Earlier this month, Chevrolet showed off its refreshed 2019 car lineup. The Spark, Cruze, and Malibu all got updated styling, but it’s the Camaro’s new front end that’s generating the most buzz. At the event, we spoke with John Mack, the head of design for the new Camaro, to get a little more information on the Camaro’s new look. Here’s what we learned.
No Notable Mechanical Changes
The Camaro SS gets GM’s 10-speed automatic for 2019, which should improve on-track performance. When asked about other changes, though, Mack told us they’re mostly cosmetic. “It’s mainly design and upgrades on the infotainment,” he said. “And then there’s new colors and new wheels.”
A Dash of First-Gen Camaro in the Grille
It isn’t immediately obvious, but according to Mack, there’s a little bit of the original Camaro in the new front ends. “The RS and base LT model they actually have a design that kind of has a homage to the first-gen where you have the larger center-opening grille. The lower grille also, that is downplayed,” he said.
Base Models First
You might think the design team would update the Camaro SS first, but that’s not necessarily the case. “We started off by actually kind of doing what we feel is right for this trim level,” said Mack. “We want to make a very impactful graphical statement, and its face has to have an emotional quality to it. When you get into the SS, you want a look that’s more over the top, so that becomes a bolder expression. The graphics are going to be, I think, more unique. Something that could be a touch polarized. But again, keep that sinister face to the vehicle that wants to evoke an emotion. You see that in your rearview mirror, you’re like “holy cow what’s that I need to get out of its way.”
In the past, the RS package has essentially been a cosmetic upgrade. That changes for 2019. “The outboard air curtains are functional. Air goes in and comes out the other side, and that will also help the aerodynamics,” Mack said. “We also have functional extractors in the lower diffuser.” Similar functional features were used on the SS, as well.
No Fake Exhaust Tips
It may be popular to use stylized exhaust finishers these days, but don’t expect that look to show up on the Camaro anytime soon. Especially on the SS. Gesturing to the 2019 Camaro SS’ quad exhaust, Mack said, “It’s still a performance look and it’s still something I think we’re sticking to for now. Dual-duals is always a sign you’ve got some power underneath the hood. Typically, when you get into sculpted tips you’d get into different types of vehicles. But for kind of an American muscle car, we feel that’s the right look for it.”