Already in production, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro will be reaching dealers before long. Looking back over the last 25 years and the handful of new Camaro bodies which have been introduced, one struggles to find worse timing for the introduction of a muscle car.
On its own merit, the new Camaro seems to be quite a vehicle. Car & Driver was effusive in its praise of the V6 version. Say whaaa? Specifications seem favourable for a positive performance feel. And while we could have wished for more improvement in the styling, the Camaro is seriously masculine; tremendously butch; and oh-so-very American.
Taking into account Ford’s resuscitation of the Mustang earlier this decade and the impressive remake of the Dodge Challenger in the last couple years, the market might stand up in a confused state and ask, “Haven’t we been through the reborn retro pony car thing enough already?” As for those loyalists the mainstream media love to talk about who – so they say – would never buy a Chevy if their daddy bought a Ford or can’t consider either because Uncle Billy built the Plymouth Barracuda; well, doesn’t it seem right about now that the General Motors/Ford/Chrysler loyalist count stands at about three humans? Rick Wagoner buys the Camaro because he’s a GM boy. Alan Mulally leases a new Mustang to go along side his Lexus. Bob Nardelli hops into his Challenger SRT8 on the way to Home Depot’s summer BBQ. That about settles that.
Forget the muscle car redundancy for a minute, since that can’t be considered too bad a thing for the consumer. There’s also the issue of…. ahem… er, umm, the economy. In the United States of America, every automaker and its dog has posted falling sales lately. (Except for Hyundai, which by the way, just introduced a muscular coupe of its own.) Recognizing the good ol’ USA as the Camaro’s biggest market, General Motors sales analysts must dread the thought of telling the accountants that, well, um, er, the new Chevy coupe ain’t selling y’all.
Sporting value it doth represent, but that doesn’t mean the Camaro is “cheap”. Pricing in Canada, the original purpose to which this article was intended to be driven, ends some $26,000 beneath the Chevrolet Corvette’s starting point. The Corvette, do recall, is a Good 12 v2.0 winner mainly because of its status as the standard bearer of horsepower per dollar. Regardless, take a look at the Numbers involved in the Chevrolet Camaro’s Canadian price scheme and judge for thy self.
26,995 – price, in Canadian $, of the least expensive 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
21,199 – price, in Canadian $, of the least expensive (and substantially less powerful) 2009 Ford Mustang
24,995 – price, in Canadian $, of the least expensive (Bad 8 v2.0-winning) 2009 Dodge Challenger
36,995 – price, in Canadian $, of the least expensive V8-engined Chevrolet Camaro, the SS
426 – horsepower under the hood of the Chevrolet Camaro SS
430 – horsepower under the hood of the $66,145 CDN Chevrolet Corvette
284 – fewer kilograms to tote around for the Corvette, compared with the 4-seater Camaro
175 – fewer kilograms to tote around for the ’09 Mustang compared with the more horsepower-laden V8 Camaro
1,180 – extra cost needed, in Canadian $, to switch the 6-speed manual transmission of a basic Camaro to a 6-speed automatic
1,690 – increased cost necessary to lose 26 horsepower in the Camaro SS while switching its manual transmission for a 6-speed automatic
1,195 – price of the optional sunroof on the Camaro SS
1,380 – price of the Rally Sport Package on the Camaro SS, a cosmetic package which also adds HID headlamps
48,320 – easily attainable MSRP for the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS with many options still not priced – and thus impossible to add to the Build It price at Chevrolet.ca – including $5,835 in options and $1,400 in destination fees