The definition of repulsive is, per Google, “arousing intense distaste or disgust,” and that’s exactly how I’d describe my feelings toward the refreshed 2019 Chevrolet Camaro.
Before I unload my figurative dump all over the new design, let me provide some context first.
I was a sophomore in high school when images of the 2010 Camaro began to surface on the Internet, and I was immediately in love. Its design reminded me of the classic first-gen Camaro, but it had a contemporary glow to it.
I remember using the configurator on Chevrolet.com to build my own dream Camaro: an Inferno Orange SS model with the ground effects package, similar to the one shown below. (note: the Camaro shown above is not equipped with the ground effects package)
Fast forward to my sophomore year in college, when I had the privilege of sitting in a brand new 2013 Camaro ZL1 at a local dealer, and my infatuation with Camaro grew exponentially. The trick headlights and refined front fascia had me in a daze, which broke when I fired up the supercharged 6.2-liter LSA and it let out a throaty rumble. I didn’t dare put it in gear, though, as I was terrified of marring the new Camaro in any way. I figured I should keep my record clear if I ever wanted to actually have a ZL1 of my own sitting in the driveway.
When the sixth-generation Camaro hit dealer lots as a 2016 model, I was wrapping up my final year of higher education as a masters student while writing for a GM-centric news outlet. I thought my desire for a Camaro had piqued with the arrival of the 2017 ZL1, but then Chevy followed up with the 2018 ZL1 1LE and my irrational urge to spend money I didn’t have on a depreciating asset began to take over my life.
Just seeing a picture of one in a Hyper Blue Metallic finish is enough to give me goosebumps. I’ve even considered selling off our current collection, including my beloved Turbo X, in order to obtain a new ZL1 or ZL1 1LE.
As rumors of a 2019 refresh began to circulate, I wondered how GM would improve the Camaro. The General did a great job of listening to those who criticized the interior of the fifth-gen, and improving it for the sixth-gen. This time around, many critics said that the sixth-gen looked a bit too cartoonish, particularly in ZL1 trim. I didn’t agree with this stance, but I did understand why some might feel this way. The huge, wavy grille doesn’t help the ZL1’s case. Thus, I hoped the new design, if anything, would move the Camaro away from this “full-sized Hotwheel” façade. I should’ve known better, considering GM offered a literal Hot Wheels Edition for the sixth-gen Camaro, but I digress.
Now that you have a better understanding of my relationship with the Camaro nameplate, I’d like to reiterate my opening statement: the 2019 Camaro refresh is utterly repulsive. The split front fascia for the upper trim levels is a move that doubles-down on the whole ‘toy car’ appeal, the taillights look cheap, almost as if they were borrowed from a Jeep Compass or Fiat 124, and its entire presence seems more like a sixth-gen Camaro and a Kia Soul had a baby, and less like GM revised and improved upon its predecessor.
Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh. Maybe I’m “being a hater.” It’s just that the 2019 Camaro didn’t cause me to have an existential crisis the way the 2010, 2014 refresh, and 2016 models did when I first saw them.
For more info on and images of the 2019 Camaro, visit GMAuthority.com.