Making it successful: A different perspective
OK. We all want the new Camaro.
Give or take, the styling seems to be a hit... a lot of the first gen folks want the exterior to be a bit more true to the 69, and others think the interior is too retro... but over all, the concept car generated a lot of positive reviews.
We know that GM has a line up of existing and planned V8's that are second to none, so we know that it will have the ability to go fast in a major way.
If this were all it took to make the car a success, we would have it made, but there are a few other things that have to be on the mark as well...
The new Camaro has to be user friendly. Is it easy to get in and out of? Does it have huge blind spots? Long hoods look great, but can you see over them well enough to parallel park? These are the kind of things that you have to consider if you want a car to have mass appeal. I was a big fan of the way the 4th gen cars looked, but they weren't exactly comfortable or easy to drive in. Maybe you or I would be willing to overlook such things as a trade off for a cool looking car with good power, but are there enough of us out there to fill 100k to 150k orders? Do you think your wives/girlfriends/sisters would buy a Camaro that is a PITA to deal with ergonomically? I hate to say it, but this is something the mustang does well. Getting in and out of a mustang isn't any more of a chore than it would be for any other car and I think that is one of the reasons it is successful - It's user friendly.
FUNCTION BEFORE FORM
Anybody have a third gen that doesn't have a busted front ground effects package? Sure the car looks better with the ground effects, but they made the car a pain any time you come to a speed bump or steep driveway. Make sure that the new Camaro not only looks cool, but can survive the rigors of driving in a less that perfect world.
I know that the new V8's highway are being designed to get 30 MPG on the highway. The story around town isn't quite as pretty though. There is going to have to be a efficient V6 in the line up to make this thing palatable to the buying public if fuel continues to head north of three dollars a gallon. Whats more, 6 cylinder cars are probably going to make up 60% or 70% of the Camaro's built, so this engine option can't be an afterthought.
I think that in order for the Camaro to sell in the numbers that GM is building their projections around, it has to do more than look cool and go fast. It has to be the kind of car that women won't hate to drive, it has to be able to survive the street over time and there have to be some fuel efficient engine options.
If they can accomplish these goals, we might just end up with a Camaro that will be around for a long time to come instead of another GTO (albeit the GTO flopped for other reasons). I think that is what we all want.
Just my two cents worth.