General Motors Corp. may decide whether to build a production version of its Chevrolet Camaro Concept car by year's end.
“I think (GM has) to come to some resolution soon; I would imagine sometime this year,” Tom Peters, director-global rear-wheel-drive performance vehicles, tells Ward's during a test drive of the concept GM's proving ground in Milford, MI.
The decision to produce a version of the concept car, which bowed to much fanfare at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, has been a hot topic inside and outside GM.
In order to compete with the Ford Mustang, which would be its primary rival, Peters says the new Camaro would need to be priced in the low-$20,000 range for a base V-6 model and up to about $30,000 for a fully loaded version.
The car most likely would offer both a V-6 or V-8 engine and either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission, he says, adding a convertible version would be “a natural assumption.”
The Camaro Concept is based on GM's Zeta architecture, which initially was engineered by GM Holden Ltd. in Australia for its Commodore sedan.
The platform, which uses an independent rear suspension, suggests a Camaro production version would feature the same setup. However, to compete with the Mustang, which has a simpler and cheaper live rear-axle suspension, Peters says something would need to change.
“There is a lot of discussion around (going to a live rear axle), because there's a camp that prefers the solid axle, more the drag-race/hot-rod guys, which the Camaro is about,” he says.
“But the road guys want the independent rear suspension. Obviously, the global rear-wheel drive is (an) independent rear. I think if you could do both, that would be the way I would go. But we'll wait and see.” GM killed off the previous-generation Camaro in 2002.