Hopes of a Holden-badged version of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro revealed over the weekend have been snuffed out for now, with a right-hand-drive version not in the current pipeline.
General Motors’ decision to ignore RHD production for the Camaro mirrors its strategy with the new-generation Volt plug-in hybrid, announced last month. That car, like the Camaro, won’t be made in right-hook.
The decision stands in stark contrast to that of arch-rival Ford, which is turning the Mustang hero car into a global offering. Coupe and convertible versions of Ford’s pony car will arrive in Australia late this year priced between $44,990 and $63,990 plus on-road costs.
It appears the US muscle coupe market in Australia will be a party of one for the foreseeable.
It also means that — contrary to general expectations — a rebadged Camaro likely won’t be the basis for the global V8 sports car that Holden has promised it will sell beyond the demise of local manufacturing in 2017. Maybe the Corvette, then? Or an upcoming Opel flagship?
“The Chevrolet Camaro is an iconic product and the sixth-generation all-new vehicle will offer even higher levels of performance, technology and refinement. However, a RHD variant is not in the current plan,” a Holden spokeswoman confirmed to us this week.
“If this was to change, Holden would of course take a very close look at this exciting car.”
The news takes on another angle when you recall that the previous Camaro was spun off the same Zeta architecture as the Holden Commodore, and that the US hero was developed in large part right here despite never going on sale locally either.
Chevrolet’s new Camaro was launched over the weekend in the US. General Motors has effusively called the latest iteration of its icon a “performance benchmark”.
Buyers of the sixth-generation Camaro in the US will be able to choose between three different engines at launch.
A 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 205kW of power and 400Nm of torque, capable of a sub-6.0 second 0-100km/h sprint time, is the new entry point. There’s also a 250kW/385Nm 3.6-litre V6 option and — naturally — 6.2-litre LT1 V8 version with 339kW/617Nm.
The Camaro SS will be offered with magnetic ride control for the first time. In the current-generation Camaro, magnetic ride control is only available in the high-performance ZL1 model.
All engine options are equipped with a six-speed manual as standard, with down-shift rev-matching fitted to the V8’s gearbox. There are two different eight-speed automatic transmissions (8L90 in the V8 and the 8L45 for the others) offered as an option in all variants.
In the four-cylinder Camaro, engine sound can be amplified via the optional Bose sound system. V6 and V8 models come fitted with mechanical sound resonators that direct engine noise into the cabin, as well as a dual-mode exhaust that can be set to bypass the mufflers.
Thanks to a lighter body and weight saving measures elsewhere, such as an aluminium instrument panel and front suspension, the new Camaro is claimed to be around 90 kilograms lighter than the outgoing model.
The new Camaro measures 4784mm long, 1897mm wide, 1348mm tall and sits on a 2811mm wheelbase. Compared to the fifth-gen car, the sixth-gen Camaro is 57mm shorter overall, 20mm narrower, has a roofline that’s 28mm closer to the ground and rides on a wheelbase that’s 41mm shorter.
Available tech features include LED tail-lights and daytime driving lights, a MyLink infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen and an 8.0-inch instrument panel display, an electronic parking brake, drive mode selector, and interior LED ambient lighting that can be switched between 24 available colours.
Did you have high hopes we’d see a Holden Camaro? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.