They say all good things must come to an end, and that end seems to be in sight for the Chevy Camaro. As one of the industry's original muscle cars, the Camaro has won its fair share of fans over the years, but after almost 60 years, Chevy is looking to sunset this iconic ride. While Chevy has assured drivers that the outgoing sixth-generation model is "not the end of the Camaro's story," there's no telling what the future might hold, so let's take the opportunity to appreciate the 2024 Chevy Camaro while we still have the chance.
The sixth-generation Camaro was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year on its debut in 2016, with the vaunted auto mag lauding the SS trim's brawny 455-hp 6.2L V8, six-speed manual transmission, and GM's Alpha platform that it shares with the luxurious Cadillac ATS and CTS. Of course, the Camaro's biggest selling point has long been its value; true to the muscle car formula of a long hood, short deck, and a price tag well within the reach of the average driver, half the trims on offer for the 2024 Chevy Camaro fall below the $40k mark.
That combination has created no shortage of Camaro loyalists, with over 140 Camaro clubs across North America. So what's so special about this time-tested muscle car, and does the 2024 model do the Camaro justice? Grab your hankies as we dive into the bittersweet task of documenting what could well be the last of the original Camaros.
While the head-turning styling and modern interior are good selling points, a muscle car is always going to be judged first and foremost by what's under the hood. A beefy V8 has long been par for the course in the athletic segment, but as engine technology has improved, automakers have figured out how to squeeze comparable power from fewer cylinders.
That's nice and all, but efficiency has never been much of a concern in the muscle car segment, which is why it's so nice to see Chevy ditch the 275-hp turbocharged inline four-cylinder that was offered until 2023. With that out of the way, the 335-hp 3.6L V6 becomes the base engine, upping the power—and fun—by a considerable margin to give the entry-level Camaro a swan song worthy of its 57 years on the market.
The V6 is certainly no slouch, allowing the Camaro to rocket from zero to sixty in 5.2 seconds, but for those seeking an engine that matches the muscle car's bold styling, it has to be the V8. Chevy lifted the 6.2L V8 from the equally iconic Corvette (also available in the Silverado and Cadillac Escalade) to give Camaro drivers a nice symmetrical 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque to play around with. The V8 is unsurprisingly powerful—going zero to sixty in just 4.1 seconds—but it's the fuel economy figures that really catch you off guard. Despite its considerable might, the Camaro still manages to maintain an impressive 16 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.
Then there's the ZL1. For all intents and purposes, this street-legal racer should be considered its own model, but we'd be remiss if we didn't take a moment to peek under the hood. For just under $80k, drivers will be treated to a supercharged version of the 6.2L V8 that ups the ante with a mind-boggling 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. You won't be winning any awards from the environmentalists with 14 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway, but it'll be easy to ignore their complaints when you're ripping past them with a zero-to-sixty time of 3.5 seconds.
No matter which engine you choose, it'll come paired with a race-ready six-speed manual transmission that offers drivers the sort of control that's so important in forging that car-driver connection. Drivers can also opt for a ten-speed automatic transmission if they're seeking a little more in the way of fuel efficiency, but the rear-wheel drive Camaro is just too enjoyable to let a computer have all the fun.
The sixth-generation Camaro has seen its fair share of special editions, from 2017's 50th Anniversary Edition to the Shock and Steel Edition, Redline Edition, and Wild Cherry Design Package. In bidding farewell to the Camaro, Chevy decided to give the model one last makeover in the form of the Collector Edition.
Available across the entire trim lineup, this edition pays homage to the original 1967 model by leaning heavily on a blacked-out "panther" motif. Why panthers? It all starts with a telegram emanating from Chevy HQ back in 1966. The automaker sent journalists a unique invitation to the first—and last—meeting of the Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World. When the reporters arrived, they were treated to the grand unveiling of the original Camaro, which was developed under the code name 'Panther.'
"We found it fitting for this Collector Edition Camaro to officially recognize the significance of the original code name and share it with Camaro enthusiasts," said Rich Scheer, design director at Chevrolet Performance.
For the 2024 Collector Edition, Chevy's Performance Design Studio took the Panther concept and ran with it. From panther-inspired colors including Panther Black Metallic, Satin Black accent stripes, 20-inch Satin Black (or Polished Forged) wheels, black lug nuts, and red brake calipers, the Collector Edition cuts a sleek yet imposing figure that pairs well with the jungle cat theme. If the bold styling isn't enough, the model also has a one-of-a-kind front fender script that incorporates a panther into the "R" logo.
In addition to its black-on-black color palette, the 2024 Collector Edition will also feature crucial performance upgrades like a front splitter and rear spoiler borrowed from the Camaro's 1LE and ZL1 packages. Those in the market for the range-topping ZL1 version will enjoy an even more limited feature: Black Matte exterior paint. It's the first matte paint ever offered by Chevy, making this limited run of 350 models even rarer than the already-limited Collector Edition.
Chevy has even included some swag as part of the package, gifting drivers with a custom Shinola Canfield Sport 45mm watch that's decorated with a panther icon and the Camaro logo, as well as being inscribed with the same serial number you'll find etched into the model's steering wheel.
There are also plenty of fun surprises to be found inside the Collector Edition, including the serialized steering wheel badge, a laser-etched aluminum Collector Edition logo, panther badging on the doors and steering wheel, specialized floor mats, and more. It's a fitting parting gift for one of America's most beloved muscle cars, giving drivers a unique memento that speaks to almost 60 years of automotive innovation.
Chevy thoroughly modernized the Camaro's interior going into the sixth generation, treating drivers to some of the latest and greatest in-vehicle tech and comfort features without straying too far from the formula that's made the classic muscle car such a driver favorite over the decades.
It all starts with the 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. It might not be the largest display on offer in the segment, but it makes up for its size in a few important ways. First off, this touchscreen is subtly angled toward the driver, which gives the Camaro a unique cockpit-like feel that few others can match. Powered by Chevy's Infotainment 3 software, the Camaro features all the smart services one would expect, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The infotainment system wins some extra points for its intuitive, handsomely designed controls, which make navigating the screen a breeze: an important consideration when you're on the go.
Wireless device charging and voice recognition round out the Camaro's expansive suite of tech features, but it's the muscle car's ambient lighting that earns the nod for the coolest interior feature. With over 20 colors to choose from, including some two-tone hues designed to complement one another, the Camaro's interior lighting can easily be customized through the touchscreen. With the ability to match the exterior paint job—or that night's outfit—the interior ambient lighting system is a novel feature ripped straight from the scenes of your favorite sci-fi movie.
Optional interior upgrades include a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, navigation, and wireless charging, as well as a seven- or nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, automatic climate controls, remote start, proximity keyless entry, and, of course, a sunroof. Looking for a moody interior that will complement a dark exterior paint job? The Black Interior Appearance package adds black interior and door accent trim, as well as black suede padding around the knees to complete the look.
A muscle car is, by definition, never going to be the roomiest model on a dealer's lot, but Chevy has done an admirable job of finding a good middle ground for the Camaro. The 2024 model offers 44 inches of legroom up front and 37 inches in the rear, which should be comfortable enough for most drivers and passengers.
Speaking of the front seats, they're easily one of the highlights of the Camaro's interior, boasting a supportive, ergonomic design that's crucial in any muscle car. You don't want to be slipping and sliding around in your seat while accelerating off the line or making an aggressive turn, but that shouldn't be an issue when you're nestled behind the wheel of the 2024 Camaro. The front seats earn some bonus points for being both heated and ventilated, which allows drivers to cruise in true comfort.
With 37 inches of headroom, the Camaro isn't nearly as cramped as some other sporty models on the market, though cargo space might be a concern for some. The Camaro's trunk measures in at 9.1 cu.ft., but that should still leave more than enough room for a set of golf clubs, a gym bag, and some groceries.