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Muscling into the motoring mainstream

autos Updated: Mar 18, 2015 15:02 IST
Chevrolet Camaro Badge


Ford has tallied up serious European interest online for its new Mustang, Dodge has had to stop taking orders for its Hellcat Challenger and Charger models in order to catch its breath, and now Chevrolet has announced its next Camaro will be making its debut in May.

The sixth-generation Camaro won't be gracing the New York Auto Show in April but instead will be making its global debut at a special event in Detroit, its spiritual home, on May 16.

The event will be staged on Belle Isle, the 982-acre island park in Michigan where Chevrolet hosts its annual grand prix.

The 2015 Ford Mustang. Photo:AFP

"This will be an event Camaro fans will not want to miss," said Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager. "This is only the sixth time we have introduced an all-new Camaro. We wanted to share the moment with the customers and fans who have helped make Camaro both America's favorite performance car for the past five years, and a cultural icon since 1967."

The event will be free to attend but priority will go to anyone who turns up with a Camaro.

In recent years, America has fallen in love again with the Muscle car, which, thanks to rising oil prices, increased environmental awareness and greater competition, reliability and performance from Japanese and European cars, looked like it was set to go the same way as the dinosaur.

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Supercharged with HEMI Hellcat engine. Photo:AFP

However all of the major Pony cars -- the Mustang, the Challenger, the Charger and the Camaro -- have not only survived, they're in fine health. US carmakers have finally embraced lightweight materials, European suspension setups, and the use of forced induction -- turbos and superchargers -- in order to deliver power and speed with environmental responsibility.

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT has a 4.9-liter, 435hp normally aspirated V8, a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds and yet is good for up to 25mpg. In fact, it's so good that Ford is officially selling it for the first time in the nameplate's history to European customers and there is already serious interest.

The fifth-generation Camaro is the most popular sportscar in the US. Photo:AFP

Likewise, the latest Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger astounded motoring journalists with their 707hp supercharged engines, which put them on a performance par with Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley. Dodge has revealed to Motoring Authority that they've stopped taking orders for the cars until they've caught up with existing demand -- they can't build them quickly enough.

As for the new Camaro, it is expected to boast evolutionary rather than revolutionary looks -- just like all of its competitors -- and could prove to be a serious driver's car rather than a drag racer. This is because it's being built on the same platform as the Cadillac ATS, the hottest version of which has proven it is a match for the best that an M-badged BMW has to offer.