Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Future Cars - Camaro Concept

The Camaro concept made its first appearance at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, with styling that wowed the crowd and the styling will not change all that much when the car goes into production. The fifth generation Camaro will be based very closely on the concept, which is powered by a 400 horsepower aliminum small block LS2 V8, has a T56 six speed manual transmission and what GM says is a sophisticated chassis with four wheel independent suspension.

The engine is fitted with Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology to save fuel, enough says GM for the concept to get 30mpg or better.

While the concept does have four seats, the ones in the rear are for very short people only, as there’s not much room in there.

"Millions of people of all ages fell in love with the Camaro for all of the right reasons," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, global design. "Camaros were beautiful to look at and offered performance that could rival expensive European GTs. Yet they were practical enough to drive every day and priced within the reach of many new car buyers."

And then, after the Camaro coupe came the convertible at the North American International Auto Show in 2007. The production convertible will follow the coupe, with an on-sale date in late 2009. This time the concept came in orange pearl paint, with gunmetal gray racing strips.

Tom Peters, General Motors' director of exterior design for rear-wheel-drive and performance vehicles, says they wanted to make the car stand out more: "We opted to go with bright metal accents, as opposed to satin finish, for things like the exhaust tips and fuel filler, and even the rear lights have a polished look. The wheels are different, too. We wanted to do an update of the redline tires from the 1960s, but instead of the red line going around the tire, it's actually on the wheels."

The changes to the concept are obviously around the rear end of the car. Even though the car is a concept it has been engineered to take a folding roof in the trunk. The windshield will be taller on the production version as well. The roof itself is not fitted, and there’s the possibility that a hard top folding roof may be on the production car.

And by the way, it seems that the story of Bob Lutz walking in on the team developing the Camaro concept when it was close to its completion and simply saying ‘no’ and then walking out again was slightly incorrect. It was actually General Motors' Chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner who ordered a redesign at the last minute. Apparently the design was far too closely styled after classic Camaros.