EARLIER THIS YEAR, GM confirmed the cancellation of a right-hand-drive version of the Chevrolet Camaro, effectively killing any chance that the Australian-engineered coupe would get a local launch.
Although prone to hyperbole, new comments from GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz today have renewed hopes that the Camaro will makes its way to Australia.
Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show, Mr Lutz said that a right-hand-drive Camaro will roll off the assembly line at some stage in the future, with its Holden-developed architecture making the switch a simple enough task.
Lutz said the Camaro's original right-hand-drive plans had been axed only because of GM's bankruptcy proceedings, and that with the company now able to breathe easier, it could look once more at export opportunities for the stylish muscle car.
In Detroit as well, Alan Batey, Holden CEO and Managing Director said that Holden would be keen to get the Camaro into showrooms, but that it would likely not happen before 2011.
Mr Batey went on to say that the Camaro would keep its iconic Chevrolet 'bowtie' badging, with pricing likely to start north of $75,000. By comparison, the 6.2 litre V8 HSV GTS starts at around $80,000.
A key problem, Mr Batey said, will be supply. Production of the Camaro in the US is reportedly at capacity, with demand outstripping supply.
Mr Batey said that even if supply can be arranged, the Camaro would likely sell in Australia in small numbers, depending on fuel prices and exchange rates.
Speaking with TMR today, Holden Product Communications Manager, Kate Lonsdale said Holden would be interested in the Camaro if it becomes an option.
"We've got a soft spot for the Camaro and we'd love to see it over here, but only if there's a solid business case for the car. It's not an approved program yet by any means," Ms Lonsdale said.
In the mean time, Australians eager to get their hands on the new Camaro aren't without options.
After announcing back in June that it would commence development of parts to convert the new Chevrolet Camaro to right-hand drive, Queensland importer Performax International is now selling converted versions of the Camaro in Australia.
The Performax-converted Camaro range starts at $129,000 for the 3.6 litre V6 model, with the 318kW 6.2 litre LS3 V8-powered Camaro SS costing $139,000 - a significant step up from the base Camaro???s Stateside sticker price of US$22,680.