Fourth-generation Camaro design analysis by Kirk Bennion, Chevrolet Camaro exterior design manager.

Fourth-generation Camaro design analysis by Kirk Bennion, Chevrolet Camaro exterior design manager.

As the Camaro rolls through the final year of its fifth generation, Chevrolet asked five of its designers who have contributed to the sporty car’s design over the years to reflect on the styling legacy that helped create an icon.

“While Camaro has evolved with cultural and design trends, it has consistently represented the approachable, attainable sports car with an emphasis on fun that’s evident in its styling,” said Ed Welburn, Vice President of GM Global Design. “As a result, each generation of Camaro has evoked an emotional connection with enthusiasts – connections spanning 48 years, and five generations.”

Camaro Fourth Generation – 1993-2002

Design Analyst: Kirk Bennion, Camaro Exterior Design Manager

Currently Owns: 1993 Camaro Z/28

“More than 20 years after its debut, the fourth-generation Camaro still looks as sleek as anything on showroom floor today,” said Kirk Bennion recently.

“It has 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,” added 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!”

The Fourth Generation 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 that generation:

  •  Four, mini-halogen headlamps were new during design development and helped achieve the goal for the low front end
  •  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
  •  Smooth body sides with integrated wheel flares were a first for Camaro
  •  Black upper section on Z28 and SS models reinforced sleekness
  •  Integrated, wraparound rear wing was another first and its shape was ultimately determined by numerous wind-tunnel tests
  •  SS-specific hood scoop looked appropriately aggressive and contributed to performance.
  •  Seventeen-inch five-spoke wheels were a new, coveted feature on the 1996 SS models.

In our upcoming final installment Tom Peters, Camaro Exterior Design Director, reflects on the current 2010 – 2015 Fifth Generation Camaro as we wrap up our Camaro Styling Evolution revue.

By Jim Luikens

Original Post: Berger Blog, April 20, 2015