2017 Chevrolet Camaro Range Expands, Sort Of, With Cheaper, Manual-Only Base Trim
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.
Ahead of the new Camaro 1LS’s arrival, the 2017 Camaro was priced at $27,595 in 1LT form. Initially, that appeared to be a $900 increase in the cost of the base Camaro. But for 2017, the Camaro 1LT includes as standard equipment the automatic transmission that was a $1,495 option on Camaro 1LTs in MY2016.
Now comes news from CarsDirect that Chevrolet is giving the base Camaro new trim line nomenclature. Think Avenir, only less prestigious.
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LS, available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, will be priced from $26,900.
Yes, that’s still $1,085 more than the most basic Mustang. Yes, all GM has done is change the name of its basic Camaro trim.
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LS is not available with an automatic transmission. The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT, on the other hand, is available exclusively with an automatic transmission.
Attempts to compare apples to apples, or 2016 1LTs to 2017 1LTs, won’t be possible. The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT is $900 more expensive than the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT. But factoring in the eight-speed automatic that’s now standard equipment, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT is $495 less costly than it was one model year ago.
This new 2017 Camaro 1LS base car, however, is $205 more expensive than the manual-equipped 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT.
On both the 1LS and 1LT Camaros, Chevrolet’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder can be replaced by a $1,495 335-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. In either case, on 1LS or 1LT Camaros, opting for the convertible requires an additional $6,000.
Naturally, monthly swings in an automaker’s incentive regime prove that MSRPs are little more than the jumping off point. Chevrolet was discounting Camaros by an average of more than $3,300 in September; Mustang prices undercut the sticker price by roughly $2,700.
Chevrolet spokesperson Ron Kiino confirmed the late-September addition of the new Camaro 1LS in an email with CarsDirect yesterday. Kiino also confirmed to TTAC that, “The only content difference between the 1LS and 1LT is the transmission.”
Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.
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