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Camaro production images leaked

2008-07-21 12:04
Camaro 2009

Camaro 2009

Leaked production images showcase the new Camaro remaining very true to its Transformers concept.

Chevrolet muscle car fans the globe over have been waiting with great anticipation since the ingenious Transformers movie product placement exercise last year, when the forthcoming fifth generation GM ‘pony car’ had a starring role.

Muscle car looks

Despite all the hype many feared the production version would be significantly toned down in design and detailing, especially considering the testing automotive market conditions prevailing globally – especially for V8 powered muscle cars.

Gauging from the leaked images GM engineers have done a sterling job retaining as much quintessential Camaro DNA in the new car as possible, without rendering it retro kitsch. It has an unmistakeable American muscle car shape, with superb light cluster detailing up front, with split indicators ‘inside’ the headlights.

Overall the shape is clean, uncluttered and simple. GM has added a B-pillar to the Camaro’s body structure for added strength. Otherwise, the car is virtually unchanged from the concept, as GM promised. Three trims levels are available: LS, LT and SS.

The car in the leaked images has RS insignia, and currently it’s unclear exactly where the RS package fits in. First generation Camaros could be fitted with an RS package — including the range topping SS — yet recent Camaros could only be had in RS guise when fitted with a V6. Currents bets are on the RS being a styling package.

V8, V6 and perhaps four-cylinder power?

Official engines are either a 3.6-litre 217kW V6 unit or the requisite 6.2-litre (378 cubic inches for the anoraks) 305kW V8.

The 3.6-litre V6 engine is rumoured to endow the entry level Camaro model with near perfect 50/50 weight distribution (V8 models edge towards a 52/48 ratio), ensuring engaging driving dynamics.

The V6 engine is sourced from the acclaimed Cadillac CTS, it has been detuned from the 225kW it produces in the Caddy to ensure better consumption in the Camaro application. Projected production weight is a touch under 1.7 tons.

A four-cylinder contingency production plan is rumoured too, especially if fuel prices continue to escalate as current rates. The most probable candidate for this engine would be the 195kW 2-litre unit used in the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadster.

Dynamically the firth generation Camaro will feature independent suspension at all four wheels – a far cry from the Camaro live-axle rear heritage – and GM’s StabiliTrack vehicle stability control system.

Should come to RSA - eventually

GM vice chairman and father of radical creations such as the Plymouth Prowler and Dodge Viper, Bob Lutz, is forecasting sales of up to 100 000 units a year.

The new Camaro should reach US dealers by mid-March next year which puts Camaro availability about a year behind its nearest rival, the Dodge Challenger.

GM South Africa reckons the Camaro is highly likely to return to local shores, but only well after 2010.

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