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Little rumors of a possible new Camaro... :cool:

Autoweek said:
Mustang success motivating GM engineers, reviving talk of Camaro, performance chief says

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
Posted Date: 8/5/05

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- The continued success of Ford’s red-hot Mustang is being noticed at General Motors. There has been talk reviving the Chevrolet Camaro as a competitor to Ford’s pony car.

Mark Reuss, GM’s executive director of vehicle architecture and Performance Division, says his engineers are looking to develop a low-cost rear-wheel drive platform that makes good business sense. Reuss spoke to Automotive News staff reporter Richard Truett at the Management Briefing Seminars.

In light of the success of Ford’s new Mustang, has there been any rethinking of plans to bring back the Camaro or some other competitive car?

Yeah, absolutely. It’s not going unnoticed for sure. I think Ford did a great job with the Mustang, and you really have to look at it as a portfolio of cars. They have everything (in price) from the mid 20s up to 40s on that. They’ve done a nice job. And you have to pay attention to that. For many, many years it was SUVs and four doors. I think the market goes back and forth on a lot of this stuff. I think a coupe with a really great package is a great thing to have. The Pontiac GTO right now is filling our niche in the upper end of the Mustang portfolio. But as we go through time, we look at how do we participate?

The rear-wheel-drive program GM was working on, is it killed, frozen or just not on the front burner?

We would like to have a low-cost, rear-wheel platform in our portfolio, but business is very tough right now. You have to look at that and ask how do we do this on a very profitable basis? We have more brands than just the Ford brand. We are trying to make intelligent decisions on how you do a rear-wheel-drive platform for a couple more brands than a one-branded Ford deal. I think Ford has said the Mustang is the main brand but we are going to do Cobras and all these sub-brands that get us into the higher end. We are probably going to do things that have more brand exposure potentially on a low-cost, rear-drive architecture. Sometimes it gets a little dangerous, quite frankly, about who talks about what and what that person in the media writes about it. Like there is some sort of revelation that we are canceling something or starting something. Quite frankly this is a journey we are on all the time.

Does “low cost” rule out using the Cadillac CTS platform?

Well, I don’t know. If you look at the CTS, you have to look at the good things, such as the straight frame barrels on the front that are very efficient for crush and very stiff for vehicle dynamics. We have an short- and long-arm front suspension and a multi-link rear and those … inherently perform very, very well. There are some cost issues compared to a strut suspension. But the geometry and components that you have in a short- and long-arm architecture could change to make a low-cost rear-wheel-drive architecture. We also have aluminum components. We have some pretty expensive materials in there. There are a lot of different ways to get costs down. Right now we are trying to look at what the portfolio looks like for the next 20 years. What are the things we want to do with it? I don’t think the know-how is lacking. It’s specifically, what do we want to do with it over the next 10 years and then making an efficient business decision to address those needs.

Is the CTS a good size to launch other vehicles off?

We have two different widths, one for rear-wheel drive, one for all-wheel drive. We’ve got a long wheelbase version for China. So there’s a lot of wheelbase flexibility there.

Since the Holden Monaro is going out of production, is there pressure to come up with the next rear-wheel-drive architecture?

It’s not really an initiative as much as it is part of doing the business. We are looking at this stuff all the time. When we are ready to make decisions around what we are going to do there it is going to be a lot of where we want to put the car performance-wise, price-wise and brand-wise. Then we will go from there. That’s kind of how we are approaching it. This is an ongoing thing.

What makes the Pontiac Solstice so special that buyers are lining up for it?

The soul of this car is four-cylinder, 20,000 bucks and low-volume.

How would a GXP version of the Solstice be configured, with a supercharger?

Probably not. If wanted to do something we probably would look more globally on how we want to charge the engine. We could use a turbocharger.

What else is the Performance Division working on?

We are actually doing some things for mainline vehicles, such as uplevel engines and with packaging and execution, things we have not been asked to do in the past. I’m launching the Cadillac XLR-V and STS-V, and Chevrolet Trailblazer SS right now. We are spending a lot of time on those launches making sure those cars are right.

Beyond the engines in the XLR-V and STS-V, will the performance division get any engines out of the new Performance Build Center, where engines are made by hand?

Oh yeah, I think so.
http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=102918
 

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I don't understand why GM can't come up with a low cost rear wheel drive! I took a look under my Dodge Magnum (just a v6, relax). The rear suspension is Independant, however just a bunch of stamped steel control arms. Pretty cheap looking. That system can handle the R/T's 350HP (or so) and the SRT (425hp)...and NOT ONE OF THE CAR MAGs complain about it.

Also, why not keep the live rear axle (solid)...just like the new mustang? If they want a low $20's sports car...no one is going to complain about the axle.

Also, why not use the last uni-body suspension from the Camaro/Firebird? Save some money, add a few aluminum parts to lighten it up a bit.

Also, if I don't fit in the Solstice...the Camaro/GTO convertible is an option...albeit 2009/2010...it will be a long wait. Of course, I don't have my Solstice yet either.

RadRiv
 

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What a piece of %$%#&*. I've read it twice and nothing there is more than a "definite maybe".
 

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RADRIV said:
...Also, why not keep the live rear axle (solid)...just like the new mustang? If they want a low $20's sports car...no one is going to complain about the axle....
I think the old Camaro/Firebird rear suspension geometry was one of the worst freakin' designs.... I'd complain.

Anyone who has pushed an F-car on a closed course has encountered the dreaded "brake hop". I broke a friend's car because of it. Went to full braking after high speed straight and prior to corner entry, the rear axle started hopping so FU*&!NG hard I had trouble seeing... only problem was once the axle starts to hop, the only solution is to come out of braking and "gently" enter braking.

Only I didn't know that. So I get out of brakes, corner coming up, I slam the brakes again, MORE hop:

B-B-B-B-B-B-BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG...!!!!!

By now I'm thinking, "oh well, I guess I'll be a bit off line... hey, this thing ain't stopping as quickly as I need... well, I'll be deeper in the corner... well, there goes the corner, maybe I can add a bit of steer... nope, bad move, maybe I can aim for the gravel trap... NOPE... OH CRAP... MAYBE I CAN HIT THE SOFT PART OF THE ARMCO.............."

The good news is when I left the track, the axle hop stopped. The bad news is GRASS IS NOT A GOOD TRACTION SURFACE.

Thank goodness I went in pretty much straight. Two nice 2 1/2" bruises from my shoulders to the middle of my abdomen. I walked away with nothing more than that.

Hard to explain that stuff to people when you show up on the beach a day or two later.

Once I got back to the pit, I started swearing about something loose in the rear, my friend told me "nope, pretty much all the F-cars do it. Forgot to tell you, if you brake too hard, the axle starts hopping - you got to sneak up to the threshold braking, but not go over. Everyone in A-Sedan has tried to tune it out, we all drive around it..."

I found out (though never experienced it myself) that supposedly the Mustang people also get it, though not as bad. I've also heard anectdotes of people "tuning" it out of the F-car, but in the two cases I've seen, one was not effective and the other turned out to have used a lower friction brake pad - making the brakes artifically front-biased.
 

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LBJay said:
What a piece of %$%#&*. I've read it twice and nothing there is more than a "definite maybe".
LBJay,

There is confirmation that a Camaro concept will debut at the 2006 NAIAS in Detroit.

Check out GMinsidenews.com.

and take a chill pill...

RadRiv :)
 

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RADRIV said:
LBJay,

There is confirmation that a Camaro concept will debut at the 2006 NAIAS in Detroit.
Yea, for production in 2009 or 2010 (maybe, if the market doesn't change by then and gas prices aren't $6 a gallon).
 

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RADRIV said:
I don't understand why GM can't come up with a low cost rear wheel drive! I took a look under my Dodge Magnum (just a v6, relax). The rear suspension is Independant, however just a bunch of stamped steel control arms. Pretty cheap looking. That system can handle the R/T's 350HP (or so) and the SRT (425hp)...and NOT ONE OF THE CAR MAGs complain about it.

Also, why not keep the live rear axle (solid)...just like the new mustang? If they want a low $20's sports car...no one is going to complain about the axle.

Also, why not use the last uni-body suspension from the Camaro/Firebird? Save some money, add a few aluminum parts to lighten it up a bit.

Also, if I don't fit in the Solstice...the Camaro/GTO convertible is an option...albeit 2009/2010...it will be a long wait. Of course, I don't have my Solstice yet either.

RadRiv
The Magnum/300/Charger platform is cheap for Chrysler because it is heavily based on the last generation Mercedes E class platform, so a lot of the engineering expenses for the platform have already been paid for long ago. It is basically a win-win situationf ro DCX, since they get more mileage out of an expensive luxury car platform, and can offer a higher quality platform at a lower price under the Chrysler brands.

I would think GM could do something like this with Sigma, but maybe Sigma is still too new for them to realize the savings they want to for it to make a strong business case.

Ford also had an advantage with the Mustang, since they borrowed a lot of expertise from the Lincoln/Jag Dew198 platform. Now, the 'Stang is not ont he exact same platform, but they borrowed a lot of the engineering already done for those vehicles which helped reduce costs too.



As for GM, I think they are up to something. They keep talking about staying with a low cost RWD program, maybe reviving Camaro, admiring Ford and Chrysler's RWD cars, etc etc. GM is up to something. It's only a matter of time before it gets leaked out, since GM is not good at keeping product secrets.

Maybe there will be something at Detroit in January.
 

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A Camaro in '09 or '10 is probably too late for me. By then I'll have lots of miles on my Sol.

I kinda wonder why the Camaro replacement isn't further along. If I were in product planning at GM, the Camaro nameplate is one that I'd want to keep in the marketplace.
 

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GM has a great little rwd platform and doesn't even know it. Look under the Colorado pickup, why not use that architecture to build rwd cars. The would definitely be tough, but for some, unfortunately body-on-frame and not unibody.
 

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f88 is right. GM is up to something. They keep beating the Camaro drum every few months now. I think they are trying to get Ford and Dodge to tip their hats at future plans. I would think that a midsized RWD platform could easily carry a Chevelle/Camaro, G8/GTO, and a Buick at a major cost saving to GM. If they can make a Kappa in two years, they can make another RWD in three. :yesnod:
 

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The soul of this car is four-cylinder, 20,000 bucks and low-volume.
How WRONG can you be!!! The soul of this car is gorgeous, 20,000 bucks and fun. Low volume and 4-banger have little or nothing to do with the sales success. The Miata was not exactly low volume. The Z3 had a 6-cylinder.

Not trying to slam the guy for making an off-the-cuff remark during an interview, but it is so blatantly obvious that the looks, price and fun of this car are what makes it a Grand Slam homerun of a hit. Low volume and 4 cylinders are not even in the equation. :rolleyes:

mceb - Good post!
 

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I gotta agree with Stang. I can't believe that GM is that out of touch to have not realized the Mustang would be a terrific seller untill now. It stayed truer to its muscle car roots in many ways than the recent Camaro/Firebird so that helps. I sure hope GM is well underway developing a Chevelle-ish/Camaro RWD platform that can be again shared across a number of car lines. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to buying a new Solstice or Sky.
 
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