Can the man behind the new Camaro inject soul into GM’s EVs?
For more than 10 years, Al Oppenheiser has been the chief engineer for the Camaro division at Chevrolet, but now he’s moving into GM’s new electric car division to help build zero-emission vehicles.
This comes as quite a surprise—you wouldn’t expect someone in charge of the raucous, loud gas-burning machine known as the Camaro to manage the team behind the quiet, planet-saving EV development branch, but the end of the current-generation Camaro apparently signalled a chance for him to move on.
For more context, Oppenheiser is the one responsible for bringing the Camaro out of the dark ages of the muscle car; before him, we were stuck with the all-show-and-no-go fourth-generation Camaro.
Under his eye the fifth- and sixth-generation Camaro was created, which helped launch the Camaro into the car it is today.
The newly formed AV/EV organization, as it will be called, should be very excited to get a helping of Oppenheiser’s expertise. If he is able to inject some excitement into electric cars in the same way he saved the Camaro, GM will be in good hands.
“I thought I’d die in this role, but I’m happy to be part of the future,” Oppenheiser says of leaving Camaro behind.
It’s possible this move could pave the way for performance electric vehicles, and GM isn’t denying this could happen. The eCopo is already a thing, and GM has said they have not “ruled out in the future that we [could] have performance cars that are electrified.”