Better late than not at all
The Chevrolet Camaro, stowed in the back of the closet since ’02, has a green light for a Detroit concept debut next month, and industry experts are wagging tongues and rolling eyes over what it all means. We’ll tell you what it means. It’s like being 30 minutes late to your own wedding. The damage is done, the bride already walked, and though you’re looking fine in that tuxedo, it won’t win you any prizes at the lonely hearts social club. But nonetheless, it the Camaro. Spy shots show a concept very much like the classic 1967-69 models, especially at the haunches. So you can count on a strong retro vibe, with more aerodynamic lines. Whatever it looks like, it sure beats another full-size SUV, and, okay, it feels good to get excited about a new GM car again. If rampant speculation is correct, the Ford Mustang will have a playmate by the 2009 model year, one built on a low-cost version of the Sigma platform, the company’s midsize rear-wheel drive architecture that underpins the Cadillac CTS. Other reports indicate that General Motors is also considering a stretched version of the Kappa (Solstice) platform, or using a revised version of the new Zeta platform being built in Australia for Holden. Chances are, however, that it will be either the Sigma or the Australian platform – imagine stretching the Pontiac Solstice and then jamming the Corvette’s V8 engine down its gullet. Yeah – not likely to be a good plan. Our take: Build it, and build it as quickly as the bean counters can count, for the Dodge Challenger is also coming, and the Mustang – despite that car’s charms – will be getting old and moldy around the edges by the end of the decade. Plus, based on the likely architecture, the 2009 Camaro will have four-wheel-independent suspension and a nice advantage in terms of ride and handling, not to mention powertrain choices sure to give competitors fits. Just think of it: a Camaro SS, with 505 horsepower, rumbling at the light and then thundering down the street….
Photo courtesy of General Motors