Start growing those mullets, boys; the Camaro is back! Sort of. It's actually a concept car and it looks like something ? maybe even a bunch of things ? with the exception of a Camaro.
- Looks like: Anything but a Camaro
- Defining characteristics: Mustang wheel arches, Mustang fastback roofline, mullet-haired driver, Rush CDs
- Ridiculous features: The above, because this isn't a Mustang
- Chance of being mass-produced: Not bloody likely ? unless they start over
Perhaps it's unfair, but everyone's going to compare this retro concept to the Dodge Challenger concept, which was the belle of the 2006 Detroit auto show ball. Dodge picked the definitive Challenger, the 1970 model, and designed its concept after that. Chevrolet started with classic Camaros, such as the 1969 model, and then strayed to the modern-day Corvette and then somehow ended up on the deck of an aircraft carrier, where they claim to have taken some cues from the YF-22, the most advanced fighter jet in the U.S. military.
The result is a Ford Mustang that can travel back in time, track 11 MiG fighters at once and neutralize them ? all while remaining nearly invisible to enemy radar. While in development in Lockheed-Martin's super-secret skunkworks, the project was codenamed Chevy Hodgepodge.
But seriously, the Camaro concept is powered by a 400-horsepower version of the Corvette's 6.0-liter LS2 V-8. The transmission has six gears, a stick shift and a clutch pedal ? as required by any muscle-car aficionado who doesn't want to get his butt kicked at the drive-in. Chevy estimates that the engine's cylinder-deactivation technology should grant fuel economy of 30 mpg or better. Naturally, the car is rear-wheel drive, with 22-inch wheels wearing gargantuan tires. The front wheels are a none-too-shabby 21 inches in diameter.
To stop this mighty beast, there are four-wheel disc brakes with 14-inch-diameter rotors. If these fail, the driver can always drop the landing hook and snag an arrestor wire to avoid plunging into the sea.
Not surprisingly, Chevrolet describes the car's interior as a cockpit inspired by fighter planes. Plans for an ejector seat were scrapped when an engineer recognized that the car has no sunroof. The two-passenger backseat is described as "occasional seating" for adults ? which means you'd be much more comfortable back there if you were the size you were when Camaros were in their heyday.
As for the mullet, so long as it's a concept hairdo, you might be OK. Maybe it will look more like a pompadour mixed with a mohawk, with a hint of inspiration from marmot pelts. Call it a crossover. Who knows how it ultimately would come across ? but it probably wouldn't look like a mullet.
? Reported by Joe Wiesenfelder, cars.com;
photographed by Emily Lindberg, cars.com