Camaro to ride again

Famous muscle car name will return to streets after a six year hiatus, says a newspaper report.

Monday, August 7, 2006; Posted: 10:25 a.m. EDT (14:25 GMT)

NEW YORK ( -- The Chevrolet Camaro muscle car will join the Dodge Challenger in a return to production in the next couple of years, according to a newspaper report.

The official announcement will be made Thursday by General Motors chairman Rick Wagoner, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.

The production version could be built as early as 2008, the newspaper said.

The Camaro was introduced in 1966 to compete with the Ford Mustang that had been introduced two years earlier. It went out of production in 2002 along with its corporate sibling, the Pontiac Firebird.

A concept version of the Camaro was introduced in January at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

A concept version of a new Dodge Challenger was also introduced at that show. DaimlerChrysler announced in early July that the Challenger would be produced in 2008. That vehicle is based on an existing engineering platform, one already in use for the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Magnum and Charger.

The new Chevrolet Camaro will be based on a new vehicle platform GM has engineered specifically for performance-oriented rear-wheel-drive cars.

Both the Camaro and Challenger as well as the Ford Mustang, which was restyled for the 2005 model year to resemble Mustangs from the late 1960s, tap into a nostalgia for the muscle car era of those years.

A new Dodge Charger, introduced in 2005, carried the name of one of the most famous cars of that era but was criticized by enthusiasts for its four-door body style. By the generally accepted definition, a muscle car should have only two doors.

Both the Camaro and Challenger will be two-door cars.

The Camaro will be made available with three engine choices,a V-6 and two V-8s, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the plans.

Improvements in engine efficiency allow modern versions of these cars to get fuel economy that, while not stellar by today's standards, is at least far better than it was in the 1960s and '70s. Still, some question the market for vehicles like these as gasoline prices rise beyond $3.00 a gallon.

No details about pricing are expected, according to the report.

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