By on July 13, 2009

OK, that’s a bit of a surprise. Who would have guessed that Lutz’s two first post-unretirement announcements would have heralded a Chevy rebadge and the cancelation of a higher-performance Camaro? Is the age of Maximum over after all? “Any fears that the days of high-performance General Motors cars may be numbered or totally over can be allayed,” Lutz tells Automobile. “There is no pressure at all to get off the high-performance thing.” But clearly there is. According to Automobile’s write-up, the Z28 “was apparently put on hold due to both cost constraints and concerns about the blatant political incorrectness of building a gas-guzzling, super pony car.” So which is it? Bob?

“I think the V6 Camaro is probably a very good model for the future of the high-performance car in America. The Solstice coupe with the 2.0-liter turbo engine is another good expression of the future of the high-performance car, which is smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient, and probably with lower displacement, but with a turbocharger.”

But Bob, the Camaro is a 3,780 pound porker in base V6 form. What’s “smaller, lighter” about that? And if the Solstice coupe is the future of the high-performance car, well… color me (and the New York Times) unenthused. Meanwhile, we know that Bob didn’t kill the Z28 because he wants to give more business to the aftermarket tuners. Chalk this one up in the “dangers of politicized product-planning” category.

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15 Comments on “Lutz: Z28 Camaro On Hold...”


  • avatar
    NickR

    Maybe someone at GM realized that building a high, HIGH performance version of the Camaro was a waste of resources that would do nothing for their bottom line in much the same way the Corvette ZR1 is a waste of time and energy. Don’t get me wrong in better times, have at it, and if I had the money, I’d be please to take one of their hands, but this is 2009, not 1967.

  • avatar
    slateslate

    1SS Camaro starts at $30k with 426hp.
    Base Corvette starts at $49k with 430hp

    For $40k-something???? This would be a great place for the CTS coupe.

  • avatar

    Brought to you by the same folks who brought you the 85 mph speedometer and mandated obsolete headlamp designs.

    The Z28 exists to promote the base version, and be a profit center in the several thousands more for some small upgrades to suspension and a slightly more expensive to make engine. There is a great business case to be made.

    For government, the concept of “shall we build a car with way more horsepower than anyone needs” (discuss amongst yourselves) is quite different and a government case cannot be made.

    I wonder if the Corvette will survive ?

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    The only way the Camaro will get lighter is if GM invests more money on making the Zeta platform (high strength steel?…more aluminum?) lighter.

    Anyway, be glad the Camaro is back at all…and still packs 426hp. Even if it is stuffed into a 3800lb car.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    For $40k these days (with economy & all), I’d buy a litrebike new on sale for $10k or less OTD, $10-$15k for an econobox in the winter and stick the other $15k as in my jobless-need-to-pay-the-mortgage fund.

    All this is assuming we are comparing new prices. Subtract another 10k for a 3-4 year old bike + car and add that to the fund.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    That hood is not bulbous enough.

    If you are going to start a car design with a bar of soap, you need to carve away more of the soap.

  • avatar
    JG

    Those extra two seats are the rub.

    Otherwise, If I were a GM guy, I’d buy a used Z51 Corvette over a new Camaro Z28. There’s just no reason to buy the Camaro. Heavier. Slower. Worse.

    I’m not a GM guy though.

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    At one time I was really excited at the prospect of the new Camaro. Then I started seeing them in the flesh, er, steel, and don’t much care for it. The car is essentially a cartoon – too big, too heavy and too hard to see out of. A Z28 would have just been the equivalent of a cartoon in more outlandish, neon colors.

    Give me a ’10 Mustang GT, solid axle and all, any day. Better yet, give me a G8 GXP – all the fun of the Camaro without the absurdist proportions and lack of utility.

  • avatar
    Ach

    Who would have guessed that Lutz’s two first post-unretirement announcements would have heralded a Chevy rebadge

    Are you really going to try to spin the G8′s reprieve as a bad thing? The G8 GT is quite simply one of the best cars in the world at its price point. GM can’t afford not to have a car that good in its lineup. The addition of the DI 3.6 to the base model will only add to the car’s appeal.

    And like it or not, the V6 Camaro’s balance of performance and fuel economy is very good, porky weight notwithstanding.

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    Are you really going to try to spin the G8’s reprieve as a bad thing? The G8 GT is quite simply one of the best cars in the world at its price point. GM can’t afford not to have a car that good in its lineup. The addition of the DI 3.6 to the base model will only add to the car’s appeal.

    Amen. Let’s just hope they leave the appearance of the G8 more or less alone when they affix the bow-tie badge. The version they sell as the Caprice in the Middle East is much blander looking than the G8.

    And like it or not, the V6 Camaro’s balance of performance and fuel economy is very good, porky weight notwithstanding.

    “She’s a little bit big boned, but she’s got a great personality and a lot to offer.” Yeah, it’s about as convincing when applied to a car as it is to a blind date.

  • avatar
    adonasetb

    if they build it then it’s a mistake or if they don’t build it it’s a mistake – I give up trying to understand what the new gm has to do to succeed

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    A 3800 lbs Camaro is heavy, but the new Z4 is 3500 lbs, with no back seat, and the MB SL63 AMG is 4300 lbs.

    The competition is fat too.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    speedlaw: “I wonder if the Corvette will survive?”

    If GM is smart about it and throws in DI and cylinder cutoff, the Corvette could easily survive with 30-32 mpg on the highway.

    GM needs to milk the smallblock V8 for all it’s worth, just like Porsche milks the boxer 6.

    Direct Injection will yield at least 30 more hp, plus 1-3 mpg. Cylinder deactivation will yield another 1-3 mpg (for the automatics, anyway). The technology could make its way into the CTS-V, the STS replacement, the next XLR, should they choose to bring it back. Then it should find its way into the mid/large sedans/crossovers in Chevy and Buick. Add in the inherent usable torque of OHC engines and how the engines can loaf along at 60 mph, and GM has solved half its EPA issues there!

  • avatar
    NickR

    Akitadog, the 3.0 V6 that is already starting to displace the 3.6 shows what can be accomplished with DI and other things. So, I think you are on the money.

  • avatar
    tced2

    And the new GM has political masters so it won’t dare be “politically-incorrect”.


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