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NY sees return of Chev legend

2013-04-03 11:48

RETURN OF THE Z: Chevrolet stole the limelight from the 2014 Camaro unveiling when a muscular new version of the legendary Z/28 was unveiled too at the 2013 New York auto show on March 27.

NEW YORK - Imagine standing in the audience of the 2013 New York auto show, anticipating the unveiling of the new Chevrolet Camaro… and then being bowled over by the surprise arrival of a new version of a car last seen a decade earlier.

According to Detroit News writer Melissa Burden, GM North America president Mark Reuss could not wipe the grin off his face as the 2014 Z/28 made its return on stage on March 27.

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"This is for all of us who want a Camaro that's absolutely built for the track," Reuss was reported to have said. "Dubbed code-word 'HP' inside GM, this is something we have longed to do and now we have."

Burden said GM announced that the Z/28 build would start later in 2013 for testing and it’s expected to kick out 373kW and 640Nm.

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Of course no prices are yet available but, Burden said, she was told it would be the most expensive Camaro in the line-up. However, there will be no cap on production.

"We'll make as many as people want," Reuss said.

Just a few years earlier General Motors had to pull the plug on some production plans due to the fragile economy and the financial crisis the company was facing. Burton reported that the new Z/28 indicated GM’s healthy financial status by being able to make cars that thrill again.

The first Camaro Z/28 made its debut in 1967, the last in 2002.

'CRAZY EXCITED'

Reuss continued in his presentation: "This won't be the highest-volume car we do but these kind of cars, you have to be able to do a few here and there to make sure everybody knows what this brand is, and that it's alive and well. This is the kind of stuff... it gets everybody crazy excited."

According to GM, the Z/28 is already three seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1, based on a demo model run in 2010.

Alec Gutierrez, an analyst at a vehicle valuation company, said: “The Z/28 could serve as a halo vehicle for Chevrolet and aid Camaro sales, as buyers drawn to look at the Z/28 will go for the less expensive Camaro instead. It definitely shows good things for the brand."

The new car is almost 100kg lighter than its predecessor thanks in part by dumping carpeting and audio, but still carries the V8 seven-litre LS7 engine under the bonnet.

ALSO ON SHOW

The 2014 Camaro SS was also present but cowering in the shadow of the Z/28. It was first seen as a concept in 2006, has had a redesign and will be available on American showroom floors later in 2013.

The 2014 SS rear-wheel drive performance sedan and the 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible – which made its debut in March at the 2013 Geneva auto show – was also at the Chevy stand.
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