It’s not General Motors’ personnel that will be working to transform the Chevrolet Camaro into an Eco-Vehicle over the next four years, but college students.  As part of the U.S. Energy Department’s EcoCAR 3 Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, GM will give a Camaro to sixteen North American universities.  From 2014-2018 students will be challenged to convert the iconic performance nameplate into a legitimate eco-vehicle.   

“EcoCAR is an opportunity for the next generation of automotive engineers to help design and build innovative advanced vehicles that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and save American families and businesses money at the pump,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
Currently the best fuel economy the Camaro can muster tops out at 22mpg from a V6 engine and automatic transmission.  That leaves substantial room for improvement the college students can work with.  But instead of drastically altering the Camaro’s exterior design, the competition tasks them to break the muscle car paradigm starting with its powertrain.
Beneath the Camaro’s skin the students are asked to develop a fuel-efficient hybrid-electric propulsion system.  In the process, retiring GM vice president for engineering John Calabrese hopes the students might have “an epiphany that we haven’t seen.” 
The competition is particularly poignant, as U.S. fuel economy standards will nearly double automakers’ required fleet-wide fuel efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025.  Point being, if we still want to be powering around in performance cars like the Camaro by then, we’re going to need more engineers with a background in eco-vehicle technology.   
Thanks to the EcoCAR 3 competition, hundreds of students will be prepared to hit the automotive engineering industry with experience in developing green vehicles, and exciting ones at that.     
All this talk of an Eco-Camaro has us wondering at Torklift Central if the students may have put any thought into what might happen if they ran out of trunk space on a fuel-efficient road trip and were left in need of a cargo tray, or how a person might be able to haul their bikeswith the car...
(EcoHitch for Tesla Model S)
They might want to look at EcoHitch for inspiration in their design process. Designed to complement the aerodynamic contours of every vehicle, we make the hidden hitch to help Eco-Friendly vehicles Get Out and Go Hauling the Green Way at Torklift Central.