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Buried at the end of an article from The Car Connection that discusses the future of General Motors' rear-wheel-drive expansion (or lack thereof) was an interesting canard. In an effort to lower the General's CAFE rating, GM has supposedly assembled a team to outfit the new Camaro with the automaker's dual-mode hybrid drivetrain. The rational behind outfitting a Camaro with a hybrid system might be sound from a fuel-economy standpoint, but offering a fuel-sipping pony car seems like the antithesis of what a muscle-bound coupe is all about.

The article goes on to say that our new CAFE standards have all but killed GM's planned RWD cars, and because the platform underpinning the Camaro was supposed to be utilized on these other vehicles, its costs can't be kept in check. That's likely going to cause the V8 Camaro's sticker to be higher than anticipated -- possibly encroaching on Corvette territory.

Both the Camaro and the Pontiac G8 will live on, but everything else is likely off the table. Rear-wheel-drive Chevys and Buicks are dead in the water, but Cadillac will soldier on with a RWD vehicle to compete in the ultra-luxury segment.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting. It's good to know I'm not alone.

      Really though, a powerful diesel does make sense in a muscle car/pony car and it's one of the few car markets in the US that I think would actually embrace diesels.

      Think about it, would the people who typically buy V8 muscle cars rather have an engine that revs to 8K or 500+ ft-lbs tq at from idle to 4,000rpms? Most would go for the torque. I don't know the exact statistics, but from what I see the people who are the biggest fans of muscle cars are the same guys who make the Ford F-series and Chevrolet Silverado the best selling vehicles in America. Therefore, I bet a lot of them would be willing to give a diesel a try, since they probably are the most exposed to diesels. I especially bet they would be willing to try it if they can get another ~100hp/~150ft-lbs tq out of it with just a tune, like the trucks.

      With that said, surely gas engines will still have to be offered, with at least one V8. However, I would love to at least see a performance diesel attempted in at least one muscle car. GM already has the engine, so it wouldn't be that hard to try it out. You never know how it will do until it's tried. Plus, it would give the Camaro something to distinguish it from the Mustang and Challenger.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think a lot of you have already touched on what I am going to say here...

      First GM's RWD is not necessarily killed by CAFE but it makes for one hell of a challenge. What I think is a good answer is a Direct Injection turbo/super charged small bore V6 and V8 engine with the dual-mode hybrid drivetrain. I am not an engineer, so I am just shooting in the dark with this one. It only seems like the best choice.

      This is not just for the Camaro/G8 but for all of the cars GM was going to come out with. Like a new Impala, and El Camino/Sprint.

      I would not be so adverse to buying a Camaro with the dual-mode system so long as they can keep the numbers in line with what I think a Camaro should have. I am going to buy a Camaro when it comes out, but NOT the V8, I cannot afford the insurance or the MSRP.

      Oh well... that's my rant for now. I know GM can do it if they just freaking try.
      Ben K.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cars aren't the problem, trucks are making it diffficult to meet mileage needed to balance it's fleet. The Camaro and G8 are built where the exchange rate is difficult to make profitably with the weak dollar. Producing these RWD cars in low volumes would be more cost effective in the USA. GM should have built these specialty cars in a plant with 150,000 annual production capacity. The Lansing Grand River plant is dedicated to building RWD Cadillac's. The 26 year old OKC factory was closed two years ago, it would have made a better choice for the RWD/Zeta performance cars. GM spent $700 million updating the plant for flexible manufacturing and a new paint shop like Grand River. The plant ceased production when midsize SUV sales declined and gas prices continued to go up. Importing these cars will keep profits at a minimum. Oklahoma offered $200 million to retool for the Camaro and the local union made $143 million in annual concessions, but was ignored. Overlooking OKC was an expensive mistake on GM's part.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Porsche does well these days, though there have been periods in the past when their cars have been known for being unweildy (at least for non-expert drivers). They've got 60 years of experience with the RR layout, so they've had some time to work out the kinks...
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is a larger loss of energy thru a rear wheel drive/front engine setup that might be first suspected. There is more componetry, loss thru distance of drivetrain, and weight to be considered. It does all add up. I don't like FWD. I would prefer the rear wheel, rear engine layout better. This would, I believe, be even more effective than FWD. The problems of control apparent/made up with the old Corvair and VW Beatle seem not to be a factor for Porshe do they? Performance, control, and economy can be achieved on a rwd/rear engine drivetrain. Where are you Detroit???
      • 7 Years Ago
      Because Americans believe that a RWD muscle car has to be big, heavy and powered by a V8.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "if CAFE killed RWD/V8 cars why is Hyundai able to launch a new RWD sedan/coupe platform with a high HP V8? Or how about Kia with it's new truck based RWD/4X4 V8 SUV the Borrego?"

      Hyundai doesn't have all of those trucks and large SUVs in their lineup, I would think that plays a part in it. Then again, I really don't understand CAFE all that well so maybe I'm wrong.
        • 7 Years Ago
        While the gas-sucking SUVs used almost exclusively for passenger transportation SHOULD be a problem for the CAFE rating, they get a pass because the manufacturers and the government pretend they're trucks. If the regulations were sane (use it like a car, it's a car!) then there would be a big penalty for these and there would be more and better CAR options with better packaging, weight and aerodynamics.

        Hyundai was essentially ready to intoduce both the Genesis and the Borrego before the new CAFE regs were passed, and they don't take effect during the model cycle for each vehicle so they went ahead and introduced them, possibly hoping to clean up by selling to the people who want a larger RWD vehicle before CAFE makes Lutz sell only Aveos in protest.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You won't live long enough.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM really just needs to be more agressive about there choices of engines and drivetrains for these vehicles
      • 7 Years Ago
      For a great marketing campaing, GM should call the hybrid Camaro the Z-Green.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Paul P, you're not alone wishing for a diesel under the hood of the Camaro, check these 2 editorials in Diesel Power Magazine Blog http://blogs.dieselpowermag.com/6226968/editorials/direct-injection-editorial-february-2008/index.html


      I'm tempted to wish for a Cummins diesel under the Challenger, imagine folks saying "This thing got a Cummins?" ;-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      People do not understand CAFE. Corporate Average Fuel Economy - it is the entire GM fleet that gets calculated into this number. GM cannot add more cars that lower this number as they have the largest fleet of vehicles. The larger (HD) and more profitable vehicles sell at lower volumes, but drag their Average way down. There is no discounting the average based volume...if you make it, it is included. This is why GM fights this rule and now Toyota does as they are making larger and fuel hungry vehicles all the time based on being profitable and consumer driven needs and wants. Honda, Hyundai, and the rest do not offer the same spread of vehicles which makes them hitting the SAME TARGET a lot easier. Hyundai is now offering a RWD V8, but this car was planned out over the last 3 or 4 years. The new CAFE rules are new so they have not had time to react. The next product life cycle will reflect everyones adjustment to start bringing their own CAFE up. This is not going to be fun for the automakers or us as consumers. People are slamming GM for having to do what the government is mandating. GM has the largest gap to close which is why there is very little wiggle room for fun products like the Camaro or RWD Impalas even though those products would be fuel efficient when compared to similar vehicles of the same size and class. Ford will react, Chrysler will react (announced it is killing the Hemi), and Toyota will react...(yet to announce i-Force dead). This is why CAFE laws make no sense. It forces the products to change based on what the government wants, not what the consumers want. When has the government of the USA done anything right for consumers in the last 7 years???

      BTW - they gave alternative fuels a break based on the chemical companies lobbying with big money... not because GM, Ford, and Chrysler pushed for it. They will take the break as it is easier for them to adjust to ethanol, but we need more sources, thus the deal with Koskata. What is good for the government is good for big business when big business steps in a has to pay for it. We the consumer get screwed each time.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ah crap... I guess I was wrong and thank you for pointing that out. Being a Canadian sometimes leads me down the wrong path with US government regs.
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