Five GM Designers Reflect on Five Generations of the Chevrolet Camaro

Fourth Generation Camaro – 1993-2002
Design analysis: Kirk Bennion, Chevrolet Camaro exterior design manager (Currently owns: 1993 Camaro Z28)
“More than 20 years after its debut, the fourth-generation Camaro still looks as sleek as anything on showroom floors today,” says Bennion. “It was a very aggressive design intended to evolve the proportion from the third-generation car with a provocative exterior and greater aerodynamic performance. It has a very sculptural form vocabulary that was definitely all-new for the Camaro.”

The dramatic proportions for the fourth-generation Camaro included a fast-rake windshield, which extended the front cowl/firewall line forward, combined with a change to a “bottom-breathing” engine-cooling arrangement, to support the strong wedge shape of the overall car.

“Having a low front end was important to the design,” says Bennion. “It really worked with the high deck lid rear spoiler to enhance the appearance of motion. All these years later, it still looks contemporary – and fast!”

Chevrolet Camaro SS — 4th Generation (1996)
Chevrolet Camaro SS — 4th Generation (1996)

The Camaro received an updated front-end appearance in 1998. Bennion selected the aggressive good looks of the higher-performance 1996 Camaro SS to highlight the best attributes of the generation. Its four, mini-halogen headlamps were new during design development and helped achieve the goal for the low front end.

The super-fast 68-degree windshield was one of the most radical of its day, and was a primary element of the car’s sleek proportion, while smooth body sides with integrated wheel flares were a first for Camaro.

A black upper section on Z28 and SS models reinforced sleekness. The integrated, wraparound rear wing was another first and its shape was ultimately determined by numerous wind-tunnel tests. The SS-specific hood scoop looked appropriately aggressive and contributed to performance, and 17-inch five-spoke wheels were a new, coveted feature on the 1996 SS models.


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