By on November 2, 2018

Image: NASCAR

When Chevrolet rolled into last month’s SEMA show with a vivid, one-off Camaro SS show car, our attention was drawn to its new “concept” face. It seemed like the bowtie brand had read Matthew Guy’s mind, swathing the grille’s horizontal crossbar in body color and moving the Chevy emblem to its rightful, slimming place between the headlamps. Before this change, the refreshed-for-2019 SS looked a little homely next to its Camaro 1LE and RS brethren.

Who knows, we thought, maybe it’s not too late to fix a mistake. Our hopes remained guarded, however. Then came Chevy’s eCOPO Camaro electric dragster concept, also premiering at SEMA, which appeared with the same facial quirk. Now, we have the brand’s new NASCAR offering and, lo and behold, the front end is, again, just as we’d like it.

On Friday, Chevrolet unveiled preliminary renderings of the Camaro SS coupe bound for the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019, showing the same colored crossbar and transplanted bowtie. Three vehicles in half a month certainly makes a trend.

Just to put this in visual sequence, here’s the stock 2019 Camaro SS (top), contrasted with the 2019 Camaro 1LE (bottom):

Image: GM

2019 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE front

It’s not unlike Jerry’s girlfriend in the “Two Face” episode. Okay, now here’s October’s SEMA show car:

Oooooh, that’s better. Keep in mind that the main goal of the show car was, apparently, to display its new shade of paint. Continuing on, here’s last week’s eCOPO Camaro, which dispenses with a V8 engine in favor of a 700-plus horsepower electric motor that seems to herald a green crate offering:

Image: GM

Lookin’ sharp, fella. Now, here’s the NASCAR Camaro  again:

Image: NASCAR

In support of the Xfinity Series 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS, Chevrolet Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell stated, “We always want to align our racing vehicles with what is available in the showroom.” Mmm-hmm, yes, but to quote Big Bird, “One of these things is not like the other.”

Once more, here’s the 2019 Camaro SS appearing at your local dealership:

Image: GM

Chevy talked up the repositioned, flow-through bowtie in its write-up of the 2019 model’s styling and content changes, calling it a “flowtie.” However, in the ensuing months, everything we’ve seen from Chevy shows a walk back from the model’s face. Will it come to pass that GM performs an emergency refresh for Camaro SS buyers? Time will tell.

[Images: General Motors, © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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16 Comments on “Migrating Bowtie: Chevy’s New NASCAR Camaro SS Is Yet More Evidence of Second Thoughts...”


  • avatar
    ACCvsBig10

    i always thought the camaro was meant to look like nascar version profile but someone accidentally stepped the top of the model like a t-rex and they ended up smushed look with narrow windows

  • avatar
    Urlik

    My wife won’t even consider a Chevy because she hates the bow tie up front that much, especially when it’s gold. Not even if it’s debadgeable. Go figure.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    First off , I will never buy a GM product after owning more than my share over the years…However , is it refreshing to see that Maybe ,GM is a lot smarter than Honda/Acura? Acura stuck with “The Beak” for over a Decade in spite of universal condemnation! “The Beak” is still more or less present even now though it looks more like a gaping mud puddle that had a logo dropped into its center with the corresponding splash marks all around it. So ,I say “Bravo” GM! Now just refund me all The $$$ I poured into the junk you foisted on me and other buyers of your crapmobiles during the 1980’s.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    That new front end is so wonderful, I think I’ll have to go have a wee-wee.

    Compared to the look of a 1968 Mark Donohue Trans Am Camaro, these modern ones look bad. I went to the races in those days, and have wondered recently, would a 460 hp Traco-engined Penske Camaro from 50 year ago on modern rubber be all that slow? I’d guess not. Mind you, the 2000 rpm idle was a bit much in the pits.

    https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2016/02/18/the-unfair-advantage-1968-sunoco-team-penske-camaro-heads-to-auction-in-florida/#comments-block

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Hey Toyota.

    Avalon.

    Take a hint.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    The Xfinity Series Camaros have been successful this season but the Cup Series Camaros have been (outside of Chase Elliott) doormats for the Fords and Toyotas. Neither the speed nor handling balance have been where they should. Slow and ugly cars.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    It’s going to take a lot more than a little paint on the front and moving the bowtie to de-uglify the Camaro. But it IS a small step in the right direction. Now they just need to go away in to totally different direction (2nd gen PLEASE!)and make this ugly thing a memory.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    How about actually using stock cars in NASCAR? Given the sales trends, the eligible models should all be mid-size CUVs – stock bodied Escape, Equinox, Cherokee, RAV4, CRV, etc. with lightly modded street drivetrains – e.g. 2 liter turbos and FWD or AWD, and heavy roll cage and other safety equipment added. The brick like CUV shape and small motors would also bring the speeds down to more rational levels without stupid restrictor plates, and likely greatly increase the importance of drafting to make much more entertaining racing among vehicles that actually look and mechanically resemble their showroom counterparts.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Dumpster Fire.
    POS In my opinion.

    I d take a Mustang or Challenger way before.
    Cheby??? NO. Way. Jose.
    Oh, that reminds me. Are they made el Hencho yet?

  • avatar

    Seriously, ANOTHER story about the f*cking bow tie moving a couple of inches? Enough already. When GM designers finally address the fact that you can’t see out of this damn car when seated in it, then you have yourselves a story.

  • avatar
    Kenn

    Considering the title of this website, shouldn’t the name, “Camaro,” be in quotation marks when referring to this homely Nascar vehicle? Or, Toyota’s Nascar “Camry,” or Ford’s Nascar “Fusion” (if they’re still racing those)? While the manufacturers can call them whatever they wish – with other enthusiast publications playing along with the charade – shouldn’t we expect an acknowledgement, here (using quotation marks) of the truth that these cars, under the skin, are virtually all the same and share nothing with their namesakes, outside a few superficial cosmetic details?

  • avatar
    slap

    The NASCAR Camaro looks like the top of the car is higher than the regular Camaro, so it might not be as claustrophobic to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenn

      Yes, I was thinking about that, about how raising the production Camaro’s roof just 2″ and bringing it forward to make the windshield a bit more vertical, then adjusting the seating position accordingly would yield a big improvement in visibility/comfort. That’s actually what I was hoping for before they gave us the current one.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I know the Camaro goes like stink, it’s just that its styling stinks too. As for NASCAR, I still think they should go the Supercars route, Penske and Andretti already have experience there, and NASCAR did that ‘Roval” event.


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