Saturday, August 12, 2006

Camaro to roar back by 2008

News bulletin
Camaro to roar back by 2008
GM to announce Chevy going from concept to streets
August 5, 2006

It's really happening: The Chevy Camaro is coming back as a production car, the Free Press has learned.

General Motors Corp. Chairman Rick Wagoner is expected to announce the resurrection of the legendary muscle car in a speech Thursday to an automotive conference in Traverse City.

The auto industry has been buzzing with speculation about GM's plans for the Camaro ever since the carmaker wowed the crowds at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in January with a stunning 400-horsepower concept. At a time when truck and SUV sales are softening and car sales are regaining momentum, a sexy new entry could give GM's entire passenger-car line a boost.

The production version could be built as early as 2008 and will offer three engines, a V-6 and two V-8s, according to people familiar with the plans.

GM spokesman Steve Harris would not comment Friday on plans for the Camaro, but other sources told the Free Press that GM's top management and board of directors have green-lighted the car.

The Camaro was introduced in 1966 as the answer to the Ford Mustang, and it prowled America's streets and drag strips until production ended in 2002.

Like the concept, the production Camaro will be based on GM's new Zeta global architecture for rear-wheel-drive cars, expected to form the basis for several big, powerful sedans and coupes to be introduced over the next few years.

It was unclear last week where GM intends to build the Camaro. Speculation in the automotive press has centered on assembly plants in Oshawa, Ontario, and Wilmington, Del.

Other unanswered questions are sure to keep the buzz going even after Wagoner's announcement:

How many people will buy a Camaro in the age of $3.15-per-gallon gasoline?

What will it cost?

And what about bringing back the Pontiac Firebird/TransAm?

Contact TOM WALSH at 313-223-4430 or

Copyright © 2006 Detroit Free Press Inc.


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