Is This The Future Of Muscle Cars?

In the latest EcoCAR 3 challenge, which is sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy, a group of students from Colorado University built a hybrid Camaro in the quest for efficiency and performance. The group of students started with a stock V6 Camaro and after years of tinkering built a car that outperforms the old car in every measurable way, not bad for a group of college kids. 

EcoCAR 3 challenge was the 11th time the U.S. Department of Energy hosted this competition series. Sixteen universities were challenged by the Department of Energy and General Motors to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid-electric car. A successful car would exhibit a reduced environmental impact while keeping with the Camaro’s strong performance numbers. 

Gallery: 2016 Chevy Camaro Becomes Hybrid Muscle Car Thanks To Students

This competition takes place over a 4 year period where students are challenged to hit specific goals. In the first year, students must finalize their design and complete bench testing for the components they plan to use in their build. By the end of year two, the car must reach a level of 50% functionality. Once year three ends the new parts should be integrated into the car and refined while reaching a 65% level of functionality. The fourth and final year requires 99% functionality. 

Four years may seem like a long time but when you factor in a college student’s busy schedule it becomes apparent this is no easy undertaking. The goal of this program is to inspire the automotive engineers of tomorrow. A hybrid Camaro is a great place to start considering the goal of the build was for reduced emissions and increased performance.  

Building the hybrid muscle car of tomorrow is no easy task. If we are to hold on to the muscle car for the next decade it will take bright minds like this to preserve the muscle car performance we love while giving enthusiasts the performance we crave.