The Chevrolet Camaro SS has received yet another facelift after just 12 months due to crashing sales.
Recently, the Camaro was relegated to third place in the 3-way race for top muscle car in North America. According to the Detroit Free Press, sales of the current-gen Camaro have fallen precipitously over the past year, with 2018’s sales down 21% compared to the year before.
Most took it as a sign that the mid-cycle refresh done earlier in 2018 was not well received. The primary complaint was the look of the SS trim, which painted a bar crossing the grille black and gave the car an enormous mouth that made it look more like a giant vacuum than a muscle car.
People voted with their wallets and went for the Challenger instead. Now, Chevy is trying to stem the bleeding with an emergency refresh that redesigns the SS trim’s face yet again using the concept design that was revealed at last year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
As with the SEMA concept, the new face repaints the black bar same as the body color while also moving the Chevy bowtie emblem to the upper portion of the grille. This breaks up the Camaro’s abyssal nose and gives it a distinct look that was apparently well received, at least, according to Chevrolet.
They’re calling it the 2020 Camaro after it was fast-tracked for approval, with sales beginning in the fall. We’re guessing early fall, given how quickly Chevy wants to move on this.
In addition to the cosmetic changes, Chevrolet is also introducing a new trim. Called the LT1, it combines the features of the SS trim (including the 6.2 LT1 V8 engine, hence the name) as well as the 1LT trim to make the cheapest V8 muscle car on the market. The LT1 Camaro starts at just $34,995 including destination, which is $3,000 cheaper than the base 1SS Camaro.
It’s also $350 cheaper than the Mustang GT and $290 cheaper than the Challenger R/T.
A 6-speed manual comes standard on the LT1, but a 10-speed automatic is available. Rather than the staggered wheels of the SS, the LT1 just uses 20-inch x 8.5-inch rims on all four corners and wraps them in all-season tires instead of performance radials.
We’re betting that undercutting the competition will prove fruitful for the Camaro, and so is GM. We’ll have to wait and see if this improves the Camaro’s standing.