Has GM Nixed The Flat-Plane, High-Revving Z/28 Camaro?

It’s not a stretch to imagine the Camaro receiving powerplants which were first seen in Chevrolet’s halo car – Corvette. With the recent change in events of any forthcoming Corvette production plans and an ominous wondering, if this may be the last generation of Camaro, thoughts about the engine from the long-anticipated Z06 Corvette winding up in GM’s F-body are getting bleak.

With Camaro’s recent slip of sales and the world seemingly going to plug-in power almost overnight, no matter how much the world may be pining for a high-winding corner carver, the thought of the Z06’s flat-plane cranked engine bringing the days of DZ 302 Camaros into the modern age seem bleak.

Camaro has always enjoyed spirited competition in the pony car arena. Will GM keep up with the competition going forward? (Photo by Richard Prince for Chevy Racing)

It could well be argued that the ZL1 Camaro’s supercharged LT4 engine has supplaced those belching, but torquey, big-blocks of old, and what the world really needs is a high-revving replacement in the Z/28 Camaro. In true GM project flow, it seemed that we would finally get a glimpse of the highly-anticipated, naturally-aspirated engine everyone feels will be announced in the upcoming Z06 Corvette.

The world can always use a brutish ZL1 AND a high-revving Z/28 Camaro! Question is, will it happen again?

GM has been frustrating spy photographers with camo-laden Corvettes for months and while camo does keep prying eyes from viewing much in the C8 Corvette’s engine compartment, it can’t do anything to hide the car’s exhaust note. As Corvette production slides back through the calendar, it closes the gap of possibility for a Z06 variant engine to squeeze into a Camaro’s engine bay.

On the other side of the coin, many have gazed longingly into their crystal ball, seeking a speck of hope about a seventh-gen Camaro. To that end, not much has risen to the surface and while GM is typically tight-lipped about future products, the lack of any chatter has some cause for concern. So many things are up in the air within GM (and many other OEM’s if we’re honest), and technologies such as full-on electric, hybrid, and even issues with sourcing all the components necessary to build autos have them paying more attention to the larger fish in the frying pan.

Does a turbocharged four-cylinder resonate with tomorrow’s Camaro buyer more than an RPM-happy V8?

One of the things that made the pony and muscle car wars so great was the competition between rival brands. Camaro’s competition has already grown accustomed to a flat-plane soundtrack and adding the same tune to Camaro’s album would serve to infuse a new level of excitement to GM’s performance car for the masses.

As Camaro’s future unfolds in these uncertain times, we’ll have to wait and see if a flat-plane-powered Z/28 is just over the horizon. (Richard Prince/Chevrolet Photo)

One has to ask, does the aspirational value still resonate with this new generation? Will a hi-po model make them still want a Camaro, even though they can only afford a V6? Or, are they in it only for the styling and fewer cylinders to feed? Would the turbo’d 1LE four-cylinder, or (gasp!) the all-electric E-COPO sell the brand better to the next generation of Camaro buyers? We’ve said for years how designers and engineers are tasked with creating what people will want a decade or more down the road. Now, the folks at the design tables, as well as the board room, are trying to figure things out at a time when even tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. A daunting task for sure!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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