• Apr 9th 2007 at 4:33PM
  • 24

Mike Levine over at PickupTruck.com has made an argument for the return of the El Camino, the car-based pickup sold back in the day that has risen to cult status in the modern era. Considering the cost of fuel these days and fuel economy standards that are likely to rise in the next decade, a car-based pickup could offer a viable solution for people who need the utility of an open bed but not the dismal fuel economy that accompanies a traditional pickup.

A resurrected El Camino would likely be built on the rear-wheel drive Zeta platform developed by GM's Holden division in Australia where such vehicles already exist and are quite popular. The Holden Utes come in two- and four-door versions and are available with V6 and V8 engines, including a Super Sport version with a 350-horsepower V8. A Zeta-based El Camino could easily be built alongside the new Camaro in Oshawa, Ontario, and styling would likely mirror the new pony car's lines to earn some instant street cred by association. The commissioned rendering by Mark Stehrenberger shows what a new El Camino with the corporate Chevy face could look like.

Follow the Read link to catch Mike Levine's case for the El Camino in full, and let us know what you think in the comments.

[Source: PickupTruck.com]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah! The utility of a pickup and the awesome mileage of a Camaro! =p

      But I like the idea. It'd be a fun car, and it'd be nice for a SMALL pickup to be available.
      Ben K.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I see alot of old El Caminos in use in Oklahoma. At least 20 years old and going strong. GM should have never copied the Asian's on FWD. Going back to RWD makes the vehicle more durable and dynamics are improved. That is why trucks and SUV's have been so popular in the past 15 years. I think some of these bloggers are afraid if GM goes back to the cars and trucks that made them popular with boomers, GM could win back old customers. Bigger cars, but improved gas mileage, compared to trucks. We'll see.
      • 8 Years Ago
      And next up Ford will bring the Aussie Falcon ute to the United States as the new Ranchero and it will be the 1960's and 70's again, except without disco (and thank G-d because I love the muscle cars from that era). I say bring it on GM, because your leading the way and maybe Ford will learn some tricks. I love the concetual art, but would love to see one in real life on the road (and of course get one with the Corvette 7 liter V8 ;) )
      • 8 Years Ago
      Will it also have the Volt as a sister car as well? The front looks like a cross b/t the volt and camaro. It sounds like a good idea....tentatively
      • 8 Years Ago
      #4 did you seriously just say GM needs a lexus ls hybrid fighter? at 104k, i would say this hardly fits the category of any gm product, even caddy.
      GM should emulate successful car designs they used to have. Look at what it did for the mustang. The new camaro should do well, if it ever comes out. At least their concept car doesnt look like something from outer space, although i dont know how useful this would be. I do agree this sketch looks just like a camaro.
      Cmon GM, im waiting for the 2045 chevy astro van, with the honeycomb rims.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Peop[le want a REAL El Camino! Back to the sixtees, almost a real Pick-Up. That is a Shape people love, because that were the right and the good times......
      • 8 Years Ago
      From the illustration it looks nothing like a "car/truck" looks like a the new "camaro" with a longer/flatter hatch. Just brink the Holden over!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sounds great, always liked the utes... Here in Brazil we have many car based pickups, they are really popular. Chevrolet has the Montana, a Corsa based pickup, it's a huge success.

      This one from the drawing looks astonishing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bad idea, though not as bad as the SSR.

      GM needs to keep working on what they've got instead of wasting money on niche vehicles.

      They've made great strides in design & interior improvements as of late. I'd hate to see them screw up their momentum with something goofy like this.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Dear Mr. Lutz,

      Please greenlight this, then fast track it. Make sure the bed is at least 4.5 feet long. Give us lots of engine choices. Don't dismiss the idea of putting an SS badge on it.

      There is a market out there for performance, utility, and low center of gravity in a single vehicle. Most of these people (myself included) are not fooled by the term "crossover". How many Magnum RT's and SRT8's has Dodge sold?

      Bringing back the El Camino on the Zeta platform is an easy win.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have to agree with #5 it does not look like a truck at all. the front isn't that aggressive either.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Petey- look at hte NY Auto Show- Beat, Jazz, Trax . they are working on your fit-fighter. Minivan market is tapped out. too late to come to the party with a healthy offering. Its not a dead market but the players are set. LS600hL competitor. I'm not sure Cadillac can pull off a 100K+ automobile but cant wait to see what they have going on to give Lutz his Cadillac 16 or 12 or whatever.

      Midsize, the new Impala looks to be competitive. dont know that they can beat the Accord/ Camry but should be able to play in the sandbox.

      Read the website dude, these are all posted. Since many have been clamoring for what is overseas, an El Camino would be one answer and give another non-badge engineered auto for hte Zeta platform. I still think the Nomad concept on the Sky platform would be the way to give Chevy a niche car and differentiate without badge engineering.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X