• Dec 12, 2007

Since the original Camaro concept hit NAIAS in January 2006, it seems like we've been living with (and writing about) the pony coupe forever. The fact is, we still haven't seen the Camaro's final production duds. Until now, kind of. The Camaro5 website has posted on its forums a near-naked Chevy Pony car in production sheet metal. The front and rear are wearing padded underwear, but we can see from the side-view pic that the basic shape stays true to the stunning concepts of 2006 and 2007.

Missing are the three slotted vents ahead of the rear wheel wells, but it looks like some ribbed metal takes its place. Also history are the funky-cool but slightly impractical side mirrors from the concept cars, and unlike the concept, the production model has a B-pillar. While it's difficult to tell for certain with the flat white paint job and slightly blurry photography, it appears as though some of the hard edges of the concept's belt-line have been softened. Judging by the high-polish 18- or 19-inch rims on this pre-production model, it's as close to final as we're going to see before the RWD coupe starts rolling off the assembly line. Without seeing the front and back of the Camaro, it's tough to gauge how closely GM stuck to the design of the concept, but from this one picture, it looks pretty close.

Thanks for the tip, Mark!

[Source: Camaro5]




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  • 58 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks cumbersome, heavy, overly long and boring. I think this is the real deal with production body panels and not an engineering mule. It should do as well in the market as the recently departed GTO. The Challenger and 2010 Mustang will eat this for lunch.
      Ben K.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Three years from concept to production! Introduced at NAIAS in Jan. 2006 ready for production Feb. 2009. What's the beef? Stop whinning, I would like to see it ready sooner, but really. Gripe, gripe, gripe! The Camaro's only problem is profitability. About 2/3 will be a V6 model, at a base price of about $20K to be competitive with the Mustang. Higher priced V8 models are the profit makers. Canada and Camaro don't jive with the weak dollar value. The Zeta lineup was supposed to generate alot of profits. But, exporting them to the U.S. market from Canada and Australia will hurt the profit margins substantially and push up the retail price. It would be cheaper to produce the rear wheel drive cars in the U.S.A. The new UAW contract and no currency exchange fluctuation makes a much more profitable bottom line for the General to build these at home. The Camaro looks awesome!
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is definitely too early to tell, but all signs point to FAIL.

      Cars that are appealing on a wide scale = boring. Everyone knows it, and GM has more than enough of those cars in its lineup.

      And it looks like a bit of that 'lets not go so radical' has crept in here too. But its really too early.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why does Chevy need to Camo the Camaro? the dimensions are almost the same. the door handles, mirrors, and the side vents- to me, are the only things changed from the concept. but I've also noticed that the lower front-end--- under the fog lamps has been changed from a sharp edged design to a smoother shape.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It definitely looks productionized.

      The wheels are smaller and much more positive offset. The fender lines are taller above the wheel wells

      The strong rocker panel treatment is subdued, the side glass is taller, and the roof rails are thicker.

      things like the front bumper cover, the side mirrors, etc... can be changed by the aftermarket, but the proportions of the overall body work is set.

      hardly anything is as sleek as a custom concept car can be. Think Mustang GT concept from 03 to the 05 production model. Major dimensions and chassis equipment changed, and hasn't been seen since. (supercharged aluminum 4.6, IRS, 2-seat, hatchback, shelby horizontal tail lights, modest weight and size, and sleeker, more compact lines.)

      The Challenger and Viper have remarkably been more true to their concepts than most cars are able to, and the productionized shape differences hard for even an enthusiast to put their finger on. Or the concepts were chunky enough not to suffer from the productionizing process.

      The production camaro looks tamer, but they all do...

      But I can honestly say: I am getting very bored with retro style. Good for those who like it... but where is the bold new style? The G37 is about it. What else, the new Accord Coupe (FWD, I know, but what else?); the soft, drooping beltline of the Genesis Coupe?

      Mustang, Camaro, Charger, and others pushed style and performance forward in the late 60s. They weren't retro rods then, they were forward looking, and better than what came before. Why are they living so much in the past now? That is the reason that the companies are floundering, or having to recover from floundering.

      Apple has it'd detractors and it's issues, but it is a good example of a company that doesn't look to copy or merely counterpoint their competition. They invent, and push forward beyond what is going on at any given time.

      Other companies are always playing catchup to Apple. Microsoft, Dell, Gateway, and even small device makers like samsung, and LG in both cellular phones, and media players. Apple pushes the envelope forward in ways that didn't exist beforehand.

      There are no companies in the auto industry that are pushing like that, and leading the industry. And unfortunately, american auto companies are last on that list. Ford and Chrysler are on the ropes, and GM is starting to pull itself back up. They are certainly in no position, and haven't really been since the late 60's (maybe not completely lost in the 80's) to set the tone in the automotive industry, for others to follow.

      You can't lead when all you do is re-hash the past. Looking backwards is looking the wrong direction.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Gee, I haven't heard of any of those before.... :rolleyes:

        Audi R8/TT/S5 - R8 is a bit of a push forward, over $100k. TT is a nice car, but hardly breaking new ground from a 2-door FWD car, it just happens to look good for a bit of a pricetag. A5/S5 is kind of boring looking, actually. Not bad, but not avant garde in the least.

        Lamborghini Gallardo - new design, but again, not for most people, aesthetically, or fiscally. Lamborghinis are more polarizing than universally likeable.

        Ferrari F430 - Like the Gallardo, but way better looking. Still only an evolution of the 360, but a definite improvement.

        BMW 335i Coupe - AKA the most boring looking 3-series to date. The E30, E36, and E46 were good looking, each more so than the previous. E90 is an about-face from that trend. None of them have really pushed the boundary, not even as much as other Bangle'd BMWs, which again are much more polarizing than praiseworthy.

        Mercedes-Benz CLS - Are you kidding? UGLY. Face-lift gone-wrong headlights, and an badly arched belt-line. Not a coupe. I don't care how many people call it that, but it is not a coupe. The E-class looks better for being more conservative, which makes my point even firmer.

        Cadillac CTS (2nd Gen) - better than previous, and better than most other american designs. Still not a coupe, and still not a game-changer. This is GM getting back to break-even, not yet getting ahead of the game. The only reason this is getting so much attention is because it is out of GM's ordinary fare. This is actually what GM and Cadillac specifically should have been producing and refining all along.

        McLaren's F1 was a game-changer, but way out of the ballpark, price-wise to be more than just a theoretical icon.

        My point was this:

        The 1965 Mustang was a game-changer in that it was a new great style for that time, new way to configure cars with options, and affordable for everyone who was interested. It broke sales records all over the place, and changed the game for a lot of regular people very quickly.

        The Camaro didn't beat the mustang to market, but it did further GM's stake in that market, unlike what GM was offering before. Charger similarly for chrysler. Collectively, they pushed those companies forward significantly.

        They were new, they were fresh, and they were available to the everyday people, who snapped them up.

        What is doing that now? CTS is getting somewhat popular, for reasons I have already mentioned. G37 is the only coupe in the segment with current styling, and it is good looking, but still pretty standard for a coupe. (accord, altima, and others are still not that great looking)

        The 350Z (a bit), the Mustang, the Camaro, the Challenger, even the 300C, Mini, and new Beetle are not bad cars, I don't mean to insinuate that. But they are looking to move forward with the past, rather than the future.

        Coupes have the most freedom from utility-mandated practicality, and should be pushing the aesthetic envelope forward, not backward, with that freedom. Most of the non-retro cars are just trying to merely one-up each other, rather than pushing that envelope anywhere.

        Horsepower and performance are moving forward, but with variable valve event controls, direct injection, HCCI, and other technologies, there are big improvements waiting to be had.

        None of the companies are looking to set a car on the market that changes the way people buy or use cars. None of them are trying to introduce a new, better way of driving, or even just buying a car.

        It is also a lot easier to point to models that do push the envelope style-wise that are for the elite few who can afford them, like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and the like. But a bigger impact is had at the level where the public has access.

        The Minivan was a game-changer in the 80's. The SUV wasn't new, but did change the game (arguable whether positive or negative) in the 90's, and led to the CUV which is going on during the current decade. But they aren't being replaced by a "next big thing" that changes the game again. It just seems to be a lot more of the same with small incremental changes.

        GM, Ford, and Chrysler aren't going to find the next big thing by looking 40 years into the past.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Look up the following models -

        Audi R8/TT/S5
        Lamborghini Gallardo
        Ferrari F430
        BMW 335i Coupe
        Mercedes-Benz CLS
        Cadillac CTS (2nd Gen)

        To name a few...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The muscular stance is gone. Well, atleast in this pic anyways. The RX-8 has a more muscular front wheel arch!
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Mustang has a more aggressive tone with its wheel arches as well , especially at the back.
      • 7 Years Ago
      People relax... this is an engineering prototype. Mirrors look like they are unpainted, and I bet the tail lights are just generic chunks of plastic. Don't expect polish and refinement in a prototype.

      Some poor fool will likely lose his job over these pictures.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Another major GM dud coming up!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This looks pretty awful. It honestly looks more like a Dodge Avenger than the car I saw rolling around in Transformers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dang it does look like a 2 door Charger. The front end of the Concept Camaro still looks like it has a huge smile like from the Pixar movie "Cars" or somthing
      • 7 Years Ago
      And I suppose the GT-R is a beautiful car. No, it's not, but it'll knock the socks off most cars and I'm getting more and more used to it's blocky, muscular styling every time I time a take a gander at it. Folk's, it's all in the eye of the beholder. This example of the Camaro is nostalgic and techno at the same time with a baroque touch to it. To all the nay sayers, It will simply sale like hotcakes when it bust it's first moves dancing all over the competition. I, in particular, will be playing the part of my favorite party rock star when you see me in mine, and I won't even have a mullet. It's new, it's retro, It'll be mine!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it's handsome but not as eye catching as it would have been had they been able to make it less slab sided. I'm sure that made it cheaper to build but it was the fenders that gave the concept it's presence.

      I hope it is more eye catching in person - I agree on the 2 door charger comment at least in this 1 picture.

      I like it - but no better than than an 06 GTO.
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