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2015 vs. 2016 Chevrolet Camaro: What's the Difference?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro May 2015

The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro has been officially revealed -- and we're excited to see it arrive. But the first question that most enthusiasts will be asking is: How is it different from last year's model? Although we don't know all the details, we've tried to sum up what we know so far in order to give you the clearest insight into what's changed between the 2015 Chevy Camaro and the all-new 2016 model.

Exterior

Fresh off a face-lift for the 2014 model year, the Camaro boasts some major updates to the sheet metal for 2016. Admittedly, the overall look of the car doesn't change much. It still shares its general size, shape and appearance with the outgoing Camaro, but the design is thoroughly modernized in just about every way, including a new front end, new wheel designs, new headlights and taillights, and more. While you might not be able to clearly notice the differences between the 2015 and 2016 Camaro individually, the two models offer some substantially different details when parked alongside one another.

Interior

The Camaro has never received high marks for its interior, and while the new Camaro looks to correct some of the woes present in the outgoing model, it still doesn't look like a high-end luxury car. Still, expect some serious changes. There's a new steering wheel, a new center stack with revised air vents, updated door panels and gauges, and revised seats. There's also a new electronic parking brake that replaces the awkwardly placed handle in last year's model.

Like the outside, the 2016 Camaro's interior still follows roughly the same general design as the old model, but it offers some major differences when you look closely.

Mechanicals

The outgoing Camaro comes with a plethora of engine options. Specifically, there's a base-level 323-horsepower V6 in the LS and LT models, a 426-hp 6.2-liter V8 in the midlevel Camaro SS and two raucous engines at the top of the range: a 580-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V8 in the Camaro ZL1 and a 505-hp 7.0-liter V8 in the track-focused Camaro Z/28.

The new model makes some major changes under the hood. The biggest is the addition of a 4-cylinder base engine, aimed at shoppers looking to conserve fuel. It's a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and it offers 275 hp. Meanwhile, the midrange V6 bumps up to 335 hp, while the high-performance Camaro SS adds 29 hp for a total of 455 hp. The range-topping high-performance models are gone, though we expect they will return a year or two after the Camaro initially launches.

Features & Technology

The Camaro has never been known for being on the cutting edge of high-tech equipment and gadgets -- and the new model is no exception. While the 2016 Camaro does add a few new features, such as a larger center touchscreen, a new drive mode selector and configurable LED interior lighting, it still doesn't offer items such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning or any of today's latest high-tech safety gadgets. We are, however, excited that the SS model will add available Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which is an excellent feature that was previously limited solely to the range-topping Camaro ZL1.

Driving Experience

Of course, we haven't driven the latest Camaro, but we have high hopes for the sports car when it comes to driving experience. We're especially excited to try the new Magnetic Ride Control suspension in the Camaro SS, which is a welcome addition to the trim level after being relegated to the high-performance Camaro ZL1 for 2015.

Chevy also says that other Camaro trims boast a totally overhauled suspension, with a new design to enhance the driver's feeling of control during corners. There's also a quicker-ratio steering system for improved cornering feel and the new drive mode selector, which changes several of the car's attributes depending on the driver-defined setting. In other words: While we can't say for sure if the new Camaro is a big improvement over the old model, we have high hopes that it is.

Safety

In crash-testing conducted by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the outgoing Camaro earned a perfect 5-star overall rating, and we strongly suspect that the new model will follow suit. But don't expect more safety equipment: Though Chevy could be holding out on mentioning a few features until closer to the 2016 Camaro's launch, the automaker hasn't announced any new safety technology for the upcoming Camaro. In other words, expect the 2016 Camaro to make do with roughly the same items as last year's model, which included standard anti-lock brakes, side-curtain airbags, GM's OnStar telematics system and little else.

Conclusions

Although the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is officially "all new," the sports car seems to be going through more of an evolution than a revolution. The new model offers fairly similar styling to last year's Camaro, and the interior layout is also roughly the same. Sure, there are some changes, but they're hardly the major update we saw when the current Camaro came out for the 2010 model year.

With that said, we're excited about many of the upgrades to the Camaro -- especially items such as Magnetic Ride Control on the SS model, configurable LED interior lighting and improvements to the sports car's steering system and standard suspension setup. We're also eager to try out the base-level 4-cylinder Camaro -- especially given its stout 275 hp rating. So we're looking forward to the new Camaro, and we think drivers who like the current model should only be more excited by the arrival of the new and improved version.

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2015 vs. 2016 Chevrolet Camaro: What's the Difference? - Autotrader