A Closer Look at the Camaro That Almost Was

January 20, 2006
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The so-called Studio X Camaro has taken a lot of folks by surprise. We thought readers would like to get a closer look at it, and we'll post additional shots when we can get our digital hands on them. We'd be curious to hear your thoughts about this notably more edgy design. Does it look a bit too much like the Caddy XLR? Or did Chevy miss out by not opting for this alternative? Incidentally, our friends at AutoBlog have some nice TV screen grabs of pre-Detroit show Camaro concepts up at the moment.

We've been hearing a lot from readers about the Camaro that almost wasn't, including a note from one of our friends at Chevrolet. Tom Wilkinson, former journalist and now a senior PR exec, wanted to set the record straight about the sequence of events during the top-secret development of the Camaro concept:

"There was earlier discussion about a Camaro concept, but work didn't begin in earnest on the Advanced Design model until Spring of 2005. The Studio X project kicked off in June. The final bake off occurred in late summer.

Also, it is probably an oversimplification to say parts from one were grafted onto another. There was a lot of sharing of ideas back and forth. but both designs evolved in a very organic way, each in a way that was very true to the overall vision of the team. The visions were just different, with the Advanced Team bringing a modern feel to a heritage design, and the Studio X team trying to push the spirit of the 1969 design farther into the future."

Thanks for the clarification, Tom.

What's ahead for the Camaro? It's the talk of the industry, it seems, right now, and it's hard to get folks at GM to stop talking about the concept. But the caveat remains: it's just a concept for now. Several questions must be answered before a final decision is made about production:

* Can a good business case be made, especially if the base model starts in the low-$20,000 range, as car czar Bob Lutz is promising?
* Will a production version drive as good as it looks?
* Will the design still hold up in late 2007, the soonest it could likely hit market?

Let us know what you think.

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