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2019 Chevrolet Camaro First Look

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/9/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2019-Chevrolet-Camaro-SS-05.jpg

Chevy wowed us with its sixth-generation Camaro, which moved to a new platform that blurred the line between sporty coupe and legit sports car. We liked it so much that we named it our 2016 Car of the Year. But that was three years ago, meaning the Camaro is half way through its life cycle. To keep its pony car fresh, Chevy is giving the Camaro a makeover for 2019.

The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro features redesigned front and rear ends, as well as more visual differentiation between trim levels. All Camaros except the ZL1 receive new headlights with LED accents that spill over into the grille, along with a reshaped hood. SS models now get a flowtie badge and front bumper "air curtains" that are said to improve the car's aerodynamics. The SS also gets special headlights with a unique LED light signature and a heat extractor vent on the hood. Chevy says it didn't mess with the ZL1's front end because it was already optimized for aerodynamics.

a close up of a car© Motor Trend Staff

But the big news is the 2019 Camaro's redesigned taillights. Those who disliked the Camaro's move away from quad round taillights will be happy to see that signature design theme return on the 2019 Camaro. The new lights are much more sculpted than before, with three-dimensional elements and a distinct roundness to them that's accentuated by the recesses in the rear bumper. LS and LT models get bright red lenses, while RS, SS, and ZL1 trims get dark-tinted neutral-density lenses. All Camaros get a redesigned rear bumper, but RS and SS models get a unique diffuser when equipped with the Dual Mode Exhaust.

The face-lift really changes the sixth-gen Camaro's look, but it's not the only enhancement Chevy made for 2019. The 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed by GM and Ford has finally trickled down from the ZL1 to the SS. The 10-speed option will come with paddle shifters and launch control and line lock features.

Also new for 2019 is a Turbo 1LE model packing the turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The turbo-four Camaro is the last in the lineup to receive the coveted 1LE package, following the V-6, SS, and ZL1, and Chevy didn't skimp on the performance goodies. The Turbo 1LE receives the familiar FE3 suspension that includes specially tuned dampers, stiffer rear cradle mounts, rear tow links with cross-axis ball joints, and larger-diameter front and rear stabilizer bars. The package also gets you a staggered set of summer-only tires sized 245/40R20 in the front and 275/35R20 in the rear, and Brembo brakes with low-metallic performance pads. Inside, the Turbo 1LE has a standard flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in suede and has the option of Recaro sport seats.

The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro comes with Chevy's latest infotainment system that is designed to mimic the functionality of today's smartphones and tablets. A 7.0-inch touchscreen is standard, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen is available when you upgrade to onboard navigation. Even if you don't, the new infotainment system will be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as it is on the refreshed Malibu, Cruze, and Spark. Chevy says the new system, called Infotainment 3, can automatically install over-the-air software updates.

a red car parked on the side of a building© Motor Trend Staff

Were you on the fence about the Camaro before because it didn't offer forward collision warning? Well, now you have no reason not to get one as the feature will be available starting with the 2019 model year. Meanwhile, a Rear Camera Mirror will come standard on 2SS and ZL1 models, offering a wider field of view than a traditional mirror. The regular rearview camera option has also been improved with a digital high-def camera that Chevy says results in a clearer image. Lastly, the Performance Data Recorder system has been improved.

The pre-refresh Camaro didn't need much, but these upgrades could help make a great car even greater. We hope to find out in a First Drive review soon.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS 01© Motor Trend Staff 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS 01

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