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Chevy Camaro Concept Car - Concept Q&A

Will the 2010 Camaro Look Like This? Industry Players, Media Members, And Regular Joes Alike Sound Off On Chevy's Concept Camaro

1/13

In January 2006, the Chevy Camaro concept car was revealed at the Detroit auto show. The engine and transmission were typical world-class GM: 400-horse LS2 with a six-speed manual. But the best part of this concept was that styling didn't take a back seat to powertrain--GM unleashed the edgy, aggressive design seen here.

Now in early March, GMHTP has finally been able to confirm that a new Chevy Camaro will start production in early 2009 as a 2010 model. While many details are still sketchy, we know that its platform will be Zeta and it's looking like the Camaro will be produced in Australia by Holden. Coupes will be built first, and convertibles will start down the assembly line less than a year later. Two engine configurations keep popping up with the word "Camaro": the 240-horse, 3.9-liter LZ8 V-6, and the 300-horse, 5.3-liter LH6 V-8. At this point, there is no word on other optional V-8 engines, but everyone knows that GM has the firepower to dust its rivals in the Ford and DC camps with 350- to 450-horse V-8 options.

But we all know GM's powertrain rocks--the big news here is this concept's design. We have our own feelings on it, but wanted to see what other enthusiasts thought about the concept Camaro.

2/13

NAME: Jason Debler
AGE: 33
HOMETOWN: Clinton Township, MI
OCCUPATION: Web & Internet Developer
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: 1996 Camaro SS, 2002 Camaro SS

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
Initial impression: Complete awe. Second impression five seconds later--I want one right frickin' now.

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
More futuristic. If there were no '69 Camaro to compare it to, it would look like it is to be built 10 years from now.

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
The wheels, the size, the stance, and how it looks aggressive and yet refined and serious. In one of our Podcasts, I said "It looks like angry sex on wheels." If that doesn't say "Camaro" in a manner that everyone wants to say but is too shy to say, nothing does.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
The interior is a bit overdone, but I also realize that this is a concept for the most part and I don't expect it to be quite as bold in a production version.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
Without a doubt, it pulled together very well.

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
If "foreign" means "Australian," I would have no problems with it. I met some of the Aussie engineers who are working on it--sharp guys indeed.

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?
$26,000 - $31,000

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
All three, plus a total 'Stang and Challenger destroyer ZL-1 package.

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
Yes.

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?No preference as long as it is strong.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
Personally, it affected me a great deal. I, like many others, felt that I lost a good friend. Our site (CamaroZ28.com) is the largest Camaro enthusiast site on the Net, and we shared that pain with many thousands.

How would you rate the Concept's design compared to any of the past production Camaros?
I think there was more thought put into it, since there seems to be a lot on the line ... potentially a new generation.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
9

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
I'd be first in line, no question about it.

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?
If the reaction to the concept is any indication of how well the production version will do, this car is a sure winner. Again, I want one right frickin' now.

3/13

NAME: Jim Campisano
AGE:HOMETOWN: Livingston, NJ
OCCUPATION: Editor, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: '69 and '84 Corvettes

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
Overall, very positive. It's got presence. Love everything but the grille.

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
More retro, but a good mix of the two. It definitely says "Camaro," but not in an overly old-school way.

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
The rear is extremely ballsy. Lots of C6 Corvette, which I like.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
The grille. Looks like one guy designed the grille and someone else did the rest of the car. Taillights are also pretty weak.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
GM pulled it off nicely.

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
Given GM's current state of affairs, it's a big plus.

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?
It has to compete with the Mustang at about $24,500.

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
Base V-6 coupe, Z28 for midlevel V-8 engine (say 350 horse) and SS for 400-horse LS2. If there is more power to be had, like a Z06 engine, call it the ZL-1.

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
Low 30s.

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
Live.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
Not being able to do new car shootouts has been a downer professionally; personally, not at all because I never lusted after the Fourth-Gen Camaro. As an American, it's embarrassing GM doesn't offer a low-priced performance alternative to the Mustang.

How would you rate the Concept's design compared to any of the past production Camaros?
It has a lot of potential.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
8.5

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
As long as it had the 400-horse engine. And a functional cowl-induction hood.

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?
GM needs to remember all the reasons the Fourth-Gen cars were such a flop in the marketplace and ensure this does not happen again, because this is the last chance they'll have to get it right.

4/13

NAME: Chris Werner
AGE: 27
HOMETOWN: Franklin Lakes, NJ
OCCUPATION: Attorney; contributing editor
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: 1988 Camaro IROC-Z, 2001 Trans Am WS6

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the design flows. The concept looks very well-proportioned and does not have the type of speed-bump-scraping stance that many concepts end up with. This thing looks ready to roll off of the assembly line.

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
I actually think it is more futuristic. Though many styling cues are borrowed from the First Generation Camaro, the same can be said about other cars on the road today. For example, the Sixth Generation Corvette's body lines look a heck of a lot like the 1968-82, but nobody would ever call it retro. The only place that looks retro is the interior, which has the kind of flat dash that hasn't come out of Detroit in decades. I like it!

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
I firmly believe that this car looks good all over, though an in-person viewing may reveal some styling weaknesses. My opinion extends to the rear end, which many call homely but I believe looks just fine; though the blacked-out faux-diffuser look is taking a while to get used to. I also like the return to a long hood/short deck layout; if you can't see the hood, you aren't driving a musclecar. I love my WS6, but if I didn't have the Ram Air hood, I couldn't drive it. This car also appears to have an actual trunk, which I prefer over a hatchback.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
The grille could use a finer mesh; the pattern just looks too big and draws too much attention. Other than that, basically just the concept car's color annoyed me: silver belongs on BMWs and Mercedes, not a muscle machine. It's also the color for people who can't decide on a color.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
Yes, it looks very well-balanced.

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
Whatever it takes to get a bad-ass-looking, 2009-model, rear-wheel-drive, V-8 GM in my garage; I don't care if some Germans designed the underpinnings. If GM needs to go this global to compete in the 21st century, then that's what they'll have to do.

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?
About $25,000 should be the base price. This would put it right there with the Mustang GT which, with its heavy and torque-deficient engine, would be sure to get its doors blown off--just as it had during the reign of the LS1 F-body.

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
All of these trim level options should be available, but I think GM should revert to the old trim designations where Z28 is top of the line, SS is underneath, and RS is an appearance package. Every overstyled, underpowered vehicle that comes off the Chevrolet assembly line is now called an SS: the Impala and Silverado come to mind. I am imagining an RS package with hidden headlamps just like the original Camaro; that would be sweet. Also, call them Rally Sport and Super Sport; every car on the road has a two-letter trim designation that nobody cares about.

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
Of course; that's pretty much what the 2002 Camaro SS cost. I bought its equivalent, a WS6 Trans Am, for a sticker of $31,940. Low-to-mid 30s would put it in the same price range as the 2002 if you account for inflation.

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
IRS. Live axle is dead and cars without IRS just ride like crap. Unless GM can really save the customer that much money by offering live axle, forget it and leave it to the SUVs. The aftermarket will supply all of the necessary heavy-duty axles and such to keep the IRS in one piece on the strip.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
I've been forced to live vicariously through my dad, who has purchased other, more expensive GM performance cars, including a 2004 GTO and 2006 Corvette. My Trans Am daily driver is 5 years old now and the rattles may just be beginning--I can't hold out too much longer!

How would you rate the Concept's design compared to any of the past production Camaros?
I'm very partial to the styling of the early '70s and late '80s models, but this one is probably the best yet.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
9

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
Unless I am in a coma, dead, incarcerated, or out of the country, I will be at the Chevrolet dealership at 9 a.m. In fact, my local dealer already knows that the second they can preorder one, they must call me.

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?If GM does not build this, I will cry. It is finally starting to build tough-looking cars that guys can drive around without having to be in touch with their feminine side (C5 comes to mind as being particularly girly); and with the current horsepower wars in full battle (imports included), now is the time to bring back Camaro--and the awesome sales figures from the 1980s. Maybe in a few years GM will sell enough of them that they'll bring back the Firebird too.

5/13

NAME: Tony Whatley
AGE: 33
HOMETOWN: Houston, TX
OCCUPATION: Project Manager, Co-Founder of LS1TECH.com
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: I've owned 11 F-bodies previously, currently own three F-bodies and a C6 Corvette.

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
I was very pleased with the aggressiveness and sharp edges, and the overall heritage cues of the design. It looks like a Camaro, no question.

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
I would consider it futuristic musclecar style, with retro/heritage design elements.

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
Contoured sides of the vehicle, most cars are slab-sided and boring now. The sharp edges on the hood and fenders, and the lack of the B-pillar look nice.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
The taillights could use some work. How about longer taillights similar to a '69 RS instead? Less "Corvette" inspired taillights.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
I think the designers did a great job on this one. I was fearful that GM would release a soft and "friendly" design for the next Camaro, so this aggressive version really pleased me.

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
Would not matter to me at all. If it is RWD and has a powerful V-8, SOLD!

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?
$25K base model V-8 if it were available today. It needs to compete directly with the Mustang GT base model pricing.

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
The RS should be the hidden headlight option, and available on Z28 or SS. SS could possibly have a 396ci option, but at least a different engine size from the base V-8. Z28 would be a nice stripped-down model, with no luxury options, similar to the 1LE cars. I would like to see the SS be more than an appearance package this time around.

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
I would be willing to pay $35-40K for a LS7-equipped ZL1 Camaro. That would be enough to make me sell my C6 Vette!

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
I prefer a live axle for durability, but wouldn't turn down an IRS setup. It would be nice to have the IRS be optional, with a 12-bolt-based solid axle as standard.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
I still drive my Fourth-Gen F-bodies with pride. LS1TECH has steadily gained members as these F-bodies become more affordable to buy and modify. The aftermarket has really embraced this LSx engine, and it keeps the enthusiasts happy.

How would you rate the Concept's design compared to any of the past production Camaros?
I prefer First Gens, then this new design, then Fourth, Second, Third. In that order.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
I'd rate it a 9 out of 10. The potential for customizing it is awesome.

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
I would buy two of them. One to drive daily, the other to race.

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?
Keep the base V-8 car pricing competitive with the Mustang GT, and market the car better than the Fourth Gens were marketed. Keep the car daily drivable friendly so that the masses will appreciate and want one. Give us more options on personalizing or accessorizing the cars. Do not let your dealerships screw us with pricing mark-ups! Allow the aftermarket to get these cars earlier to develop parts for them that will be available as soon as they begin selling. Ford did an excellent job on the release of the '05 Mustang, hopefully GM can do the same.

6/13

NAME: Jim McIlvaine
AGE: 33
HOMETOWN: Racine, Wisconsin
OCCUPATION: Contributing editor, broadcaster
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: '96 Impala SS, '99 Z28, '02 Camaro SS

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
I thought it looked strikingly similar to the concept Camaro created by Kris Horton back in 2003. The First-Gen influence is very clear and I think the popularity of the Pro-Touring movement is also evident.

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
I think there are too many design cues from the First-Gen Camaro to not consider this concept retro. Automakers seem to have a "follow the herd" mentality and with retro designs being the hot ticket in recent years. It's not surprising to see them continue to add passengers on that bandwagon.

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
I think most people take it for granted that this was just going to be a two-door coupe, but imagine the response if they decided to make it a four-door, like the Charger? I think without question the fact that we're talking about a two-door coupe and not a corporately-compromised "sport sedan" is huge.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
I think the overall execution of the styling is excellent, but the fact is as long as there are ponycars, people will compare them to each other. I think Ford did a very solid job with the Mustang and they get bonus points for actually having the car in showroom floors, but I like the styling of the Camaro concept better. However, when I compare it to the Challenger concept, I'd have to give the edge to Dodge. I think Dodge managed to pull more of the overall feel of the original Challenger into their new design than Chevy was able to do with their Camaro.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
I think GM did a very solid job of putting together the essential pieces for a modern musclecar--a V-8 up front, two doors down the side and the drive wheels in the rear, all wrapped in a package that has the immediate potential to be labeled as "sinister" or "menacing."

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
Some purists will never be happy with anything not totally designed and built within the friendly confines of the USA. For the masses (which is who GM is primarily concerned with), all the essential elements will be there and those folks will probably give little thought as to which other models might be sharing common parts. How loudly can anyone who bought a Canadian-built Camaro really complain anyway?

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?I would expect the Camaro would be priced within a few hundred dollars of the competition. If a few hundred dollars more than the Mustang makes the Camaro more viable in the long run for the number-crunchers, I'm willing to take the hit as long as I know I'm getting a superior car right out of the box.

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
I think the Z28 and SS models are no-brainers, but there should be a more significant difference between the two than there was in last few years of the fourth generation in terms of performance. The Rally Sport designation has a great deal of history as well, but it has been associated in recent years with the V-6 models. The hardcore bunch would love to have a bare bones model, but the lawyers and beancounters seem to control the likelihood of that happening.

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
It would really depend on the base engine. If I didn't plan on modifying it, I might go for that option, but if I had the bug, I'd just go the cheapest route I could. GM has really done a pretty good job of making the life of an aftermarket supplier difficult. When you look at the new Z06s, you see a car that incorporates much of what the aftermarket has been doing to these cars for the past several years--a 505-horsepower, 7.0 engine, with a dry-sump oiling system, massive brakes and larger wheels. I wouldn't be surprised to see GM offer a Camaro that covers many of the bases currently handled by the aftermarket.

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
If they could find an IRS system that could stand up to the kind of abuse so many Camaro owners seem to enjoy, I would prefer that option. Otherwise, I'd love to see a 12-bolt find its way onto the car.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
Although Ford has found a way to continue Mustang production uninterrupted, I suppose the demise of the F-body is to be expected in this industry. I'd rather have it go away altogether, than have a Camaro badge slapped on an Aveo.

How would you rate the Concept's design compared to any of the past production Camaros?
I think the designs of the previous generations all represent a dramatic departure from the model they replaced in terms of styling, and the Fifth Generation is no exception. I think the big difference is that this is the first one to draw heavily on the cues of a previous generation. In a way, it's still breaking new ground, because it's going where no previous design had--back to the beginning.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
8. GM seems to have most of the right ingredients, but there is always room for improvement.

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
That would depend on when they got around to building it and how it measured up to the competition. One of the downfalls of putting a legacy out to pasture is that it opens the door for the competition. I like the appearance of the Mustang and Challenger concept enough to give them consideration in the process. These are ponycars and as is so often the case, I think many consumers will make their decision based on who can give them the most bang for their buck.

7/13

NAME: Brian Reese
AGE: 31
HOMETOWN: Toms River, NJ
OCCUPATION: SLP Director of Engineering
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: '04 Cadillac Escalade "V"

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
Wow, they're actually doing it? GM was initially adamant about killing the name when they announced the Fourth-Gen's curtain call. In my opinion, they lost almost four years of brand enthusiasm and loyalty by waiting so long to introduce the concept. I never understood giving this market segment to Ford (figured the Impala/Caprice gift to Ford was mistake enough), nevertheless, I'm thrilled it is back in the works!

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
The concept is good blend of both nostalgia (the obvious heritage styling influence) and GM today (the sharp, bold lines and emphasis on power). I give an A+ for the clean sheet approach.

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
Wide body, great stance, massive rollers, aggressive look ... generally, it looks bad-ass. The interior is hot and I am happy it is, because an "afterthought" interior could wreck a solid concept like this. GM needs more of this.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
Only the cheap-looking grille (although it is a noted improvement over the bland Fourth-Gen grilles). Very 'Chevy' like.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
Extremely well. Now, please get it to production without watering it down too much. I question if some of the razor-sharp items like the side mirrors will make it...

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
Less desirable. I am not interested in "European-spec" bolt patterns on wheels, and other anomalies like we found on the Aussie-based GTO.

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?
Base Z28 for $26,900. Assuming the base V-8 model will spank the Mustang GT, I'm sure GM could command at least a grand more than the GT, for starters. I'm also betting the coupe version of the Hemi cars will come in less than the 30K+ they get for the four-doors.

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
Here is what I'd like to see: RS--V-6 car, Z28--LS2, SS--LS7. The Fourth-Gen SS should have got the LS6 nod in my opinion. Remember the last Cobra Mustang? Chevy NEEDS an LS7 Camaro SS!

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
Yes, see above. If GM doesn't offer optional V-8 upgrades in this Camaro, I think they're making a mistake.

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
I'd prefer an IRS, but I say that cautiously. If they going to do anything like the GTO, I don't want it. If they build off the C6 IRS, I'll take it. If they do go live axle, I'd want to see a capable rear--at least an 8.5.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
Professionally--the F-body was my day-to-day concentration for many years. The absence of the F-body forced me (and others) to look at other manufacturers and other platforms. Personally--the last F-body I owned was a 1986 IROC-Z. I couldn't afford the LT1 cars, or the insurance. By the time I was in the market to buy an LS1 car, I was already working at SLP and was surrounded by an army of F-bodies (the Ultra-Z was my daily driver for over two years). Honestly, the Fourth-Gen styling wasn't my favorite, so I never "owned" one. I can almost promise you, I'll be a "Fifth-Gen" owner if they deliver on this concept.

How would you rate the Concept's design compared to any of the past production Camaros?
Outstanding. I thought the Fourth Gen was due for a serious facelift. This concept is possibly GM's first retro-model that actually gets me excited.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
8.5: I would have gone 9.5 if they would have at least teased us with an LS7 SS. I'm saving 0.5 for the grille.

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
Yes, without a doubt.

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?
I would love to see the General get it right on this one. The concept is certainly promising. GM has been flexing its powertrain muscle since 2005--dropping LS2s in across the board, adding blowers to Caddys, the LS7, etc ... I say, keep the momentum going, follow my powertrain plan for RS/Z28/SS.

8/13

NAME: Glenn Torrens
AGE: 36
HOMETOWN: Sydney, Australia
OCCUPATION: Motoring writer
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: Modded V-8 Holden Calais sedan (Commodore), HSV Senator sedan.

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
Yeehah!

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
A good blend of both--styled with a big 'nod' to the past.

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
It IS a Camaro!

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
Nothing--I love retro-styled cars.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
Yes, it did. Proportions, stance, surfacing, details--all excellent!

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
I'm an Aussie, so I would be proud of the fact that Holden in Australia would be involved. 'Down under' we have never lost touch with 'musclecar' engineering since the 1960s. It has evolved constantly in the Holden range since then. Our family sedans from both Holden and Ford have V-8 options (5.4-litre in Falcon and 6.0-litre Gen IV in Holden), accelerate well and go around corners, too. Both manufacturers have 'Special Vehicles' divisions.It's glorious down here...!!

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
Most people expect lots of comfort and luxury features in sports coupes in Australia--our Monaro, for instance, had more features than the Pontiac GTO version--side airbags, leather trim, climate control, 18-inch wheels.

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
No offense, but get with the program, guys--live axles are dead .... Australia has the biggest, longest straights on Earth, yet us bunch of yobbos can produce after-market modified Holden sedans that can run 10s on street tires ... with independent suspension! There will be NO live axle under the Camaro--the GM Holden platform won't be developed to accept it.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
You've had the GTO as a replacement!!

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
9

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?
I hope you guys get the new Camaro--because it means us Aussies may get another Monaro on the same running gear and coupe platform!!

9/13

NAME: Scott Parker
AGE: 25
HOMETOWN: Medford, NJ
OCCUPATION: GMHTP technical editor
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: '94 Pontiac Firebird Formula

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
My initial thought was that we have a serious contender here. I was hoping the exterior would be a pure '69 Camaro remake with a futuristic styling edge, and with only a few exceptions it seemed to deliver. There was bound to be a lot of anticipation given the circumstances, with the Camaro being absent from the market since 2002. However, it is just a relief that we have a new Camaro in the works, and the fact that it is as attractive as it is makes it all the more fulfilling. It is a shame to have such great motors like the LS2 and LS7, not to mention all of the other Gen IV motors in the works, with no true pony car to put it in. Besides, those Mustang guys are getting entirely too cocky.In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?The exterior is about 80 percent retro; the nose is pure Second Generation Camaro and the body lines, hood, and quarter-panel look like they could have come off a '69. These aspects really jump out at you the most, but the closer you look the more contemporary designs come to light. For example, there are a few more edges in the body panels, not to mention the pieces of modern art for mirrors, to remind us that this is a modern car. The 21- and 22-inch rims with low profile tires accomplish the same task as they reveal a big set of brakes. The rear end as well, as the C6 roof lines and Z06 air scoop almost match the over-the-top futuristic interior.

10/13

What aspects of the Concept's styling did you like?
I love the cowl hood, the roofline, and shape of the A-pillars, quarter-windows, and quarter-panels. I think a rear-wheel-drive musclecar should draw as much attention to the rear tires as possible, which should also be wide and happy to turn to smoke at will. The second aspect I think every musclecar should have is a mean hood. The combination of the two makes the car look aggressive and rude, which is the epitome of American muscle. The faux scoops on the rear quarter-panel and the cowl on the hood--extending further in the middle toward the windshield--were some of my favorite aspects of the '69 and they are on the Concept Camaro.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
There is very little I can say that I completely dislike. Perhaps only the split front bumper, as I am not the biggest lover of Second Gen Camaros. However, I am hopeful that if this Concept goes into production as is (or similar) that there will be aftermarket body kit manufacturers willing to satisfy my craving for a flatter First Gen-style nose-perhaps even one with a Trans Am splitter. The rear bumper and trunk lid I am also not crazy about, but again easily amenable-though I do like the understated spoiler. I am confident the motorcycle-size mirrors won't make it to production, but a sleek and stylish set of break-aways would be nice.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
Yes, as a whole I think it is seamless and quite capable of doing what it was meant to do. It satisfies both cravings for retro styling and modern aerodynamics and materials. I don't think it will have quite as much impact as the 2005 Mustang did, but I think this will be the got-to-have car for a considerable amount of the older generations who haven't bought a rear-wheel-drive musclecar since the gas crisis. GM die-hards will take to it, but the design as a whole I think will also pull in some crossover buyers--barring another gas crisis and unreasonable pricing.

11/13

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
A foreign chassis wouldn't take anything away from the car in my opinion, but then I also didn't mind with the GTO. I hate to seem anti-American, but it might actually make the car more solid and a better design overall. The important thing is that the car is designed for its purpose. The chassis should be able to happily take any abuse your typical enthusiast can dish out with only an acceptable amount of compromises made for ride quality and comfort like a Fourth Gen.

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?
To the average performance enthusiast $22,000 to 27,000 would be affordable.

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
I would like to see a base V-6 model for those who are satisfied with more modest performance. Placed in between the base V-6 and the Z28, an RS would do nicely as a stripped down, purist's performance model available with a V-6, smaller displacement V-8, and the larger displacement V-8 that is standard in the Z28. No Camaro line could be complete without either a Z28 or an SS trim level. The Z should offer the gamut of options, while the SS should be somewhere in between the RS and Z-but with a whole lot more power than either. With the Shelby Cobra making well over 400 horsepower, it sure would be nice to have a supercharged LS2 or an LS7 to wipe the floor with it.

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
Absolutely. If GM has something capable of exceeding the performance of the current LS2, low- to mid-30s isn't much to ask at all. The power-to-dollar ratio would be astronomical. With the GTO in that range now with an even 400hp--a lighter, solid axle car with even more power would easily run 12s bone stock. What other car on the market is capable of that kind of performance for under $40,000?

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
Live axle, all the way. IRS is great for the road course if it is engineered correctly like in the Corvette, but the majority of buyers will be more concerned with cost (which would inevitably rise with IRS) and straight-line performance. It is no secret that IRS is prone to wheelhop on the dragstrip, not to mention broken CV shafts, posi, etc. A stout solid axle such as an 8.5-inch 10-bolt or a 12-bolt would also make the Camaro very friendly to performance enthusiasts such as us who plan to modify their vehicles. A simple axle and posi swap would allow virtually unlimited power potential.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
As a consumer I feel robbed. If I want to buy a new RWD performance car for under $30,000 there are few choices currently. You might be able to find a GTO for a hair under $30K but it's a poor substitute for an F-body. The GTO, for good reason, never really hit the mark for F-body enthusiasts. I think this has definitely limited the growth of the hobby as the result, which is personally disappointing. I want to see some Camaros tap a keg of whoop-ass on these smack-talking Mustang owners.

How would you rate the Concept's design compared to any of the past production Camaros?
I think this is the most attractive Camaro since its inception in 1967. It regains the muscularity and classic geometry that made pony cars into popular icons in the late '60s and early '70s. Though the concept is large in size, probably too large, it doesn't appear as long and skinny as a Second Gen (or Third Gen to some extent). Even the Fourth Gen can't compete with the Concept's fireplug stature, which in turn makes it seem more athletic.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
I would have to say it's a 9. There isn't much I'd change besides the bumpers and the rear end.

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
Absolutely. At $25,000 that would be a steal. We are talking about Corvette level performance not to mention great looks, but in a more practical package. Heck, I'd even buy an LS2 GTO for that money and its not half as good-looking as the Concept Camaro. Having seen the drawings of the IRS suspension supposedly slated for the Camaro, I am sure it will handle better than the GTO too.

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?
Long live the Camaro. It's about time GM brought it back, and it is my sincerest hope that they make it a little more friendly for drag racing and modification. This applies to the ever-changing computer hardware and software as well as the rear end, which for over 20 years has been ill-equipped to keep up with the demands of racers. These are the things that I think could supercharge the GM EFI hobby, and potentially boost sales. The most important part of bringing it back is keeping it, not closing production after a year for lack of interest.

12/13

NAME: Brett Rockey
AGE: 36
HOMETOWN: Tampa, Florida
OCCUPATION: Owner - BMR Fabrication Inc.
CAMAROS OR PERFORMANCE GMS OWNED: 1969 Camaro, 1970 Camaro, 1971 Camaro Z28, 1984 Buick GN, 1986 Buick GN, 1994 Camaro Z28, 2000 WS6 Trans Am, 2000 Corvette, 2004 GTO

What was your initial impression when the Camaro Concept was revealed?
My first impression was similar to when GM redesigned the F-Body in 1998, "What are they doing?" Just as I hated the nose redesign in '98, I disliked the nose on this concept. It didn't take long for me to come around, though, both in '98 and now. By the end of '98, I liked the new nose better than the previous design and once I saw the concept in person at Detroit, it started growing on me. The overall presence of the vehicle forces you to overlook the minor dislikes.

In your opinion, was the Camaro Concept's design more futuristic or more retro?
I think it is more futuristic than retro. It's a good blend; however, I feel that both Ford and Dodge were able to "pull it off" more successfully with the new Mustang and Challenger from a design standpoint.

What aspects of the concept's styling did you like?
Mainly those that distinguish the concept as a 1969-based retro. I like the roofline and rear sail panels as well as the upper curve of the rear quarter-panels and lower gills, reminiscent of '69. The interior is awesome. I believe they did a great job making a modern interior with an old flair. I also like the wheels but the chances of 21/22-inch wheels making it to production are slim, especially in a market this car "should be" designed for.

What aspects of its styling did you dislike?
My main dislike is still the nose of the car. It's not quite right. I like every view of the car except the front end. While it is growing on me, it just looks like there is too much frontal area and the grille angles don't look properly proportioned. I am assuming the "tall CTS-like" nose is due to design limitations based on the current donor platform.

Did you feel that, as a whole, the car's design "pulled together well" or not?
Overall, yes, I believe the car "works."

If a new Camaro were to be based off of GM's global rear-drive platform, would a Camaro with foreign underpinnings be any more or less desirable to you?
Not at all. General Motors is more global now than they have ever been. I feel this is a benefit to GM as a whole. Mercedes has brought a new refinement level to Dodge and Chrysler by cross-developing vehicles. Saab and Holden are doing the same with GM.

13/13

In your opinion, at what price would a base V-8 version be affordable to an average performance enthusiast?
It should be priced identically to the Mustang--base model V-8s starting in the mid-20s. There is no reason GM can't do it if Ford does. This should be a comparable car in every aspect.

What trim level options (RS, Z28, SS) do you think should be included in a new Camaro?
I think there should be four options--Camaro, Z28, RS and SS. The V-6 models should be called Camaros and the Z28 should have the base V-8 with multiple options such as 1LE suspension packages, interior upgrades, etc. Since SS is such a popular name for Chevrolet right now, it should have the premium trim, upgraded wheels and tires, specific badging and the largest, most powerful V-8 available at the time the Camaro is released. All three should come equipped with three-link solid axles similar to what's in the new Mustang.The RS name should return as a car dedicated to road handling complete with IRS and priced under $40K. These four options should appeal to all markets and the two rear suspension options would allow the cars to compete in all forms of racing.

If GM offers optional, 400-plus-horsepower V-8s in a more expensive trim level, would you be willing to pay low- to mid-30s for this Camaro?
Definitely. In 2002, a WS6-optioned Trans Am was selling for low- to mid-30s with less power and an antiquated platform. Complaints are common that the new Pontiac GTO is overpriced at $33K. However, option-to-option, it is right in the ballpark with the WS6 and SS and it outperforms both of them. If Pontiac offered a solid axle, cloth interior GTO it would start in the mid-to upper-20s. If GM brings the Camaro back with multiple trim and powertrain options, with pricing ranging between $22K to $40K, it will cover all markets and be right on the mark with Ford's new Mustang.

Do you have a preference on whether it is produced with a live axle or IRS?
As mentioned above I feel the car should be optioned with both as Ford did with the previous generation Mustangs. I don't believe it will be possible to produce a V-8, IRS equipped car for $25K (where pricing needs to start); however the IRS market is strong and shouldn't be ignored. Since most of GM's IRS platform cars such as the GTO and Cadillac CTS use rear cradle assemblies, it would not be difficult to produce a live axle assembly and an IRS assembly that were interchangeable.

GM hasn't built an F-body since 2002; how has that affected you, personally or professionally?
For me personally and professionally are the same. I am fortunate in that my profession revolves around my personal interests. When GM announced that they would be canceling the F-Body, it almost felt personal. I have always loved Camaros and have owned seven different F-bodies in the 20 years that I have been driving. It really didn't hit home until they were gone though. Not only did we have to say goodbye to a legend but GM literally left us loyal fans with nothing. In 2003, if you wanted a rear wheel drive, V-8-powered GM product you had to spend $50K for a Corvette or buy a truck. In 2004, we got the GTO but as good as it is, it was not a replacement, nor was it intended to be. Then came the new Mustang, Camaro's direct competitor. Ford did everything right with this car and it has the market all to itself.

Rate this Concept on a scale of 1 to 10.
9

If an IRS-based, V-8 production version looked identical to the Concept Camaro and sold for $25,000, would you buy it?
In a "Heartbeat."

Do you have any other comments on the Concept Camaro and its future?
The Fourth Generation F-Body didn't sell to GM's expectations, forcing them to close the Canadian production plant two years earlier than originally intended. For this new Camaro to be a success, they need to look at the new Mustang, its direct competitor. GM needs to back the Camaro in all forms of racing as Ford does with the Mustang. The car needs to have endless options. The Mustang starts at $22K but you can option one out with Roush, Saleen, and Cobra packages and exceed $60K, all with factory warranties. The Mustang is equally as appealing to males and females. GM needs to focus on this with the new Camaro, both in advertising and design.

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