The American muscle car is alive and well, thanks to the legions of fans and owners out there as well as people like Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer of the Chevrolet Camaro program. Speaking to Hagerty about the sixth-generation Camaro program in general, Oppenheiser was asked about the status of Nurburgring lap times, given the fact the Dodge Viper ACR came close but didn’t quite make that coveted sub-7:00 time.
“We think there’s more in it. We’re gonna keep tinkering around with it, Oppenheiser said. “Wouldn’t it be cool to see a Camaro under 7:00 at the Nurburgring? I’d like to see it.” Right, so would a lot of people, even Ford Mustang fans. Why? Because competition not only pushes the other side to do better, but also helps to keep the segment alive. Given the fact that muscle cars don’t always have large mainstream appeal, any form of good publicity is beneficial. And just to remind everyone, the current Nurburgring lap record holder is the Porsche 911 GT2 RS with a 6:47.3 time. Oppenheiser was also asked about the Dodge Demon and whether Chevrolet is planning a direct Camaro response.
“Do people want a Demon, versus an SS that they can put drag parts on? We’re always studying,” he said. “We’re looking at performance drag packs for the street, we’re looking at any available horsepower that will fit in the car, trying to stay relevant and on top.” For now, the Camaro is due to receive a mid-life refresh for 2019 model year, and that update means additional surprises could be in the works. One possibility is a new Z/28. We also just learned the Camaro will soon be offered with the Corvette’s seven-speed manual, so clearly Chevrolet still has a lot of faith in its iconic muscle car.