In a surprise move, simultaneously hosted in Melbourne, Australia, and the United States, General Motors has revealed the production ready version of the iconic Chevrolet Camaro sports car.
CarAdvice was at the Australian reveal, which took place at GM Holden’s Melbourne headquarters before a crowd of several hundred excited employees, many of who had worked on the project to develop the rear-wheel drive sports car for the US market.
The Australian-based designers and engineers involved in the new heritage-inspired coupe, led by Gene Stefanyshyn, GM’s Global Vehicle Line Executive, were on hand in Melbourne for the reveal.
The sinister black Camaro was parked on the forecourt of GM Holden HQ with a collection of earlier Camaro’s including the 1969 Camaro SS of reigning V8 Supercar Champion Garth Tander.
Tander, a Camaro enthusiast, told CarAdvice he would be “very happy” to add a new Camaro to his collection, should GM decide to build the car in right-hand drive.
GM Holden says the new Camaro exemplifies GM’s global development process with the design concept originating in the United States; engineering directed by GM’s global rear-wheel-drive team in Australia; validation conducted on roads around the world; and assembly to take place in Canada.
With GM’s global rear-wheel drive team based in Australia, much of the design and engineering work for the new Camaro, which uses a modified version of the Zeta platform originally developed for the VE Commodore, was undertaken in Victoria, giving this vehicle an important place in Australia’s automotive history.
Australian, Peter Hughes, Camaro Exterior Design Manager, said they made sure there were many elements and cues that remained distinctly Camaro to make the new model instantly recognisable.
“We’re incredibly proud of how faithful the production version is to the original concept. This is a 21st century sports car that acknowledges its iconic heritage, while at the same time is smoothly integrated into a very contemporary exterior,” Mr Hughes said.
Details such as frameless door windows contribute to the overall feeling of quality, substance and technical prowess.
Mr Hughes said a well-executed balance of heritage, modern design and attention to detail also characterises the Camaro’s interior. A pair of deeply recessed instrument binnacles that feature round gauges in square housings gives a nod to classic Camaros.
Large, chrome-trimmed controls, low-gloss surfaces and premium fabric or acrylic appliqués convey a richness that is unprecedented in previous Camaro models – and challenge its contemporary competitors.
Advanced power train technologies, including engines with direct injection and Active Fuel Management, give the vehicle a balance of exhilarating performance and good fuel economy.
Gene Stefanyshyn, GM’s Global Vehicle Line Executive, who led the Australian-based engineering team on this project, said they had four key objectives when creating the new Chevrolet Camaro.
“The first was to create a bold and beautifully styled vehicle – inside and out. The second was to ensure it had the ride, handling and performance dynamics of a true sports car. The third was to create a vehicle, which boasts pristine quality.
Finally, we wanted to back all this with outstanding value,” Stefanyshyn said.
“This vehicle exhibits the depth and capability of our Design and Engineering teams here in
Australia and I am incredibly proud of what they have achieved to help make this vehicle a reality.”
Under the bonnet of the new Camaro is an advanced, efficient 3.6L direct-injected V-6 with variable valve timing, which is standard on LS and LT models. Direct injection technology helps the engine deliver more power through increased efficiency, while maintaining fuel economy and lowering hydrocarbon emissions.
The high-performance Camaro SS is equipped with a powerful 6.2L V-8, with a choice of a six- speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard, manual transmission-equipped models receive the LS3 engine, which uses high-flow cylinder heads based on the Corvette Z06’s LS7 engine enabling great low-end torque and high- rpm power.
A new, L99 V-8 engine is used on automatic transmission-equipped SS models. This is based on the LS3 and carries all of its high-performance design features, but also includes GM’s fuel-saving Active Fuel Management feature. This enables the engine to run on only four cylinders during light-load driving conditions, such as highway cruising, to improve fuel economy.