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Lutz dishes a bit about the Camaro

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The Wonderful World of Oz
By Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman | Link to Original Post @ GM Fastlane Blogs


I just completed one of my better business trips! It was to Australia, always a favorite destination. Beautiful country and nice people… and also, happily, home of Holden and the internationally sourced product development team working on our global rear-wheel-drive cars.

I have never experienced an automotive company, including my three years at BMW, that has so much passion for excellence and dedication to the product. It’s contagious. Oz is a nation where the “car-guys” (both genders) rule, at least at Holden. I just love the palpable air of the "we want to win" spirit that this team exudes.

We drove cars on their ride road which, strangely, bears a lot of resemblance to a racing circuit. We sampled G8s in various states of tune, and they were fabulous. We drove the Daewoo Veritas and the Chinese Buick Park Avenue, both large, ultra-lux executive transports created by the global rear wheel drive team. And we also drove..."other things in the rear drive hopper."

One I can sort of talk about is the Camaro. We had the first fully representative prototype with close to final surfaces standing at track side. It looked as awesome as the concept, and the blotchy black/white camo scheme could not destroy the great stance and proportion. The body fits were already better than what came off the line a few years ago. The interior had some hand-made plastic parts and showed some gaps, but was remarkable for the first car.

I got to drive it first, not only because “rank has its privileges,” but because I didn't want anyone stuffing it into a barrier before I got to drive.

Twisting the key produced a muted rumble from the big V8. We pulled away smoothly in the first cog of the new, slick, six-speed manual. Depressing the accelerator shifted the world into fast forward, with three or four more quick upshifts. The car had just been completed and had had no tuning or finessing. But I loved the response, the sound, the steering and the brakes. There's more work to be done, for sure, and the group knows it. They still have time for further development. The goal of the team led by Gene Stefanyshyn is to produce the finest car in its class, ever. Do I think they will get there? I wouldn't bet against that team!

On a side note, Vice President for Global Design Ed Welburn was on the drive, too. Seeing his beloved Camaro as a real car… in near-final metal, glass, rubber and plastic… transformed from a visionary dream into a highly drivable reality… well, it was almost too much for him. He broke ranks, ran over to it, and hugged it! I have the photo to prove it — but of course we can’t show it to you just yet!

More to come soon from the Land of Oz. The G8s are already on the way...
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...and all is well. Thank you, Mr. Bob Lutz.
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Sounds promising...especially the "other things in the rear drive hopper" comment.

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..."I got to drive it first, not only because “rank has its privileges,” but because I didn't want anyone stuffing it into a barrier before I got to drive. "...

LMAO!!!

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The second paragraph sums up why Holden means so much. I know this new Camaro is going to be one awesome machine, too bad they're probably gonna charge us an arm and a leg to buy one down here.

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I hope there's a G8 GT for me on its way over. I'm ready to plunk down the cash if the test drive goes as planned.

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..."I got to drive it first, not only because “rank has its privileges,” but because I didn't want anyone stuffing it into a barrier before I got to drive. "...

LMAO!!!

I'm spurised he didn't throw a little... fall asleep and roll it down a hill

lol would have been nice to see a comment from hire up on that incident

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The G8 wasn't supposed to start production until the 15th. Either the ones already coming over are GM Exec vehicles, or it started production early. Or, Lutz is pulling our legs.

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"On a side note, Vice President for Global Design Ed Welburn was on the drive, too. Seeing his beloved Camaro as a real car… in near-final metal, glass, rubber and plastic… transformed from a visionary dream into a highly drivable reality… well, it was almost too much for him. He broke ranks, ran over to it, and hugged it! I have the photo to prove it — but of course we can’t show it to you just yet."

That's hilarious, I like Ed Welburn. I think he is just what GM needs, a guy passionate about cars and he has a sense of humor to boot.

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I cannot wait for this car. I have heard some things that have me even MORE excited about this car. (And I won't tell!) :AH-HA_wink: Go GM, GO!!

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