2019 Prototype Camaro Spied Testing: Could It Have The LT5?

The guys over at GM Authority just spotted the 2019 Camaro out testing yet again. And while we are privy to a few more details, the carefully shrouded ponycar hasn’t tipped its hand just quite yet. The biggest change to the upcoming car is clearly the front fascia. It appears the car will retain its overall shape for the most part but the most intrigue thing about it, at least to us, is the hood.

While it’s hard to make out through the padding, and taking into consideration that they might be throwing us a red herring here, it looks eerily reminiscent of the ZL1’s hood with the massive “power bulge” peaking through the camo. This could be done on purpose to throw us off or it could be the ZL1 version of the facelift out testing— though the brakes don’t seem to be quite large enough for that.

At the rear, it appears that very little may be changing. The car is clearly hiding redesigned taillights, but aside from that, it’s pretty easy to see through the less bulky camo that nothing huge has changed here. Sure, there might be a few more sculpted lines in the rear bumper cover, but it appears to be cosmetically similar to the 2018.

For us, the real question is what’s under the hood. While it may seem like a no-brainer that the LT1 and LT4 will carry over in the update unchanged, we think that might be incorrect. While we are sure the LT1 will still come standard with the SS, perhaps with a modest bump in power, our thoughts are more with the ZL1 on this.

With the upcoming 2019 Mustang GT500, it’s very likely that Chevrolet will make a gambit to stay on top. It’s rumored that the new Pony will come with “much more than 700 horsepower” according to its brand manager Mark Schaller. That’s an enormous amount of power and frankly, one that Chevrolet would be silly to let go unanswered, especially with the LT5 sitting around in its parts bin.

Our guess, even if it is a bold one, is that the facelift could bring along with it the LT5, or a slightly detuned variant, to keep the ZL1 in pace with its cross-town rival. It would make sense as there are very few instances of engines being offered in the Corvette without eventually being conscripted into other models, even if it is in a modified variant such as the LSA.

In that line of thinking, it makes sense that the LT5 would eventually find its way between the fenders of the Camaro in one form or another. And that begs perhaps an even larger question: will we see the Z/28 again? Could the LT5 be the powerplant that brings it back? Or will they just up-gun the ZL1 with the facelift?

The only thing we know for sure is that Camaro head honcho Al Oppenheiser told us directly that they would only revive the Z/28 “if it made sense.” He went on to say that bringing it back would have to include some form of high revving, naturally-aspirated V8. And while we believed him then, we know plans can change. These days, it’s getting harder and harder to find anything that doesn’t come from the factory with a power adder and that just might be the nature of the beast moving into the future.

While we’re sure we’ll be pleased with the update to the Camaro’s nose and heiny, we think the changes coming under the hood are the real story here. We’ll find out pretty soon though as rumor has it that the refreshed Camaro could be making its debut as earlier as the New York Auto Show in April. For more pictures of the Camaro doing its thing in the wild, head over to GM Authority. 

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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