Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Camaro Concept Shows It's 1969 All Over Again!

GM's FastLane blog has info and links to podcasts and videocasts of the Detroit Auto Show debut of the Camaro Concept pictured at left.

See the later posts above this one on Tapscott Behind the Wheel for more views of Camaro Concept. Automobile Magazine also has a bunch of illustrations and photos.

The GMTV videocast of Lutz doing a walk-around of the Camaro Concept is especially informative. A bit worrisome may be his comment that the business case for producing the car requires selling 150,000 annually.

"If we do it, it will be a high-value sporting coupe," Lutz observes during the walk-around.

Interesting that the 69 model was the inspiration for the new version, rather than the edition that debuted in 70 and was widely thought to resemble an earlier classic Ferrari Berlinetta. I loved both but the latter drew raves from the styling critics, as did the Pontiac Firebird that shared the platform and was described by contemporaries as reminiscent of a Maserati.

First reaction in this corner to the new Camaro Concept is that it certainly captures the spirit of the original without being a mere reincarnation. I love the tail lamps, the extreme coke bottle-shaped fenders grab your eyes and won't let go, and the front end is a clever reinterpration of the 69's.

I'm not so sure about the greenhouse, though. Looks a little too much like a Boyd Coddington Chezoom fantasy. Or maybe a GM designer's idea of applying the Chrysler 300C/Dodge Magnum roofline to the Camaro. Either way, it's a bit much, at least for me observing the vehicle from a video distance.

Otherwise, Lutz sounds rather enthusiastic about a production Camaro becoming a reality by 2008 or 2009. What a pity it would be if GM's financial woes prevent Chevy from rejoining the pony car war with Ford and Dodge.

More here from R&T.


Lutz has posted extensive comments at FastLane blog here. Here's his bottom-line:

"Make no mistake: We would love to build this car. I would love to have one in my garage. But we cannot commit to it just yet. Circumstances dictate that we have other priorities that come first. For now, we’ll just enjoy what we have, and find out what everybody thinks about it, and we'll make a final decision on it at our earliest opportunity."