining the present course. What the Camaro needs is re-invention. The trouble is that Chevrolet has a lackluster styling image across its entire lineup, with nothing on the horizon that looks to change that trend. Everything they have is generic and uninspiring. Even the flagship Corvette looks like a half-hearted effort, and that’s a car that should have had some serious passion behind it.

          • SlowJoeCrow

            That’s a valid critique, although my point was that the last 3 generations of Camaro have doubled down on an increasingly cartoonish 1st gen so mimicking the 2nd gen is a change. I’ll agree on the lackluster lineup, the only Chevy that interests me right now is a pickup. When it comes to cars and crossovers and I’d sooner buy a Mazda.

            • Zentropy

              I would agree that the cartoonish proportions are the problem, but Chevrolet can’t seem to do retro without over-exaggerating it. I don’t trust their designers with the 2nd-gen theme any more than I do the 1st. And while I would agree with you that the 2018 Chevy Silverado is a handsome enough design, the 2019 looks like a train wreck, with so many incongruent details in the grille alone, it looks like it was styled by committee. Chevy sorely needs a revolution in their styling.
              Mazda’s on a roll with design. Clean, smart, interesting. Too bad Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet, and others can’t seem to do the same.

    • ptschett

      …is the CHMSL the dealbreaker on the 3rd-gen?

      • SlowJoeCrow

        Not particularly, but it was an afterthought and breaks up the look. I feel more strongly about the second generation between the original look and the 5mph bumper models

  • Citric

    The entirely grille front makes me wonder if this happened:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWqVoaYxgRs

  • I_Borgward

    Can you imagine trying to clean dead bugs off of the front of that thing?

  • Zentropy

    This would be tragic if Camaro styling wasn’t already so cartoonishly heavy-handed, but I’ll admit the 2018 is far better looking. Since the ridiculously-proportioned 5th-gen cars debuted, it’s been hard to take the Camaro seriously with respect to anything other than performance. I have to dig back to 1973 models for a design I find even remotely appealing. Visually, it’s been a perennial turd for decades.

    • neight428

      Maybe its just nostalgia, but I find the pre-Grand Coulee Dam spoilered 3rd gen IROC/Z28’s (87-90-ish) to be a clean exterior design. The interiors are a hot mess mash-up of 80’s trends and twenty year old GM parts bin stuff.

      • Zentropy

        To each his/her own. In base form it’s clean, but to my eyes completely unappealing. Given its cramped cabin, it seemed so needlessly long and wide. It must have been a good foot longer than a contemporary Mustang, which itself wasn’t great looking, but was a tidier design.

      • HuntRhymesWith

        This video really turned me on to these cars, especially in red. In a world of frumpy CUVs, I find these long, low proportions increasingly rare and desirable.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMZYOvM8Fp4

        • Zentropy

          Again, to each his own. When I want long and low, I look at early-mid 60s American iron. My interests in the 80s sway more to German cars with upright greenhouses. I may have developed a bias, though, as my HS girlfriend drove a mid-80s Camaro that was a complete POS. I despised that car.

  • je zalanka

    i gm took a 1969 camaro z28 body and put the new cars goodies into it, how many could they build because i believe they would sell every one they build. having driven the new camaro, it just confuses the hell out of me. can’t see out of it. noisy, 1969 build quality(a lot more about the design engineering instead of the folks who had to piece this thing together). yeah yeah. it has lots of power. its too heavy. ok there is a lot of federal required equipment in the car but it should not weigh this much. the exterior design looks like a weightlifter gone over the top on steroids. collision repair shops are probably slathering their chops anticipating the arrival of the new camaros into their shops to repair the owners faux pas.
    yet again, not a car i would purchase at any price.

  • I’ve always loved Camaros My oldest automotive memory is of a ’70-’73 Camaro. I remember thinking that it was the coolest thing ever (I was probably 5-ish).

    I’ve always preferred the styling of the Camaro to the Mustang. In the 80s and 90s it seemed that the consensus was that the Camaro had an edge in performance and aesthetics but the Mustang was much more comfortable and easy to live with. That remained true with the rebirth of the Camaro for the 5th generation.

    The refresh of the 3rd and 4th generations were not improvements, but they were still good looking cars. This is the first time that I’d say Chevy ruined the Camaro. This is terrible, it is simply doesn’t look like the design was intended for the car. It’s new simply for the sake of being new. Sad.

  • Dominik

    I think the new Camaro looks okay.

    It’s just that facelift stigma