It looks like the new Camaro will be prowling the streets by Christmas 2006, but not on any roads in the USA. GM Holden will have hand built prototypes will be on roads in Australia for testing very soon.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald - Joshua Dowling
The modern-day version of the 1960s American muscle car, the Chevrolet Camaro, will be on local roads before Christmas.
But you won't be able to buy one just yet: the cars will be handbuilt prototypes that Holden and a team of US engineers are developing for General Motors in Detroit ahead of the car's North American release in early 2008.
Following the success of the Holden Monaro export program (the Australian-made coupe was sold as a Pontiac GTO in the US), the team at Holden is leading the final design, engineering and development of the Camaro.
However, the new Camaro will not be made in Australia. GM has confirmed it will be built in Canada from late next year.
Denny Mooney, the boss of Holden, told Drive this week: "We are building prototype Camaros right now. We should see some on the roads before Christmas."
GM's highly regarded Korean-born designer, Sang Yup, has been working alongside Holden designers in Melbourne to transform the car from concept to reality.
The Camaro was unveiled at the Detroit motor show last January and American enthusiasts instantly demanded it be built.
Holden is closely linked to the program because the Camaro shares underpinnings with the new Commodore.
At this stage there are plans to build the Camaro only as a left-hand-drive for North America but the Holden boss is on record saying he would like to sell the car in Australia.
Drive understands Holden has conducted a study on whether the car - were it to be sold here - should be called a Chevrolet Camaro or wear a Holden badge. The verdict: Chevrolet Camaro was the preferred option, given the awareness of the name from the 1970s 80s thanks to racers such as Bob Jane and Kevin Bartlett and the muscle car scene of the time.
Meanwhile, Holden seems close to finalising a deal to export its flagship Commodore sports sedan, the SS-V, to the US as a Pontiac Grand Prix. Holden says it cannot confirm whether the deal has been approved but Mooney says he has a "good feeling about it".
Industry insiders have told Drive that GM in the US is close to making the announcement and may be saving the news for the Chicago motor show in February.