Driving the Camaro SS Hybrid of the Future
Small block V8 power working with 134 additional electrified horses means that this next-generation Camaro SS hybrid can hustle!
There is a certain stigma surrounding “green” cars. They are usually, slow, ugly, and the antithesis of fun. But, what if a company like General Motors offered a hybrid sports car? You get the good looks and the solid handling and performance that you’d expect, but along with that, nearly 40 MPG, to boot.
That is, in effect, what GM set out to do with its EcoCar3 competition. A total of 16 college teams from across the country were tasked with turning a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybridized sports car. Chevy recently invited me out to Hollywood for the day to learn more about this fascinating engineering challenge.
The EcoCar3 competition has been in effect over the course of four years, all culminating with this event. Teams conducted market research that dictated what consumers in their area wanted from a Camaro. From there, they were tasked with presenting their findings and then utilizing parts from GM to build a hybrid Camaro. All of this led to a competition of numbers: fuel economy, range, acceleration, deceleration, interior refinement, and track performance.
Powertrain combinations were chosen at the teams’ discretion, and everything from EcoTec four-cylinders to turbocharged snowmobile engines and even a V8 engine were used. As long as the performance targets were met, how they got there was the teams’ choice. This resulted in a dynamic competition with no clear-cut winner from the get-go. Now, whichever team knocks out the best score out of a possible 1,000 points, wins.
With all of that said, there is one Camaro out of the 16 that I am most interested in. This is LS1Tech, so I think you know where this is going.