Things are looking bleak for the Chevrolet Camaro. Sales continue to fall year over year, though the latest sales report from Q1 2021 shows only a 1.3-percent drop. Now, we’re hearing that Chevy will cut the 1LE Performance Package from all Camaros that don’t pack a V8 under the hood for the 2022 model year.
2021 Camaros are still in production at this point, but the General Motors 2022 dealer fleet order guide no longer lists the 1LE for four-cylinder or V6 models, according to Muscle Cars & Trucks. Currently, the package is offered on 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT versions of the Camaro with either the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or the 3.6-liter V6 engine. It’s not offered for the base model 1LS nor the V8-powered LT1. With its omission in 2022, the least expensive way to get the track-focused performance pack will be to choose the Camaro SS, which starts at $38,495. By comparison, a Camaro 1LT with the four-pot starts at $26,495.
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What all does the 1LE package offer? For the lower trims, it gives buyers a taste of up-market Camaro life in the form of upgraded suspension bits borrowed from the SS. That includes stabilizer bars, dampers, rear toe links, and rear cradle mounts. The package also includes Brembo four-piston front brake calipers, upgraded 20-inch wheels with summer tires, an upgraded cooling system, and on V6 models, dual-mode exhaust. The extras total $4,500, and they certainly inject a bit more fun into the lower-range Camaro. Or rather, they will for 2021. Beyond that, a bit more fun requires a lot more horsepower, and that requires a lot more cash.
The report doesn’t identify a specific reason for the decision, but it doesn’t take a scientific wizard to put two and two together. Camaro sales peaked in 2012 with 91,314 units out the door, followed by a sizeable drop to 80,294 in 2013 before gaining back some ground in 2014 at 86,291. It’s been a steady drop since then – six years and counting – with the Bow Tie pony car only logging 29,775 sales last year. The Camaro could endure through 2026, but a next-generation model is almost certainly out of the question.