Chevrolet bucks the fuel economy trend

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2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Image: Chevrolet via AFP Relaxnews

New models usually sport improvements over their predecessors. Even if it’s little more than a carryover model, there’s usually some tweaking of the powertrain to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. But Chevrolet’s 2019 Camaro goes in the opposite direction; its fuel economy is actually getting worse.

To be fair to Chevy, most 2019 versions of the Camaro see their fuel economy ratings staying the same, but the Camaro SS and V-6 models will be getting worse fuel economy than their 2018 model year counterparts.

Chevy has not commented on this, but the figures have just been released by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the FuelEconomy.gov website.

Perhaps most surprisingly, one of the models with worsening fuel economy is the 2019 Camaro SS V-8.

One of the biggest changes in the car for 2019 is the inclusion of the 10-speed automatic gearbox previously only offered in the ZL1. Normally, a gearbox with more ratios means better fuel economy, but in this case the city rating falls to 16 miles per gallon from the previous 17 miles per gallon. The manual version doesn’t fare much better, as its highway rating also drops by 1 mile per gallon from its previous 25 miles per gallon.

This isn’t just a V-8 phenomenon either, as manual versions equipped with V-6 engines also lose one mile per gallon on the highway rating, now rated at 27 miles per gallon instead of the previous 28 miles per gallon.

There’s no change as far as four-cylinder models and even the supercharged V-8-powered ZL1 are concerned, so this does raise questions about why and how this has come about. Any change in the EPA’s ratings methodology would likely have affected other models, especially the ZL1. And if it was something Chevrolet had tweaked relating to engine tuning, it would undoubtedly have been trumpeting an increase in power. For the moment then, it remains something of a mystery. JB

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