2016 Chevy Camaro Prototype First Drive: Ushering In a New Age of Lightness

We get it— the 2016 Camaro is smaller, lighter and overall nimbler than the fifth-gen car it’s replacing. Chevrolet engineers made sure to shove those facts down my throat while I was on location at Belle Isle Park in Detroit for the reveal. I’m being a little dramatic, of course. But the main calling card of the 2016 Camaro isn’t some monster engine or a ridiculous design— it’s lightness. And engineers made sure to make this car was as light as humanly possible (given the allotted platform). Gone is the portly Zeta platform and in its place is a more advanced, and lighter, obviously, Alpha rear-wheel drive platform. It's the  same platform that underpins the new Cadllac ATS, albeit with a few modifications to make it more Camaro-esque. So don’t think it's some two-door luxury cruiser. RELATED: See More Photos of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro It’s 200 pounds lighter than the previous generation, and it’s 28% stiffer too. With all this new engineering, ideally, you should be able to throw it around a corner with more confidence (and speed) than ever before in a V6. Naturally, I needed to find that out for myself — and while Belle Isle Park Grand Prix in Detroit may not be the quickest of tracks — the curvy setup was a perfect chance for me to do just that. (Note: In a prototype). Jumping from fifth-gen to sixth-gen, the differences are immediately noticeable. The driver position feels more like a cockpit, giving you a stronger connection between the car and the road. It may sound silly, but something as simple as driver position can change the way you feel about a car dramatically— and that’s before you even put your foot on the gas. RELATED: 2016 Camaro Unveiled With New Look, Loads of Power From the exhaust came one of the best sounding noises a V6 has ever made. It was loud, it was burpy. Comparatively, I would say it sounds almost as good as the V6 Jaguar F-Type, which is exactly what you want in a sporty American muscle coupe. Barreling down the straight in an updated six-speed manual (and then later an eight-speed automatic), the new driving dynamics are immediately noticeable. Buzzwords like lightness and handling danced around in my head as I threw it into the first corner as vigorously as my nerves and Chevrolet PR people would allow. The grunt on this thing felt great. I only got a chance to drive the 3.6-liter V6, which puts out a hefty 330 horsepower and 284 lb-ft torque. That’s more than Ford’s 280 lb-ft of torque found on the V6 Mustang; though, technically, the V6 Camaro competes with the four-cylinder Mustang. Nevertheless, it was enough to keep the Z/28 chase car well in sight. RELATED: The 10 Best Chevy Camaros of All Time After a few laps, I was pretty sold on the 2016 Camaro already. It looks good, it’s got more power, and it’s a huge leap from where the fifth-gen once stood in terms of overall performance. I’ll have to spend some more time in it— but overall, I’d say Chevy has a real performer on its hands with this one. And not just in straight lines. RELATED: See Photos of the 505-Horsepower Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 ____________________________________ Click Here to Read the Original Article on BoldRide

Be part of something big