• Oct 27, 2009
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS - click above image for hi-res gallery

For years and years, avid American car enthusiasts thought of a certain Holden as the Holy Grail. In hushed tones and with furtive looks, we let each other know that, yeah, the BMW E39 M5 is pretty dang sweet, but there's this Australian car... a four-door with a six-speed and a Corvette motor... and it's... dare we say it... better? However, it remained a piece of Automotive apocrypha not only because we couldn't have it, but because no one could remember the name (HSV GTS, of all the nonsensical, alphabet soup letter combos Holden could have selected).

We mention the legendary HSV GTS because Australian Camaro fans might now be experiencing what us muscle car-starved Yanks went through at the beginning of the decade -- withdrawal! Because not only are there are no right-hand drive Camaros (Aussies still insist on pretending they're British/Japanese), but the 2010 update to the original Mustang competitor is based almost totally on native Holden underpinnings. Ouch!

But fear not, Performax International has figured out how to move the steering wheel to the opposite side of the transmission tunnel and will sell those of you living in the Land Down Unda a right-hand drive Camaro SS for just $139,000 AUD. That's $128,500 U.S. American dollars to you and me. Which is... psychotic, says us. Especially considering that in America, a Camaro SS costs $33,745. But despite what we think, half a dozen customers have already placed orders with Performax International for a Aussie-spec'd Camaro.



[Source: Carscoop]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Outrageous
        • 5 Years Ago
        nice autoblog...

        i like how you guys simply inverted the picture to make it look right hand drive, go go backwards badging!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I always find it interesting when these cars are compared to m5's etc overseas. here in australia, no-one really thinks that anymore. sure, in terms of straight-line performace, they can match the more exxy Euro's, but in pretty much every other measure - interior fit and finish, refinement, handling, resale value - they're nowhere close.

      As for prices, yeah they're higher than what you're paying in the States, but remember that our market is a whole lot smaller than yours. On a good year we'd be lucky to be selling a million new vehicles. Your top 2 would be selling close to that. And we don't have a huge locally built market - 4 cars (the Falcon, Territory, Commodore and Camry/Aurion) are built locally and the rest come from overseas. Plus we get taxed to buggery on everything.

      If you're scared by our prices, have a look at Singapore - a new Corolla is pushing towards the 90-100k mark because of all their import taxes. That's insane...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, what he said about the prices in Singapore.

        Over $100k for a Chrysler 300c.

        Zonda? A cool $5 million.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering the Camaro and Commodore are built on the same platform GM could have built a few RHD Camaros for overseas markets.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear god why did you people have to post this. That's all Shane needs is another excuse.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The new camaro is so expensive because of protectionism. Nonsense laws were passed essentially saying that foreign cars werent as safe as locally built cars (yea right), and so to be road legal in Australia they had to be converted and modified to comply with all sorts of bureaucratic wish wash.
      As it stands now, you have to be specially qualified and registered (more protectionism) to import and modify vehicles; the Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS). Becoming a RAWS workshop requires all sorts of hoops to jump through so there are very few operating, creating an oligopoly where they can charge whatever they want for conversions. They are probably charging $50,000 AU for the Camaro conversion alone, and a new chev pickup will cost upwards of $30,000 AU. Add on luxury car tax, etc and voila: $130,000 car.

      RAWS only applies to cars made after 1989, and in most states you can register a car over 30 years old as left hand drive. Western Australia it's only 15 years.

      I would buy a handful of 69 z28 and SS Camaros personally over 1 2010 Camaro. Just as cool and will hold their value way better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is another place that does them for $123,000.00 AUD.

      http://www.camaroaustralia.com.au/

      • 5 Years Ago
      '...Aussies still insist on pretending they're British/Japanese.' Yea screw you mate, we don't feel the need to blindly follow you yanks and switch to the wrong side of the road. Also, for good measure, 'God save the Queen' and so forth.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a freakin' rental car, everybody. And, since I live in a touristy area for empty nesters (wine country), I have to see wizened, elderly people drive these around all over my town as if their reliving their youth. Have you seen how physically big these cars are? They're about two sizes too big. They're huge. I thought my Grand Marquis was big. These cars are like SUVs rolling around.

      I was walking with my wife around the town plaza after a nice meal, and we saw at least three Camaros. Each time I saw one, I incredulously shook my head in disbelief at the size of the car. We then saw a Porsche 997 parked on the street, and I had to pause. The Porsche was so tight and compact looking, betraying it's sporty heritage. The Camaro, not so much. The Camaro would be so stunning if they shrunk it down to a reasonable portion. Instead, we get a ponderous oaf.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Funny you should mention that. But it's not just the Camaro. Have you walked around the 2005 + Mustang, or the new Challenger? They both give that same impression to me. They seem so "over-size" when you're around them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        now come on...what were two local residents doing walking around the plaza after eating a meal where the tourists congregate and the prices are at their very absolutely highest? :)

        i do agree with you on the cars sizes though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now you can see how lucky you guys are! Nice cars for low prices, cars where the rest of the world pays a huge price for :(
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm moving to Australia next month for a job, and upon discovering the ridiculous price of cars there, I've already decided to forgo the luxury and buy a motorcycle for my time there. I really don't understand how the prices become so inflated. Shipping the cars there cannot be the reason for it. Does Australia tariff the crap out of cars or what?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not inflation mate. If you're moving here the first thing you need to do is stop comparing Ozzie prices to American prices. Although our dollar is nearly on par with the green back, it's generally around 60-70c to the US dollar. so when you factor that in the prices generally even out. Further, we have this silly little thing called the 'luxury car tax', in which the government rapes you for any vehicle over 54 or 56,000AU. It's ridiculous but no one is making any moves to repeal the tax.

        Some commentators believe that the tax originated to protect the Australian car market from foreign cars much in the same way Regan did in the 80's to protect the American car market from the Japanese. However, to get around the law Japanese manufacturers started building more vehicles in the US, and or bringing the parts in and assembling them in the states. I.e. go to a Honda/Acura dealership you will see that more than 90% of the parts come from Japan and the vehicles is assembled someone in the states. Fortunately, the Japanese did the same thing here, however vehicles like VW/Audi, BMW, etc are still shipped in so the prices remain high as sin.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The luxury car tax was introduced when Wholesale Sales Tax was replaced with the GST.
        At the time, Sales Tax was higher on "luxury cars" than regular cars. So all cars got a 10% GST and the "luxury cars" got the luxury car tax in order to prevent the luxury cars from falling in price more than the regular cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was expecting a photoshop that said Australia pointing to the background. anyways, i think that is an outrages price to pay, even for a very exclusive car down under.
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