Over the long haul of the Pony Car Wars, Ford’s Mustang has set the standard to which all others aspire. Having handily outsold the old F-Body Camaros (to say nothing of the nearest import-equivalent, the Nissan Z), Ford reigned alone over the declining muscle-coupe segment for much of the last decade. But the Pony Car cannot thrive alone, and the Mustang couldn’t keep its sales from sliding ever further… it needed some competition. Now, rather than fighting for pieces of a shrinking segment, the Camaro, Challenger and Mustang have been able to grow their sales together, revitalized by the renewed Pony Car Wars. Though our simple volume projection shows the Camaro on track to take the Pony Car crown from the Mustang, the short-term trends indicate a close battle to the finish this year. Hit the jump for summer sales comparisons…
The third-generation Camaro, so much swoopier than anything else on the road back in 1982, looked more like a concept car than a production car. The throaty V8, though pitifully weak by today’s standards, at the time was easily capable of getting a 14-year-old’s pulse racing. Some critics dinged the car for its impractical packaging, size, and weight, but I didn’t care. I wanted one, badly. Never did get one. By the time I could afford a Camaro, I agreed with the critics. From frenzied test drives in the Toyota Corolla GT-S and Honda CRX I learned the joys of high-revving multi-valve engines and agile handling. GM recently introduced a fifth-generation Camaro. What has it learned in the last 28 years?
Auto Express reports that GM is going to sell the Chevy Chevrolet Camaro in the United Kingdom by May 2011, with a convertible version later that year. It will only be available in the top level Gestapo SS trim, and will have the 6.2 litre, 426bhp V8 engine. Unfortunately, GM couldn’t be bothered to respect local driving customs and will sell the car in left-hand drive only. That’s right. Pricing is yet to be confirmed as exchange rates are sensitive at the moment, but GM is aiming to keep the pricing in line (I thought it was a V8?) with the Nissan 370Z, which starts at £28,345. Now while there are many American-philes (probably located in the North of England) who are doing a “dosey-doe” around their living rooms at this news, there are a few of problems (and here comes the pessimistic part). (Read More…)
First developed by Holden in 2004, GM’s Zeta platform now underpins vehicles as diverse as the Statesman/Lumina/G8/Caprice sedans, and the Chevy Camaro. Originally designed for full-sized , rear-drive Australian sedans, Zeta was downsized as far as it could be for the Camaro, which reviewers largely view as overweight and rather too ungainly for true sportscar status. Accordingly, GM has been developing a new rear-drive platform known as “Alpha,” which will form the basis of GM’s performance and luxury RWD models for the considerable future. Last we heard about Alpha was last August, when Bob Lutz swore there was no development underway of the platform he compared to BMW’s 1-/3-series. According to Motor Trend, work on the Alpha platform has begun… but there are already signs of trouble.
Chevrolet made some interesting choices when it introduced the Camaro. The base model had an interior more worthy of a taxi cab, especially the steering wheel, to ensure buyers would more likely check of the Custom Interior package. But where the Camaro really deviated from the Mustang interior formula was with its column shifter for the Powerglide automatic, and an available “Strato-Back” bench front seat. Why? (Read More…)
You wake despite the hope that you would never awake, that it was all just a bad dream. But you know she’s there in the bed next to you. In the early gray light of morning, your bleary eyes reluctantly open and fall on her mottled and pallid white skin. She seemed so hot and glamorous last night, in the sparkly beams of light on the dance floor at the Rockin’ Rodeo. Everyone always raved about Camaro, what a hot number she was, and how you just had to have one some day. And last night there she was, and you finally screwed up your courage to ask her for a dance. At the time, all you could see were those hips, those glorious bulging hips. You just knew they promised action, despite the fact they weren’t hardly moving at all. Oh yeah; she was saving her energy for the big run, the final blast, you kept telling yourself. But it never came. (Read More…)
Back in the muscle car heyday, enthusiasts could likely have imagined that the 2011 Mustang and Camaro would make at least 300 horsepower. They might even have imagined that the pony cars would be equipped with optional flight modes, nuclear reactors, and autopilots. What they likely never imagined is that Ford and GM would revive the time-honored tradition of pony car one-upmanship for V6 models. (Read More…)
In America, certain European cars ostensibly set their drivers apart as willfully unique characters. Cars like the Volvo C30, or just about any Saab indicate that the driver’s desire to be seen as quirky iconoclasts outweighs any of the more rational metrics that might guide the car-buying process. And while in the US, compact size and European pedigree are the keys to stepping out of the automotive mainstream, making an automotive statement in Europe requires the opposite approach. Pickup trucks, muscle cars and American SUVs are the signifiers of choice for the Europeans who find themselves marching out of step with their efficient hatchback-driving fellow citizens. As a result, European advertisements for motorized guilty pleasures, like the one above, play on the perception that big V8s are downright antisocial. By refined European standards, no one should drive a brutish Camaro… but what’s more fun than blowing a supercharged raspberry at social niceties? And though the marketing for American muscle cars in Europe practically writes itself, global brands like Chevrolet don’t necessarily want the Ameri-barbarian associations… which might explain why Chevrolet has canceled plans to build a right hand drive Camaro.
One of the few things TTAC has in common with the Weblogs Inc/AOL juggernaut Autoblog is a weird fascination with landau roofs, opera tops, and all manner of roof-paddery. But what was developing into a friendly rivalry to see who could come up with the ugliest aftermarket roof treatment has run out of control: there’s no way we will ever be able to top this padded-roofed Camaro for sheer unnecessary tastelessness. Congratulations, guys.