Now or Never for Front-Engine, RWD Chevy V8 Fun: Should You Buy One of the Last New Camaros?
History always has a way of repeating itself. And right now for the Chevrolet Camaro, it feels a lot like 2002.
That was when General Motors ended production of the fourth-generation Camaro (and its Pontiac twin the Firebird) with no new model to take its place.
It was a sad time for Camaro fans, as they watched their beloved pony car leave the market after having been in production since 1967, leaving its arch-rival the Ford Mustang with the market to itself.
2002 All Over Again
It turns out the Camaro would only be gone for a while, and by the end of the 2000s the Camaro was back in the form of the retro-inspired fifth-gen Camaro and the stylistically similar sixth-gen model that followed in 2016.
But now the Camaro has once again ended production, with the last sixth-generation car rolling off the assembly line in December of 2023. And like in 2002, we aren’t sure when or if the Camaro will return.
But for right now, you can still buy one of the last brand-new sixth-gen Camaros. And as of this writing, there are a still just under 4,000 brand new 2023 and 2024 Camaros in dealership stock nationwide, ranging from the base four-cylinder LTs all the way to special edition ZL1s.
But is it a smart idea to buy one of these cars? Is now the right time to do it? And how will the “last of the Camaros” hold their value in the coming years?
The Camaro hasn’t changed much since 2016. Yes, there have been some styling and tech updates here and there, but the car itself is still the familiar sixth-gen Camaro with all of its pros and cons.
Still a Great Platform
That means you get a great one of the best-handling pony cars ever built, and one that can be had with a variety of engines. The sweet spot for most will be the LT1 V8, and the stripped-down “LT1” trim level continues to be one of the cheapest ways to get into a brand-new V8 performance car.
The issues are the same too—specifically, a cabin that can feel awkward, poor outward visibility, and an extremely small trunk. These have been complaints about the Camaro going back to 2010, and these are surely one of the big reasons sales have dwindled over the years.
And interestingly a lot of similar issues about practicality are what caused the Camaro’s initial demise back in 2002.
Unfortunately, if you think being a discontinued model is going to lead to massive discounts on remaining new Camaros, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
You can find some modest discounts below MSRP, but probably nothing substantial enough to draw buyers who weren’t otherwise thinking about a new Camaro.
Deals to be Had?
That could change though. As we get later into the year and the overall car market continues to soften, we could see discounts grow as dealers work to get rid of cars that have been on the lot for a while.
If you are open to options and colors, it’s probably worth it to wait a little while. On the other hand, if you’ve got a particular spec in mind and you find one at a dealer you should probably jump on it — because there aren’t any more coming.
What about the longer term? Is a sixth-gen Camaro a future classic or a car that’s likely to be highly sought-after in the future?
That will depend on which Camaro you have, and what GM does with the name in the future. The most likely scenario is Chevy brings back the name in a couple years on some sort of EV performance car.
There’s sure to be an endless debate of whether that car is a “real Camaro” or not, but it does appear that barring a major change in GM's strategy, the outgoing sixth-gen Camaro will be the last gasoline version.
A Wise Investment?
We’d probably recommend skipping the turbo and V6 versions if you are looking at a long-term purchase, because it’s always going to be the V8 that enthusiasts and collectors associate with the car.
On the other, hand we do not recommend buying one of the final Camaros with the express purpose of storing it as an investment, because with very few exceptions, that strategy never pays off. And the car is just too fun to drive.
Right now, nobody knows exactly what’s to become of the beloved Camaro name, but it’s clear the Chevy Camaro as we’ve know it will soon be gone for good.
If you want to own one of the last new ones, the clock is ticking. As long as you’ve done your research and have realistic expectations, there’s good reason to jump on one before the opportunity slips away.
More From Driving Line
- Are the V6 and turbo four Camaros a better budget enthusiast buy than the V8? We dig into the subject here.