Lutz: Z28 Camaro On Hold
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.
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.
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!
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.
And the new GM has political masters so it won't dare be "politically-incorrect".