Mustang mangler: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro rumor roundup

It’s a good time to be a muscle car fan. The 2015 Ford Mustang is all-new, and the 2015 Dodge Challenger packs the fire-breathing, 707-horsepower HEMI Hellcat V8.

Still, there’s one name missing from this party. General Motors has stood by while its rivals reinvigorate their muscle cars, as it puts the finishing touches on the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro.

Based on reports so far, you can expect the next Camaro to sport an updated version of the current model’s sleek and chiseled skin, with important engineering updates underneath. Will that be enough to take on the best from Ford and Dodge?

Styling

The current Camaro’s styling has worn well since the car first appeared as a 2010 model, and Chevy isn’t looking to make drastic changes.

It was reported earlier this year that the 2016 Camaro would feature evolutionary styling, and the appearance of what looks like a current-fen car with a more streamlined front end in Transformers: Age of Extinction seems to back this up.

Renderings published by TopSpeed give a good indication of what the Camaro will look like once it rolls off the sound stage and into showrooms. They show a car with shorter front and rear overhangs, slimmed-down headlights and taillights, and a massive front intake that dwarfs the traditional Camaro grille.

Like the recently-restyled Mustang, the Camaro will straddle the line between retro and modern, incorporating enough traditional styling cues to make it recognizable without simply rehashing old designs.

Bigger changes are likely to take place under the skin. The 2016 Camaro is expected to switch from the GM Zeta platform – shared with various Australian Holdens – to the Alpha platform used by the Cadillac ATS and CTS. That’s expected to yield a lower curb weight and could shrink the Camaro’s footprint as well.

Powertrain

Chevy will continue to offer V6 and V8 engines in base and SS models, respectively, but that may not be all.

Following the lead of the 2015 Mustang and its 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the 2016 Camaro will reportedly feature a 2.0-liter turbo four pulled from the Cadillac CTS. If that engine can churn out the same 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque it does in the Caddy, it would still fall short of the EcoBoost’s 310 hp and 320 lb-ft.

The Camaro’s power output isn’t set in stone, though. The Chevy could also get better fuel economy, which would be the four-cylinder’s main reason for existence anyway.

Related: Mustang vs Camaro: The ultimate American car rivalry

Expect the 3.6-liter V6 to carry over from the 2015 Camaro, while the current V8 might be replaced by a derivative of the 6.2-liter LT1 small block from the Corvette Stingray.

Chevy probably won’t stop there. With the 707-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat running amok, and Ford planning a new hot Mustang, The bowtie brigade will have to replace the current Camaro Z/28 and ZL1 with something with comparable firepower.

Dodge didn’t have any qualms about treading on the 640-hp Viper, but it will be interesting to see how close Chevy gets to the 2015 Corvette Z06’s 650-hp rating.

Interior

While there appears to be a strong consensus on the 2016 Camaro’s exterior, there’s not much being said about the interior.

The current design from just before the infotainment revolution, so perhaps Chevy will try to make room for more digital gadgetry. Since the exterior styling won’t change much, it’s possible the interior design won’t either. The current Camaro’s hooded gauges do look pretty cool.

Technology

There’s plenty of tech for GM to cram into the next Camaro. It will almost certainly get the OnStar 4G LTE service and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot already available on most other GM models, as well as an updated MyLink infotainment system.

GM is also signed on for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although it’s unclear exactly when these systems will roll out. Expect them to be offered in the Camaro eventually, even if they’re not available when the car launches.

Chevy also launched the Performance Data Recorder on the 2015 Corvette, and its ability to shoot video and audio while logging telemetry could be appealing to Camaro buyers. Chevy hasn’t said anything about it either way, though.

When to expect it

Since it’s expected to launch as a 2016 model, the sixth-generation Camaro will likely appear at an auto show this season, and go on sale roughly a year from now in the fall of 2015.

For loyal Chevy fans, that date probably can’t arrive soon enough. For everyone else, the 2016 Camaro will have to offer more than a mild restyling to measure up to its newly-updated Detroit rivals.

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