Coupe’s away, but watch for Ca­maro

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Paul Gover -

THE signs are look­ing more promis­ing for a suc­ces­sor to the Holden Monaro, but don’t ex­pect to see the Coupe 60 in show­rooms.

The bril­liant two-door VE, which starred at the Melbourne Mo­tor Show and is al­most cer­tain to make a global tour with Gen­eral Mo­tors, has al­ready been sent to the back­burner by GM global prod­uct boss Bob Lutz.

The Lutz­i­na­tor, as he is known in the US, has steam­rolled all sorts of new-model pro­grams in­clud­ing the Pontiac G8 ver­sion of the Com­modore sedan and ute, but says the com­ing crack­down on fuel econ­omy in the US means cars such as the V8 Holden coupe will not go ahead.

So, where is the new coupe com­ing from?

Take an­other look at the Chevro­let Ca­maro (above), al­ready fully ap­proved and be­ing de­vel­oped in Aus­tralia for pro­duc­tion and sale in the US. But now there is just a tiny tease point­ing to a po­ten­tial show­room ap­pear­ance in Aus­tralia. And it comes from Europe, of all places.

Wayne Bran­non, the head of Chevro­let Europe, has just given the clear­est sign yet that GM has big­ger plans for the Ca­maro than just a home­grown retro mus­cle car.

‘‘The busi­ness case for right­hand-drive Ca­maros may not be pos­i­tive, but we’re do­ing it any­way,’’ Bran­non says.

So Bran­non is a be­liever in the right-drive po­ten­tial for Europe, which means Bri­tain, and that would mean a clear shot for Aus­tralia. It could be sold as an HSV spin-off but it is more likely to be run through the GM Pre­mium Brands chan­nel that is al­ready com­mit­ted to Saab, Hum­mer and — later this year — Cadil­lac.

But GM Holden is not con­vinced and says Bran­non’s bullish talk is just that, talk.

GMH spokesman John Lind­say says: ‘‘There has been no of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion yet that Ca­maro will be avail­able in right-hand drive.

‘‘But if it does end up be­ing done in right-hand drive, like all cars in the GM port­fo­lio, we’d cer­tainly have a look to see if it was a fit for this mar­ket.’’

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