No Hybrid, Diesel or AWD Camaro Coming

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Although the 6th gen Camaro is based on the same chassis platform as the all-wheel drive Cadillac ATS4 coupe, it looks like we won’t see a Camaro that spins all four wheels from the factory – at least not while the current Camaro boss is in charge. While speaking with AutoGuide, Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser made it clear that we aren’t going to see an all-wheel drive Camaro while he is overseeing the program.

Oppenheiser explained that all-wheel drive simply isn’t in the DNA of the Camaro, and his team wants to always preserve the Camaro recipe that has made it so popular for so long. He also added that a hybrid version or a Camaro with a diesel engine aren’t in the cards while he is at the helm, either.

To most people, it seems like little more than common sense that there wouldn’t be an all-wheel drive, hybrid or diesel Camaro, but times they are a-changin’. There was a point in very recent history where Camaro traditionalists insisted that GM wouldn’t make the “mistake” of offering another 4-cylinder Camaro, but we know now that the upcoming Camaro Turbo will likely be the most efficient muscle car available. Of course it doesn’t pack the same muscle as the V6 or V8 Camaro, but not everyone wants 455 horsepower – some people want the muscle car look with the best fuel economy possible. Those people play a big part in lifting fleet fuel economy numbers for an automaker, so in effect, the success of the turbo-4 Camaro will build the future of the V8 Camaro.

With that in mind, it comes as a bit of a surprise that Oppenheiser is so quick to downplay a hybrid Camaro, especially with the recent advancements in high performance hybrid drivetrains like the ones in the Porsche 918 and LaFerrari. As time goes on, we are sure to see efficient muscle cars and while forced induction will help the current engines offer a better mix of MPGs and HPs, it seems likely that we will see some alternative power muscle cars at some point.

However, it seems that we won’t see any hybrid or diesel Camaros while Oppenheiser is overseeing the project and considering the success of the 5th and 6th generation – Mr. Oppenheiser could and should be around for quite some time.





"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

Rall can be contacted at [email protected]

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