Chevrolet's highly anticipated fifth generation Camaro is likely to reach South African roads after 2010.
Already well imbued in the subconscious of automotive enthusiasts, thanks to its clever product placement role in the movie Transformers last year, the seminal GM sport scar, the latest bow-tie muscle car is set to go on sale in the US next year.
With export markets a key area of redressing growth and balancing domestic demand slowdown in the US, GM is keener than ever to convert as many of its models symmetrically to allow access to all markets.
Subsequently, previously ignored right-hand drive markets are now being specifically catered for.
Although the Camaro name might echo memories of large-capacity, unsophisticated V8s and widow-maker live-rear axle suspension set-ups, the latest model is thoroughly contemporary.
Its independent front and rear suspension features progressive-rate springs and gas-pressurised dampers.
Styling takes its cue from a classic, the 1969 vintage Camaro, regarded as the purest of the esteemed line of cars which have carried the Camaro name.
Efficient V8s and a four?
Power will be from either a 6-litre V8 producing 300kW or an entry level 3.6-litre V6 worth 200kW. Ensuring environmental compliance, the large capacity V8 can run with only four cylinders operating during sedate driving, reducing emissions and consumption.
Performance is set to be within character for the legendary Camaro namesake. Expect a 0-100km/h sprint time of less than five seconds for the 6-litre V8 model.
The lighter 3.6-litre V6 engine is rumoured to endow the entry level Camaro model with near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, ensuring engaging driving dynamics. The engine is sourced from the acclaimed Cadillac CTS, although it has been detuned from the 225kW it produces in the Caddy to ensure better consumption in the Camaro application.
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.
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. GM South Africa reckons the Camaro is highly likely to return to local shores, but only well after 2010.