The reborn Camaro is coming to the UK in right-hand drive, a Chevrolet chief has confirmed.
The brand’s European executive director Wayne Brannon said: “The car is due for launch in America in 2009 and as soon as that’s out of the way, and we can provide the product, we will.”
The coupe – so far seen only as a ‘concept’ is powered by the same six-litre V8 that’s in the recently announced Australian-built Holden Commodore VXR8 rebadged as a Vauxhall for the UK and, with a few more changes, as a Pontiac for the US.
Brannon would give no clues on Camaro pricing other than saying it would be “competitive”.
Although the focus in Europe is primarily on the UK, a RHD go-ahead for the Camaro is sure to result in a queue from GM distributors in other right-hand-drive markets looking for a ‘halo’ car for their showrooms. Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand all also take RHD cars and Holden already exports small numbers of its big V6 and V8-powered Commodores – some badged Chevrolet – to some of those territories.
However, the retro-styled HHR is one Chevrolet not coming to RHD dealers any time soon. This North American market PT Cruiser look-alike was unveiled for European markets at the Geneva motor show.
Brannon said the lack of RHD would not stop him shipping a few examples across the channel. He said: “I would like to show it in the UK to some dealers as a styling study and brand image car. I would like to get their thoughts because there will be a next generation of that product. And when there is, it will be designed with right-hand drive and diesel engines.”
Company sources said the redesigned vehicle is probably four or five years away.
RHD North American-made Chevrolets have been rare since production of a big car line headed by the Impala ended in Canada in 1969. Chevrolet Europe more recently tried selling a US factory-built Blazer SUV with RHD in the UK but sales did not meet expectations, primarily due to the lack of the diesel option essential over here.
Brannon revealed there is still life in two of the oldest products Chevy inherited when it bought Daewoo a few years ago.
He added: “The Tacuma compact MPV will eventually be replaced, but our choices are that we leave a gap for two or three years [while that car is redesigned] or we extend it in key markets such as the UK. No decision has been made yet.
“And Matiz [the entry-level city car] will continue to be offered. It’s a cute car and the right size for the market. It also offers things that others don’t such as an 800cc automatic. We think it’s got legs.”