Return Of The Camaro

Written by tonks on January 17, 2007

2008 CamaroCombining dramatic design and exciting performance, the Chevrolet Camaro Concept recaptures the essence of one of the most popular sport coupes of all time and redefines the Camaro for new generations of fans.

The Camaro Concept embodies the performance and passion that have made first-generation Camaros some of the most sought-after collector vehicles, updating the formula with a fuel-efficient powertrain, sophisticated chassis and contemporary design execution. The goal is to make the sport coupe relevant to younger enthusiasts while retaining its appeal to its current fans.

The long hood, short deck and wide stance of the Camaro Concept leave no doubt that it is a serious performance car. Those looks are backed up by a 400-horsepower aluminum small-bock V-8, a six-speed manual transmission, and a sophisticated chassis with four-wheel independent suspension.

Though only a show car at this point, the Camaro Concept is intended to explore customer reaction to design and engineering elements that might lead to an all-new version of the Camaro. After the Camaro went out of production in 2002, Chevy faithful immediately began creating rumors of its eventual return.

Just as the success of the original Mustang spawned a cadre of pony-car imitators, sales of the retro-styled Mustang have generated quite a bit of interest in the segment. Detroit was host to two Mustang competitors, the Dodge Challenger and the Camaro.

Unlike the modern Camaro that bowed out in 2002, the concept Camaro is a car that is clearly inspired by the Camaros of the late 1960s. But the retro look is only skin-deep, as the Camaro has a fully independent suspension, a six-speed manual, and a 400-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation-now known as active fuel management in GM-speak.

Because of Camaro’s powerful heritage, the GM Design team chose a theme that pays homage to the original Camaro, while being instantly recognizable as an all-new car. Said Bob Boniface, director of the Warren Advanced Design Studio, “The fact that the Camaro has been out of production for a number of years made it particularly important that the Camaro Concept honors the Camaro heritage in the right way.

The 1969 Camaro, considered by many to be the best first-generation design, was a significant inspiration. But as GM design teams in Warren, Mich., worked on alternatives for the Camaro Concept, they also turned to the latest Corvette and to aircraft like the YF-22, seeking a design that encompasses the spirit that made the 1969 Camaro great, but interprets that spirit in a fresh, exciting way.

The overall proportions, long hood and powerful fender forms say, ‘This is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive performance vehicle,’ ” said Tom Peters, design director, rear-wheel drive performance cars. The cockpit of the Camaro nestles between sharply defined fender forms, a design element inspired by fighter planes and the new Corvette.

And like any high-performance vehicle, the clean, purposeful design is integral to the aesthetic. “The Camaro Concept isn’t just a styled shape,” said Peters. “The design incorporates what the vehicle needs to perform to its optimum level.

The same purposeful design is reflected in the interior of the Camaro Concept. The gauges and splash of orange trim hint at classic first-generation Camaros, but the overall design and execution reflect the no-nonsense functionality that drivers expect from a high-performance Chevrolet sports car.

Posted Under: Supercars

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