By on March 15, 2017

American V8 Muscle

A few months ago, I promised the B&B they would never see American muscle cars in this Ace of Base series. Why? Well, it’s my firm belief the likes of Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger should be permanently equipped with a V8 engine and its accompanying sultry exhaust note.

I am here before you today not to break my promise, but — as I’ve said to my wife on occasion — to creatively keep my promise. Let’s find out what shoppers get for their cash in a no-option, V8-equipped example of the hairy-chested coupes hawked by the Detroit Three.

(Read More…)

By on March 1, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

If you’re worried the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE unveiled this week will be the hottest round fired from the Chevrolet Camaro magazine, fear not. The famed Z/28 will reportedly live on, and not just in memories.

While the upcoming ZL1 1LE utilizes the scorching LT4 drivetrain of its brother — and adds enough downforce-generating attachments to punch through the asphalt — it doesn’t offer Camaro buyers more of what they really want. That being moar powah, obviously.

More power is, apparently, on the way. (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Chevrolet’s Camaro ZL1 is already renowned for its ability to put down massive amounts of power in the corners and the straights. When General Motors switched over to the Alpha platform, it made sure that the ZL1 was a serious contender on the track, drag strip, highway, or any other evenly paved road. For 2018, the ZL1 1LE aims to add additional grace upon closed-course tarmac and transform an already track-capable car into a street-legal racer.

With more wings than a flock of birds, it certainly appears as if it would be more than competent at a track day and the black hood, mirrors, and wheels further enhance the definitely-not-a-street-car look. However, unlike the dark paint, the oversized carbon fiber rear wing, bumper canards, and deflectors provide functional downforce for cornering in addition to an extreme image.  (Read More…)

By on February 3, 2017

2017 Ford Mustang blue - Image: Ford

Across much of the United States, January is not the season for pony car purchases.

In fact, January is not the season for big automotive purchases in general.

Auto sales are at their lowest point in January. The rush to buy and lease vehicles in December, when spending comes naturally and time away from the office is easy to come by, is over. The weather typically takes a turn. Wallets are not flush.

Last month, U.S. auto sales dropped 2 percent from January 2016 levels. Blame a 13-percent passenger car downturn.

But the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger all tanked at a substantially worse rate than the market at large, following up a disappointing 2016 with January results that had better not set the stage for 2017. (Read More…)

By on December 19, 2016

Camaro Cash On Hood

(Update: This story has been updated to reflect new information.)

Not since the dark days of the recession has General Motors had so many vehicles clogging its inventory.

Bursting at the seams with unsold cars (but not trucks or SUVs), the automaker will temporarily turn out the lights at five assembly plants and kill off three shifts in order to bring things back into balance. For thousands of workers, that means the kind of extended Christmas holiday you don’t want. (Read More…)

By on December 6, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro V6 V8 1LE - Image: General Motors

Well, that was short-lived. After somewhat positive, very incentive-fueled results for the Chevrolet Camaro in September and October, November’s numbers told a very different story.

General Motors’ underwhelming launch of the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro produced significantly fewer sales in 2016 than the old Camaro managed in its final year. Camaro sales through the first eight months of 2016 were down 15 percent, year-over-year. But GM then threw down the incentive gauntlet in September with massive discounts, intending to clear an inventory glut.

It worked. Sort of. The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang in September — and again in October — but inventory levels scarcely decreased. Autumn simply isn’t the time to sell large numbers of pony cars, even if the Camaro attracted more buyers thanks to average discounts of $4,700 per car.

Regardless, that two-month Camaro win streak turned out to be a two-month blip. General Motors scaled back Camaro incentives in November 2016. Consequently, Camaro volume declined, the Camaro was once again handily outsold by the Ford Mustang, and there are now 177 days of Camaro supply across America. (Read More…)

By on November 20, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE pulled over by police

It’s fall in the Mojave Desert. Morning greets us with a cool and blinding brightness at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada. Several of us mill about like the speed freaks we are, anxiously awaiting our next fix, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes, pacing in anticipation.

And then it happens: someone hits the little rectangular start button on the SS 1LE to my left. Synapses fire up in unison with the 6.2-liter LT1 V8, brain buzzing to the rhythmic burble pouring from the quad tips of the Camaro’s Active Exhaust, one swift kick of the right foot away from liberating bliss.

(Read More…)

By on November 7, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro white

Updated with additional October incentive numbers.

In theory, 2016 should have been the Chevrolet Camaro’s year. Although it’s not over, we already know it won’t be the Camaro’s year.

But the Chevrolet Camaro is making headway as 2016 comes to a close. October was the second consecutive month in which the Camaro outsold the Mustang.

(Read More…)

By on October 13, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT

Updated with comment from GM.

General Motors is adding a new 1LS base trim to the already on-sale 2017 Chevrolet Camaro to ensure more direct comparisons with the less expensive and more popular Ford Mustang.

The Chevrolet Camaro, powered by a huge incentive increase, narrowly outsold the Mustang in the United States this September. Prior to last month, the Mustang had been in the top spot since 2015, when Ford put an end to five consecutive years of Camaro sales leadership. Ford’s pony car has outsold the Camaro by a vast 32,723-unit margin through the first nine months of 2016. (Read More…)

By on October 11, 2016

2015 Ford Mustang Flat Rock production

Update: Added official statement from Ford.

Ford Motor Company is briefly shutting down production of the Ford Mustang at the car’s Flat Rock, Michigan, factory in a quest to avoid ballooning inventory ahead of the winter months, Bloomberg reports.

Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Ford Mustang tumbled 32 percent in September 2016 in response to rapidly elevating incentives on the Chevrolet Camaro. As the Camaro outsold the Mustang for the first time since October 2014, Mustang sales fell to a 23-month low, causing inventory at the end of September 2016 to rise to an 89-day supply, up from 71 days of supply one month earlier.

The temporary idling at Ford’s Flat Rock facility will allow Ford to bring U.S. Mustang inventory down to more appropriate levels. 60 days of inventory is considered normal.  (Read More…)

By on October 5, 2016

Camaro Cash on hood

The narrow victory scored by the Chevrolet Camaro in America’s pony car sales race in September 2016 was the result of General Motors finally pricing the Camaro in line with the Ford Mustang.

But General Motors still has more than four months of Camaro supply as dealers approach a much slower buying season for sports cars in general; as the auto industry at large shows signs of a gradual and modest slowdown.

Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Camaro jumped 25 percent in September 2016. Compared with August, month-to-month volume rose 17 percent. To produce such gains, GM had to triple the average price cut on Camaros.  (Read More…)

By on October 4, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

In September 2016, for the first time since October 2014, the Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang in the United States.

Year-over-year, Chevrolet Camaro sales jumped 25 percent to a five-year September high of 6,577.

With the worst Ford Mustang decline since (not coincidentally) October 2014, the Blue Oval’s pony car saw its share of the three-car Detroit pony/muscle car sector fall by 15 points to 34 percent.

Thus, the Camaro wins. Over the span of one month. By a small margin.  (Read More…)

By on September 26, 2016

2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

Even Mazda, we told you last week, is now selling more crossovers than cars.

One-third of Chevrolet’s U.S. volume is produced by pickup trucks. An SUV now generates more than half of the Bentley brand’s U.S. sales. Half of all Chrysler buyers choose a minivan.

Where are the sports cars? (Read More…)

By on September 17, 2016

N2A Camaro 789 SS

It wasn’t for kit cars, the Pontiac Fiero would have never realized its dream of becoming a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and we’d be just fine with that.

That product, born of the heady 1980s, seems tame compared to N2A Motors’ latest offering. The U.S. coachbuilder has taken three classic American designs and melded them, Island of Dr. Moreau-style, into the 789 SS.

It’s a questionable way of hiding a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro

In response to disappointing sales of the new-for-2016 Chevrolet Camaro, General Motors revealed last week that it will cut prices of the 2017 model.

Although there are plenty of 2017 Camaros already available — all of which will benefit from the newly lowered price — the issue facing GM’s U.S. dealers now pertains to the number of 2016 Camaros on dealer lots. Of the roughly 27,000 Chevrolet Camaros in stock at dealers across America, according to Cars.com, 40 percent are MY2016s, the appeal for which decreases rapidly as more MY2017s become available.

This ballooning Camaro inventory, a 139-day supply heading into September 2016, was caused by a sharp decrease in Camaro demand with the launch of the all-new sixth-generation model, a subject we’ve explored frequently in the past. Through the first eight months of 2016, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Camaro are down 15 percent.

But sales of the Camaro’s chief rival, the wildly more popular Ford Mustang, are falling, as well. Dodge Challenger sales are sliding, too. (Read More…)

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