The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 program has been canceled, further clouding the GM pony car's uncertain future.
Last week, we found out that the Chevy Camaro was due to be discontinued after the current generation had run its course. Falling sales are the most likely reason as the Camaro now sits behind the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang in the three-way North American muscle-car race.
Yesterday, we heard reports that the Camaro might live on past its 2023 termination date but as an electric vehicle. We’re not sure how Camaro fans will accept the new reality of electric cars, but the Camaro’s future is anything but certain at this point.
Now we’re hearing new reports from Muscle Cars & Trucks that the Camaro’s fortunes continue to go from bad to worse. The Z/28 program, historically the most extreme version of the Camaro that arrives late in its production cycle, has been canceled.
The publication cites anonymous sources within the company that said powertrain and business planning was performed but never got any further. GM’s restructuring plans diverted resources into electric and autonomous cars and also laid off thousands of employees while shuttering several North American manufacturing plants. The Z/28 was just collateral damage.
In the 5th-gen Camaro, the Z/28 featured a full aero kit, larger Brembo brakes, a bigger carbon fiber rear wing, front splitter, and extended rocker panels. It also sported a limited-slip differential and Multimatic DSSV spool valve dampers for even better handling.
But the piece de resistance was the 7.0-L LS7 V8, the largest and most powerful naturally aspirated engine of that generation.
GM had planned to offer a similar engine on the 6th-gen Camaro, according to the report. A spiritual successor to the LS7, it would have been 6.6-liters of displacement and labeled the LS3 V8. Power figures weren’t disclosed, but it would have at least out-powered the Camaro SS’s 45 horsepower.
Currently, the best Camaro available would be the ZL1 1LE trim. It features a supercharged V8 with 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, as well as many of the aerodynamic and handling enhancements as found on the previous-gen Z/28. It’s a fine car with phenomenal performance, but it doesn’t have the Z/28 badge, and that’s a shame.