By on May 2, 2019


It was something we bitched and moaned about to no end in these digital pages. While most iterations of the refreshed 2019 Chevrolet Camaro looked, well, fresh, the popular SS model clearly fell on its face sometime before leaving the factory.

By blacking out the grille’s thick horizontal crossbar and migrating the bowtie emblem from the upper opening to a central position, Chevy designers greatly increased the face’s visual height. The resulting Camaro SS looked somewhat ill; its chiselled, Brad Pitt-like visage contorted into a Karl Malden-esque countenance.

It looks like rumors of an emergency refresh were 100 percent true, as the 2020 model, seen above, has emerged from under the knife with a new nose. For the upcoming model year, Chevy also wants to get you into a V8 for less cash.

Both your author and Matthew Guy griped about the SS’s “derpy” face (his words, not mine), which looked awful next to the clean look of, say, the 1LE. (See the 2019 SS below.) The SEMA show car revealed shortly after the 2019 model’s introduction, as well as Chevy’s NASCAR Xfinity Series entry, hinted that the automaker was having sudden second thoughts about the model’s appearance.

Mr. Guy suggested his own fix, which placed the Chevy emblem back up where it belongs. The company went one further, making the fat crossbar body-colored, further reducing visual height.

Image: GM

Indeed, Chevrolet is willing to (tacitly) admit it made a mistake.

“Customers spoke, and we listened,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing, in a statement. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Shock’s stylized design helped prompt its transition from concept to production.”

Changes to the Camaro line don’t end with the SS, as there’s a sales slide to arrest. For the upcoming model year, Chevy is adding an LT1 trim to the roster, which can only indicate the presence of a GM V8 engine. In this case, a 455-horsepower, 6.2-liter eight-cylinder borrowed from the SS and dropped into a model positioned between the LT and SS.

After-destination sticker price for the LT1 is $34,995, three grand below a base 2019 SS, with buyers offered a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. Coupe and convertible bodystyles are available.


Elsewhere, content changes abound, with the V6-powered LT models gaining a 10-speed auto (tailored for V6 performance, Chevy claims). All models can be had with Rally Green paint, red seatbelts and kneepads, and alloy pedals, while LS and LT models can be optioned out with rear spoilers and tinted tail lamps. Twenty-inch wheels and a choice of red or orange brake calipers appear on the LT, LT1, and SS option lists. Recaro performance seats migrate from the 1LE to the LT, as well.

The (V6) 3LT trim added for 2019 can now be had with the 2.0-liter turbo four and Chevy’s Convenience and Lighting package.

All of these changes come as General Motors attempt to reverse the pony car’s falling sales. Last year saw Camaro sales fall 25 percent, though the first quarter of 2019 showed the model up 2.5 percent. Offering more for less is a time-honored ploy to populate showrooms, and so is undercutting your competition. A base 2019 Ford Mustang GT coupe stickers for $36,350 after destination, placing the cheaper Camaro V8 in good standing. However, an existing cash incentive pushes the base Mustang V8’s price $45 lower than that of the 2020 Camaro LT1.

Pricing for the full Camaro line should come into focus before the 2020 model goes on sale this fall.

[Images: General Motors]

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32 Comments on “Problem Solved? 2020 Chevrolet Camaro SS Dons New Face, Placating an Outraged Public...”

  • avatar

    V8 pricing in long overdue, Though even that can’t save this garbage platform. Either be a sports car or be a muscle car but trying for both is failing badly. I can’t even fit in this travesty, I sat in a convertible Camaro at the auto show, with the front seat touching the back seat I still felt too close to the steering wheel.

    Acceptable on a Miata, not a Camaro.

    Stark difference between the roomier cabin of my SS sedan and this. Makes one wonder why the SS has to go but this got a stay of execution.

  • avatar

    The flatter front end will help them in NASCAR when they bump draft.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought Nascar teams all used the same body shells basically that had to match a template, with a vinyl wrap of sorts to make it look like a Camry or Camaro or whatever.

  • avatar

    Looking more and more like a Mustang all the time.

  • avatar

    Hmmmm I am currently in the market for a camaro SS and personally like the “regular” 4cyl and V6 front fascia better than the SS version unless its the SS 1LE. Sounds like they are going to start putting the LT1 in the more sedate looking car.

  • avatar

    Well it’s still ugly, but it’s gone from a solid “no way” to an “alright, ok” for me. The Mustang is a better looking vehicle but: I don’t want the transmission in the base Mustang GT and I’ve heard enough anecdotal things to worry about how driveable all the V8 Mustang platform (including the GT350) is at the limit for me. The GT350 is still attractive to me, but a Camaro SS 1LE is the only V8 manual car left that I would take a look at, aside from maybe a Corvette Grand Sport. The 350s are relatively hard to find, suffer from ADM, and have a unique engine not utilized widely enough for me to get replacement parts down the line. For whatever reason, I like the idea of engines sold in enough volume that mechanics know how to work on them and replacement parts are available.

    I won’t know whether I could live with the visibility, interior volume, or laughable trunk opening until I see one in person, though. It will be a few years before I look into a replacement car for mine anyway, but I suspect this will be the last manual V8 on sale which checks the boxes on the driving factor for me. And it sounds like it drives very very well. I am glad they stepped it back on the looks.

  • avatar

    Just wheezing from the sidelines here since I’d never buy one anyway…

    Good start on the grille, now get that roofline up a couple inches and boost the visibility.

    But remember the laughable trunk opening is part of the car’s heritage.

    Went to a friend’s house in ’79 with his new Z-28 for a barbeque. When the propane ran out we found the 5 gallon tank wouldn’t fit through the trunk 6 foot me was holding onto it in the back seat.

  • avatar

    I wasn’t “outraged” by the grille, this is different, but not all that better

  • avatar

    Such cosmetic patching ain’t going to help the Silverado–and the Silverado looks MUCH worse than the Camaro at its worst. They both need to taper the nose downward, to make it more sleek and aerodynamic (and very probably more fuel efficient, too.)

  • avatar

    Funny (not) that “customers” can see what the “designers” can’t.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It still doesn’t look great, but it’s…less bad. Overall, I think they nailed the styling on the 2016-2018, and the refresh was just bad all around. Similarly, I liked the 2010-2013 much better than the refreshed 2014-2015.

    And the barrier-for-entry for the V8 was too high, so the new trim is a good thing.

  • avatar

    I like the lower V8 trim level idea very much.

    I know the purists will gripe about the “all season tires” on the LT1 trim but some guys just want to drive their muscle/pony car as much as possible and still want the V8.

  • avatar

    J U S T I C E

  • avatar

    Looks fantastic. Glad they made the change.

  • avatar

    Still hoping for Chevy to install windows in the Camaro…

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