Well here's a surprising bit of news: that Al Oppenheiser, longtime lead engineer for the Chevrolet Camaro, will take on a new role leading electric-car development at GM. His replacement will be Mark Dickens, the head of Performance Variants, Parts, Accessories, and Motorsports Engineering at GM.
According to his Linkedin profile, Oppenheiser has been the chief engineer of the Camaro since 2005, four years before the fifth-gen Camaro resurrected Chevy's beloved Pony Car. In other words, he's the guy who brought the Camaro back, and turned it into the excellent machine it is today.
Oppenheiser was the driving force behind so many great versions of the Camaro, including the track-crushing last-gen Z/28, the current 1LE perfomance-package models, the absurdly fast ZL1, and the wild ZL1 1LE. Remember when serious car enthusiasts thought of the Camaro as being all style and no substance? Oppenheiser is the reason they don't anymore.
"We have launched the final variant of this generation of Camaro, so the time is right," Chevy spokesperson Mike Albano told Car and Driver of Oppenheiser's move. Albano also relayed that Oppenheiser said "I thought I'd die in this role, but I'm happy to be part of the future."
GM released its first all-electric car since the ill-fated EV1, the Bolt, back in 2016. It rides on an all-new, bespoke platform that should allow GM to build more EVs in the future. We wouldn't be surprised to see an electric Chevy crossover in the not-too-distant future, and we've also heard Cadillac has a number of electric cars in the works.
Albano told Car and Driver that because electrification is so important at GM, the company is shuffling around "some of our best talent" to work on EVs, hybrids and the like. Given his track record with the Camaro, there's no doubt that Oppenheiser is one of GM's finest.
Oppenheiser will start his new role next month, at which point Dickens will take over the Camaro team. We're interested to see what both of them do.