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Thread: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

  1. #21
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    yes, there were lots of 6-cyl camaros
    none of them wore a Z28 or SS badge (afaik)
    That's true. But Chevy has built six-cylinder/non-V-8 SS versions of other cars. And there's the previously mentioned (and very successful) V-6 Turbo Trans-Am.

    I see no reason why the Z28 has to be V-8 powered. "Z28" doesn't mean "V-8." The name was originally just an RPO (regular production option) for the 1967 Camaro, just like the Z51 handling package for the Corvette.

    I'd much rather see a successful turbo direct injection V-6 Z28 (or SS) than an unsuccessful V-8 Z28. For more than one reason (better gas mileage) too. If the '09 Camaro flops - that will be the end of it, permanently. GM will not try again - and the car will cease to exist forever.





  2. #22

    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    again, power isnt the point
    the camaro was brought back because there was a line of camaro enthusiasts clamoring for it
    they want the v-8 (at least, from what I've seen on all the different message boards I'm on)
    remove the V-8 option - even if you replace it with a turbo-6 - and you remove all those customers
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  3. #23
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    again, power isnt the point
    the camaro was brought back because there was a line of camaro enthusiasts clamoring for it
    they want the v-8 (at least, from what I've seen on all the different message boards I'm on)
    remove the V-8 option - even if you replace it with a turbo-6 - and you remove all those customers
    Well, dig into who these "Camaro enthusiasts" are. The important question isn't who is enthusiastic about Camaro; that includes a lot of people. The question is, who will put up coin and buy one? There are basically two groups:

    First, aging Baby Boomers (and some Gen X) who remember/owned earlier Camaros and are nostalgic for it;
    Second, performance/enthusiast "sport car" buyers - across the age range

    The first group has the money to buy Camaro - and to afford the gas. But they are relatively few in number. Not enough, probably, to sustain the car for more than the first year or two (because the market gets saturated).

    The second group is the sweet spot - where the money is, not just the first year out but in terms of sustainable sales volume over a period of several years. They, however, are younger and earn less and for the most part have to care very much about gas mileage. And - they are by no means wed to the V-8. (If that were not true, cars like the Mitsu EVO, Soobie WRX and every other FWD/AWD, four-cylinder sport compact would not have made it, either).

    My point here is that GM is foolish not to make the Camaro more appealing to a wider audiience - by making it in touch with current (and future) economic/market realities....

    Going by boards and focus group has gotten GM (and other makers) in trouble before...



  4. #24
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    If GM were to do something like bring out the Z28 with a V8 first, and then add the boosted V6 as the hi-po motor later, that would just get them in deeper trouble.

    If they were smart, they'd introduce the car with the turbo, sell it for a year or two, and then add the V8 as an option for those with deep pockets.

    That way, the mass market (who can afford the car but not the v8), get their high performance coupe, and aren't saddled with a bad reputation as having the 'junior' motor. And they have the V8 to aspire to.

    I think this is a rule of auto marketing -- always have a more-expensive version of the car that the mass market cannot afford, but wishes they could.

    Chip H.

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  5. #25
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    If GM were to do something like bring out the Z28 with a V8 first, and then add the boosted V6 as the hi-po motor later, that would just get them in deeper trouble.

    If they were smart, they'd introduce the car with the turbo, sell it for a year or two, and then add the V8 as an option for those with deep pockets.

    That way, the mass market (who can afford the car but not the v8), get their high performance coupe, and aren't saddled with a bad reputation as having the 'junior' motor. And they have the V8 to aspire to.

    I think this is a rule of auto marketing -- always have a more-expensive version of the car that the mass market cannot afford, but wishes they could.

    Chip H.
    Yep, that would be the smart way to go.

    But it seems clear GM is going to Don Quixote it up, as it so always does....

    Even leaving aside the issue of $5 per gallon fuel, the other thing that has been hurting sales of cars like this (including Mustang) is that asking prices themselves have just become too high. It was a big problem with the 4th gen. cars, which were cancelled after 2002. A typical transaction price for a 2002 Z28 was well into the $30k range.

    For the people who are the typical target audience for muscle cars (young, single males - most of whom have annual incomes of $60k or less) that effectively prices them out of the market. And the older guys (Camaros are bought by males overwhelmingly) who can comfortably afford one have mostly grown out of cars like Camaro. They want something less juvenile - and if they have a family, more practical.

    I stand by my basic argument - which is that GM is stupid to keep on trying to recreate a type of car that depends for its success on a world that doesn't exist anymore... .

    I say this a someone who personally loves traditional muscle cars and who is a huge fan of big V-8s and RWD and macho styling, etc. But I'm also a realist - and reality, in my opinion, has changed a lot since the '60s and '70s (high water mark for the muscle car).





  6. #26

    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    frankly, I think the only decade worse for muscle cars than the 70's was the 80's, but that's another argument entirely
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  7. #27
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    frankly, I think the only decade worse for muscle cars than the 70's was the 80's, but that's another argument entirely
    Well, the '70s (and '80s) were among the best years ever for Camaro and Firebird. Better than the '60s, in fact. In the late '70s, for example, GM was selling more than 250,000 of them annually. To put that in perspective, in 2002, GM only sold about 35,000 Camaros and Firebirds... combined.

    You're too young to remember the early-mid 1980s - but this was another golden age for muscle cars - from the 5.0 Mustang GT and LX to the IROC-Z Camaro and Trans-Am GTA and Formula to the Regal Grand National and Monte Carlo SS to the Pontiac Aerocoupe to the Hurst Olds and 442. In fact, only the 1960s compare, in terms of the number of different models - and the huge annual sales volume. It was a great time.... sorry you missed it! ;D

    Part of the reason for the success of these cars, incidentally, was that gas was cheaper than bottled water - Imagine being able to fill a 20 gallon tank for under $25.00 - and the cars themselves very affordable, too. No BS price-inflating government mandated saaaaaaaafety equipment. Or at least, a lot less of it. For example, no god-damned air bags, which by itself cut the cost of the cars by at least $1,000-$2,000 or more.

    Also, the whole "sport compact" segment hadn't developed yet - there were only a few credible import performance cars - so the competitive pressure the '70s and '80s-era muscle cars faced was much less intense than it is today, when buyers can choose from a dozen high-performance (and high efficiency) sedans and wagons that offer things like AWD - as well as usable back seats - along with decent gas mileage, too,



  8. #28

    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    lol, you're thinking from a different perspective
    sales and available numbers of models may have been "great" but the actual cars themselves were..... *shudders*
    some of the ugliest cars ever put on the road (and in the 80's, some of the ugliest AND slowest)
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  9. #29
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    lol, you're thinking from a different perspective
    sales and available numbers of models may have been "great" but the actual cars themselves were..... *shudders*
    some of the ugliest cars ever put on the road (and in the 80's, some of the ugliest AND slowest)
    Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people (literally) felt otherwise; these cars sold phenomenally well - and not just "flash in the pan" but consistently, for many years. You may not be a fan of the second gen. Camaro or Firebird - and I get that - but the bottom line is these cars were much more successful than the first generation versions - and the sales disaster that was the fourth generation versions, too (by orders of magnitude). The third gen. cars were also monster hits. Again, you are too young to remember - but ask anyone who was around at the time and they'll tell you: These cars were everywhere. Other '80s muscle cars like the Mustang 5.0 - which was inexpensive, loads of fun and dirt cheap to hop-up -unlike the new car with its elaborate OHC engine - were also home runs with the buying public.

    Isn't the only important perspective, ultimately, whether the car sells?

    And your comment about the '80s cars being slow is just flat wrong. No offense, but you clearly don't know much about the performance capability of cars like the Regal GN and Mustang 5.0 and others cars of the era - no doubt because you were just a small kid. However, these cars were impressive performers. Stone stock cars like the 5.0 LX and Regal GN were low 14 second (and even high 13 second cars) which is still quick, even by today's standards. Lightly modded, a GN was capable of 12 second quarters - about as quick as a new Z06 Corvette. 5.0 Mustangs were also very easy to make very quick - easy high 12s with minimal mods. TPI IROC Camaros and Trans-Ams (and Formula Firebirds with the 350 and even the 305 TPI V-8) were also far from being the "slowest" anything.

    Remember: The cars of this era were considerably lighter than current performance cars - so 300 hp was a big deal and gave great performance.

    You may be thinking of some of the late '70s and very early '80s ('80-'81) F-cars, such as the 403 and 301 Firebird and Trans Am and the 350/305 Camaro and Z28. In stock form, these cars were slow. However, the same car (Firebird) with the W72 400 V-8 was a quick car, stock - and could be made very quick with just afew cheap and easy mods....



  10. #30
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Probably the first performance coupe from Japan was either the Toyota Supra, or the Mitsubishi Starion.

    I'm not counting the Toyota GT 2000, as that was very limited production, and I don't think was ever officially imported into the US.
    (You can see one in the James Bond flick: You Only Live Twice)

    Chip H.


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  11. #31
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "Don't forget that today's V6 Mustang makes as much power as the V8 "5.0" Mustangs of the 80's did, and drinks less gas.
    And that's without any added boost."

    An excellent point!
    But the 5.0 Mustangs could be tuned VERY easily and cheaply for a lot more power. Even the fuel injected ones. Perhaps especially the fuel injected ones.


  12. #32
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Probably the first performance coupe from Japan was either the Toyota Supra, or the Mitsubishi Starion.

    I'm not counting the Toyota GT 2000, as that was very limited production, and I don't think was ever officially imported into the US.
    (You can see one in the James Bond flick: You Only Live Twice)

    Chip H.

    yep - and there were also a few US-branded but Japanese-sourced performance "boxes" like the Dodge Omni GLH-S ...

  13. #33
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "Don't forget that today's V6 Mustang makes as much power as the V8 "5.0" Mustangs of the 80's did, and drinks less gas.
    And that's without any added boost."

    An excellent point!
    But the 5.0 Mustangs could be tuned VERY easily and cheaply for a lot more power. Even the fuel injected ones. Perhaps especially the fuel injected ones.

    Absolutely - but the point remains that as far as stock power output, the current V-6 is not too far off the pace of the '80s-era 5.0 and surely could be tweaked for more (for example, the Taurus uses a V-6 that develops 260 hp, which is significantly more than the old 5.0).

    However, Mustag is a unique case because its appeal transcends age, sex and income. Women like it as much as men do; you see older people driving one as often as you do younger ones. The car has a huge following - and thus, a more stable buyer base.

    One of the many problems GM will have with Camaro is that its appeal ismuch more narrowly confined - and its base is much smaller. For openers, it is mostly a man's car - and a younger man's car. People over 40 rarely bought them. Women almost never (esp. the 4th gen. cars). And the car has been off the market for nearly 7 years now, during which time an entire generation of potential buyers (people who went through high school/college) have been lost. GM made a probably fatal error by cancelling the car in '02. Had GM instead come out with the car that's pending for next year back in 2003, its odds of survival would have been vastly better - perhaps enough to ride out the current fuel crisis and downturn in the economy.

    But now?

    Forget it....



  14. #34
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Problem with the new V6 Mustang is it is a few 100 pounds heavier than a loaded fox bodied Mustang GT. The new Mustang's 210 horsepower V6 may be close to the old 205 - 225 horsepower 5.0 liter FI HO however it's torque is a lot less. The 5.0 liter HO pulls hard you would have to put a decent turbo or supercharger to get the V6 to pull as hard as the old 5.0 liter FI HO.

    Which one would you rather have:

    2008 Mustang 4.0 liter V6 - 210 horsepower, 240 lbs/ft of torque @3,500 rpm.

    1987 Mustang GT 5.0 liter HO - 225 horsepower, 300 lbs/ft of torque.

    60 more lbs/ft of torque is a big difference in the real world.

  15. #35
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Problem with the new V6 Mustang is it is a few 100 pounds heavier than a loaded fox bodied Mustang GT. The new Mustang's 210 horsepower V6 may be close to the old 205 - 225 horsepower 5.0 liter FI HO however it's torque is a lot less. The 5.0 liter HO pulls hard you would have to put a decent turbo or supercharger to get the V6 to pull as hard as the old 5.0 liter FI HO.

    The 2008 Mustang 4.0 liter V6 - 210 horsepower, 240 lbs/ft of torque @3,500 rpm.
    Excellent point; virtually all new performance cars are heavy relative to the performance cars of the recent past. For example, the first third gen. F-cars (1982) were something like 400 pounds lighter than the '81 F-cars (and the subsequent, 4th gen. F-cars) which is why GM could offer a 4-cylinder engine in the base '82 cars....

    Same problem with the pending '09 Camaro. It is way too heavy. So it will need a big V-6 for the base car and a big V-8 for the performance version... .

    If it were light enough to offer a four in the base car (or a small V-6 in the 2.8 liter range) it would be a lot more attractive to buyers in this world of $5 per gallon fuel we're going to be dealing with...

  16. #36
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Not to mention as I added to my last post the '87 Mustang GT 5.0 liter HO (torque: 300 lbs/ft) makes 60 lbs/ft of torque than the new V6 Mustang (torque: 240 lbs/ft).

    Torque makes a big big big difference. For instance the current 330 - 345 horsepower 5.7 liter Hemi makes about the same horsepower as the Corvette/GTO 5.7 liter LS1 345 - 350. However the Hemi feels much stronger (and pulls harder) since the LS1 in the C5 Corvette produced about 350 lbs/ft of torque vs. the 5.7 liter Hemi's 375 - 390 lbs/ft of torque. The Hemi (a small block) feels more like a big block motor than the LS1 because of having a lot more torque.

  17. #37
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Not to mention as I added to my last post the '87 Mustang GT 5.0 liter HO (torque: 300 lbs/ft) makes 60 lbs/ft of torque than the new V6 Mustang (torque: 240 lbs/ft).

    Torque makes a big big big difference. For instance the current 330 - 345 horsepower 5.7 liter Hemi makes about the same horsepower as the Corvette/GTO 5.7 liter LS1 345 - 350. However the Hemi feels much stronger (and pulls harder) since the LS1 in the C5 Corvette produced about 350 lbs/ft of torque vs. the 5.7 liter Hemi's 375 - 390 lbs/ft of torque. The Hemi (a small block) feels more like a big block motor than the LS1 because of having a lot more torque.
    Another very good point!

    My Trans-Am's 455 doesn't produce anything close to the hp of a new Corvette's V-8... but it has massively more torque (probably well in excess of 500 lbs-ft.) and believe me, that is something you can feel immediately in the seat of your pants, especially coming off the line and during part-throttle "roll ons." ;D

  18. #38
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Very good point about your Trans Am. Take a run of the mill big cube sedan from yesteryear like a 1970 Bonneville with a 360 horsepower 455 that produced an amazing 500 lbs/ft of torque. The heavy Bonneville probably won't accelerate as fast as a new Toyota Camry V6 however the Bonneville has tons of torque all across the rpm range making it a more fun car to drive.

    As the old saying goes there's no substitute for cubic inches.

  19. #39
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Probably the first performance coupe from Japan was either the Toyota Supra, or the Mitsubishi Starion.

    I'm not counting the Toyota GT 2000, as that was very limited production, and I don't think was ever officially imported into the US.
    (You can see one in the James Bond flick: You Only Live Twice)

    Chip H.

    yep - and there were also a few US-branded but Japanese-sourced performance "boxes" like the Dodge Omni GLH-S ...
    The Omni was not Japanese. Not even a little bit.

  20. #40
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: The Camaro GM should build - but won't

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Probably the first performance coupe from Japan was either the Toyota Supra, or the Mitsubishi Starion.

    I'm not counting the Toyota GT 2000, as that was very limited production, and I don't think was ever officially imported into the US.
    (You can see one in the James Bond flick: You Only Live Twice)

    Chip H.

    yep - and there were also a few US-branded but Japanese-sourced performance "boxes" like the Dodge Omni GLH-S ...
    The Omni was not Japanese. Not even a little bit.
    Wasn't its engine Mitsubishi-sourced? (Been almost 20 years now, so maybe I have "misremembered"!)

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