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Thread: Report: Camaro and Corvette for Oz

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    Senior Member DoctorCleveland's Avatar
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    Report: Camaro and Corvette for Oz

    Exclusive: Camaro and Corvette for Oz
    Motoring.com.au
    Bruce Newton and Marton Pettendy
    July 25th, 2017

    Iconic American muscle-car and supercar to pick up where V8 Commodores leave off

    Holden V8 fans rejoice: General Motors looks likely to offer not one but two big-bore performance coupes Down Under after the homegrown Commodore SS is killed off this year.

    After years of being denied official access to Chevroletís brawny Camaro muscle-car and iconic Corvette supercar, Australians should eventually be able to purchase both American sports cars from their local Holden dealer.

    While next yearís all-new, mid-engined Corvette is expected to come here thanks to a factory right-hand drive program, the arrival of the Camaro is being driven by Holden Special Vehicles owner, the Walkinshaw Group.

    Facing the loss of HSVís primary income stream when Holdenís locally-developed and manufactured Commodore ceases production in October, Walkinshaw Group boss Ryan Walkinshaw and his chief lieutenant HSV boss Tim Jackson have doubled down on their efforts to gain GM backing for an Australian right-hand drive Camaro conversion project.

    GM global development boss, former Holden chief Mark Reuss, is said to be a fan of the project. Holden is aware of the plan and has given it tacit approval, if not any strong support.

    News of the Camaro deal has emerged from HSV and Holden dealers, giving them a boost with the next imported Commodore to eschew both V8 and rear-wheel drive.

    Although HSV is refusing to comment on the V8 offensive, an official announcement is expected within weeks.

    Holden spokesperson Sean Poppitt told motoring.com.au cryptically: ďThereís plenty of exciting products, including the top-secret sports-car, coming at us but Iím not in a position to comment.Ē

    The Corvette fulfills a Ďpromiseí made to Holden enthusiasts that the company would offer a V8 rear-drive model in the long term. Converting Camaro, on the other hand, is part of a wide-reaching Walkinshaw Group plan to keep its GM and Holden relationship profitable and healthy and the HSV badge relevant.

    HSV is also working on a Colorado in the same vein as the ZR2 high-performance off-roader thatís been revealed in the USA this year.

    Itís also planning some mild upgrades to the imported 2018 Commodore and is said to be checking out the Chevy Silverado pick-up as another local RHD candidate alongside the Camaro and its ASV RAM conversion business.

    According to motoring.com.au sources, the Camaro plan is focused on a sub-$90,000 entry-price for a high-spec version of the Camaro SS coupe.

    Also available as a convertible in the US, Chevrolet's Camaro SS is currently powered not by the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 found the last of Holdenís Australian-made SS Commodores, but by GM's newer direct-injection 6.2 LT1 V8 from the C7 Corvette Stingray, featuring variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management.

    That circa-$88K price tag is a lot more than the $57,490 entry price of a Ford Mustang GT V8 coupe and about $33,000 more than the soon-to-be-defunct Commodore performance flagship, the SS-V Redline.

    But this will be the cheapest V8 option on offer for GM fans post-October, after which the German-made Commodore line-up will be topped by a 235kW/381Nm V6 all-wheel drive model called the VXR.

    The Camaro will also seriously undercut the ĎC8í Corvette, which is expected to be priced at around $200,000 when it turns up in Australia.

    So why canít Walkinshaw match the Mustang on price? Economy of scale is one thing. The Mustang is built in right-hand drive in the US factory and exported globally to RHD markets.

    Itís proved a massive success in Australia, giving Ford performance fans a replacement for the Falcon and easily leading the local sports-car market with 5048 sold so far in 2017 (YTD June).

    GM, Holden and HSV have all watched on with a mix of jealousy and puzzlement at Fordís success, unable to figure out how the Mustang program can make money.

    GM and Holdenís inability to make the sums add up has presented the opportunity to Walkinshaw Group, which prides itself on its ability to extract maximum bang from its engineering and design buck.

    Walkinshaw Group intends to convert the sixth-generation Camaro locally at the new facility it will soon move into in Clayton, utilising the expertise it has garnered from its RAM pick-up program, allied with its GM product knowledge.

    Official backing from GM is critical to the business case for conversion of Camaro as it will mean a discounted purchase price for the car for Walkinshaw.

    Otherwise it would have to buy them from US dealers and sell a handful for $140,000-plus, as Queensland converter Performax and others did with the previous, Zeta-generation Camaro, and other converters currently do with both the Camaro and Corvette.

    Motoring.com.au believes the conversion process will be based on the facelifted MY19 Camaro that we scooped in June.

    As well as the Camaro SS, Walkinshaw may also convert the supercharged 6.2-litre ZL1 and also offer the 1LE track pack.

    Thereís chat of the legendary Z/28 badge making a comeback at the midlife update and that surely would be a motza for RHD.

    Itís a similar story for the eighth-generation Corvette, the design of which is currently being overseen by Australian, Mike Simcoe.

    The first mid-engined and first global Corvette, the C8 is also due on sale in the US late next year as a 2019 model.

    Like the Camaro, that makes the Corvette likely to be available here within two years, which would see Holden keep its promise that a new V8 sports car will be among 24 new models released between 2015 and 2020.
    "I'm a pretty proud driver of the Ford Falcon." - Mark Winterbottom.

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    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    If i had a dollar for everytime this story's been floated......



    That said, the Walkinshaw conversion is likely to happen.

    $100K Da is a lot of money for a Redline spec Camaro though.....
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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    Validated User Road_Warrior's Avatar
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    "Coulda, woulda, shoulda"
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    James. defective's Avatar
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    Walkinfosure already do the ram trucks don't they?
    Instead of looking at the success of mustang they should go back in history a bit and see why the Tickford mustang failed...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Falc'man View Post
    In the words of a wise man: if you don't read the papers you're uninformed, if you do read the papers you're misinformed.

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    Validated User WASP's Avatar
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    Both Ford and GM are in transitional phases of having products people want over here, but there is no doubt that they will find their feet eventually.
    Lifetime proud Ford Falcon enthusiast and owner of the following models XR, XY, XB, XC, XD, EB, AU, BA and FG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WASP View Post
    Both Ford and GM are in transitional phases of having products people want over here, but there is no doubt that they will find their feet eventually.
    but in the meantime, GM enthusiasts will have to dig a little deeper into their finances...

    That's the way it goes until the factory supports what you want and then the fans line up and buy.
    RHD Mustang was that big of a deal, it made the impossible possible for so many buyers.

    I hope Ford acts on the strong response to this Mustang by doubling down on the 2018 model
    instead of this lunacy of not having anything to sell in the first half of next year.

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    I Bleed Blue Elks's Avatar
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    Being launched simultaneously with Cadillac. On the 12th of never
    As a Pink Floyd fan I get mad when I see vegans eating pudding.

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    I wonder how all those Holden fans feel about this news,a re they as embracing of Camaro and Corvette
    as Ford fans have been of the Mustang and is this a case of HSV mind over matter instead of good sense?

  14. #9
    Validated User Randel's Avatar
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    Have Ford fans really embraced Mustang yet? I think some have, i think the others may come around eventually?

  15. #10
    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randel View Post
    Have Ford fans really embraced Mustang yet? I think some have, i think the others may come around eventually?
    It will never have the broad appeal of performance Falcon, but it has been embraced and reached a new demographic.

    500 sales a month is VERY good for a Coupe.
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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