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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

It's Camaro vs. Mustang, and the fight is on

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It's Camaro vs. Mustang, and the fight is on

BY MARK PHELAN

FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

It's Camaro versus Mustang, and the fight is on like Beatles versus Stones.

But unlike the tired brouhahas the baby boom insists on revisiting -- do we really need to debate Vietnam, women's rights or the Voting Rights Act ever again? -- the pony car battle is as relevant as last month's sales report and Ford and GM's next quarterly earnings. Thoroughly modern versions of the two '60s icons are selling fast and fueling optimism at the automakers.

It might as well be the summer of love again. The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have fired the imaginations of drivers, and car buffs are partying like it's 1968.

Except that there's nothing retro about Detroit and Dearborn's 21st-Century sport coupes. The Camaro and Mustang bristle with new technologies from voice recognition to direct injection. They have more power and better fuel economy than sophisticated European sport coupes like the BMW 335ci and cost about $20,000 less.

That has led to a sales surge and old-style Ford versus Chevy chest pounding. The Camaro outsold the Mustang by 7,777 cars for the first five months of this year. The last time Camaro outsold Mustang for a full year was 1985.

Ford is fighting back. The 2011 Mustang just went on sale with new engines and transmissions, including a brand-new 412-horsepower V8 and a 307-horsepower V6 that gets an eye-popping 31 m.p.g. on the highway.

The Mustang outsold the Camaro by 1,294 cars last month.

Chevrolet will counter with at least two new Camaro models next year: a convertible and a high-performance model that revives the hallowed Z28 badge.

The fight is on, with no sign it'll end soon.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100604/COL14/6040368/1331/BUSINESS01/Its-Camaro-vs.-Mustang

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How about a true HARDTOP guys?

If they're making a ragtop 99% of the mechanical hardware are already going to be availble right off GM's own parts bin.

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Meld the convertible bits with a modified coupe's roof- it's not that difficult.

Ding, ding, Ding...we have a winner.

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Satty    338

Meld the convertible bits with a modified coupe's roof- it's not that difficult.

Its so easy a caveman could do it. Except not really. You people apparently think engineering is child's play.

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Camino LS6    866

Its so easy a caveman could do it. Except not really. You people apparently think engineering is child's play.

Engineering has nothing to do with it, cost and weight are the reasons it is not available as a hardtop. As an engineering requirement, a hardtop isn't a complex thing.

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Satty    338

...99% of the hardware...

...its not that difficult...

Seems to me C&G thinks GM can stop producing the Camaro coupe at breakfast and have a hardtop running down the line by lunch.

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balthazar    1,998

Engineering has nothing to do with it, cost and weight are the reasons it is not available as a hardtop. As an engineering requirement, a hardtop isn't a complex thing.

Egg-zactly. All the structural engineering is already done via the convert. Just do it already.

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Camino LS6    866

...99% of the hardware...

...its not that difficult...

Seems to me C&G thinks GM can stop producing the Camaro coupe at breakfast and have a hardtop running down the line by lunch.

That's a little silly, but the statements you quote are roughly accurate. As I said, it was an issue of cost and weight. We will never see a factory hardtop on this Camaro because those decisions were made long ago. There was no engineering problem that prevented it from happening, it was an issue of meeting side impact standards at a cost that wouldn't take the MSRP of the car too high and cause GM to miss its weight goals.

Thems are the facts of the matter.

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Satty    338

Cost, yes, because it would be expensive to redesign the entire freaking structure since none of that work is done because, once again, everything from the firewall back would be completely different, so the engineering work done on the convertible does not make a hardtop a simple addition to the lineup.

And if the current Camaro meets GM's weight goals, GM has a serious problem, the car isn't chubby, its obese.

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hyperv6    774

If he Alpha Camaro is small enough it would be much easier to do a hard top.

Even with the added weight the smaller car would keep the over all weight down. Also a shorter wheel base would make for a stronger platform. they still may not do it because weight will be even more a factor in the future. They need every pound for every MPG they can get.

If could get interesting if the prices come down on compsites.

The cast was set for the Zeta a long time ago and I don't see it changing now.

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balthazar    1,998

Corvette coupe : 3208 lbs.

Corvette cnvrt : 3221 lbs.

So. Much. Extra. Weight.

If the Corvette were longer & a true hardtop was possible (instead of it being one of the few true coupes available), it wouldn't suddenly balloon to 4800 lbs as a hardtop.

Theorized Camaro hardtop weight/price gains have been greatly exaggerated.

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Satty    338

The theorized demand for a Camaro hardtop has been greatly exaggerated.

A base Corvette commands a good $20,000 more than a base Camaro, it would be far easier to justify the complexity and expense of a hardtop at the Corvette's pricepoint than at the Camaro's.

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hyperv6    774

Corvette coupe : 3208 lbs.

Corvette cnvrt : 3221 lbs.

So. Much. Extra. Weight.

If the Corvette were longer & a true hardtop was possible (instead of it being one of the few true coupes available), it wouldn't suddenly balloon to 4800 lbs as a hardtop.

Theorized Camaro hardtop weight/price gains have been greatly exaggerated.

If you want to give an example you should use a more conventional unibody car and not the Vette. The back bone chassie make this apples and oranges compared to the unibody Camaro.

If engineering and building cars were only as easy as it is on the web.

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Satty    338

It is, remember it would only cost GM $50,000 in R&D to make the Camaro a hardtop.

There is a reason the only hardtops you can buy are Germans starting at a tick under $50,000.

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FAPTurbo    1,090

Excessive theorized demand for a vehicle that only enthusiasts would appreciate? On C&G?! No way.

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Hasn't this same argument popped up in countless threads previously? It's not 1970 when it seemed like all American cars were available as hardtops (or at least 75% of them). The market doesn't care...in an era where A/C is standard on most cars, does anyone drive w/ the windows down much anymore? Move on to the next topic.

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balthazar    1,998

Satty ~ >>"A base Corvette commands a good $20,000 more than a base Camaro, it would be far easier to justify the complexity and expense of a hardtop at the Corvette's pricepoint than at the Camaro's."<<

Google images of the C6's convertible & coupe chassis' and tell me why they are not 'completely different from the A-pillar back' like the Camaro supposedly has be.

hyperv6 ~ >>"If you want to give an example you should use a more conventional unibody car and not the Vette."<<

Quite aware; shouldn't be necc to state here. But the Corvette's space frame is not as different from a unibody as a BOF car would be. Point is- if one can take a roof off a FG Corvette and have it pass crash standards with a weight gain of ONLY 14 lbs, the implication that the Camaro would gain 400 or 500 lbs certainly seems ludacrious.

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balthazar    1,998

As I've said before; if I was in the market for a Camaro- the B-pillar would not be a consideration. I've been inside a new 'maro- it did not bother me. But the point is, having such would be unique & refreshing, and IMO, better. I'd like to see it- on the Camaro and on other cars.

Pointing out that most people use A/C suggests windows might as well all be FIXED; who lowers their windows anymore?? :wacko:

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Camino LS6    866

Oh boy, you guys are getting out of control with this!

Money and weight.

Say it with me, money and weight.

The bottom line is that it would have cost more than GM thought it could recoup to meet the crash standards with the Camaro as a hardtop. The weight was also a concern because the structure of the rear quarters/roof would have needed to be an awful lot stronger (using much more steel).

The reason that the convertible with a coupe roof added won't do the trick is that convertibles don't have to meet the same crash standards as coupes. So, while grafting a coupe roof onto a convertible will work just fine, it still would need more strength enhancements to meet the standards for a solid roof car.

GM had to make this call back at the beginning. We can debate whether or not they should have gambled on a higher MSRP for a hardtop version, but the current configuration is pretty much set in stone.

I think they could have done just fine (given Camaro sales) ponying-up for the true hardtop at a higher MSRP, but I can see why they didn't.

Hyper is right, it could appear on the Alpha Camaro as the Camaro team very much wanted this car to be a true hardtop.

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balthazar    1,998

>>"convertibles don't have to meet the same crash standards as coupes. "<<

Well, how abouts a 'hardtop standard' so we can get a few back on the road ??

The fact that a convertible can expose it's occupants to notably greater injury/fatality is a quaint, surprising anachronism in this 'under-thumb' bureaucracy.

Apologies if it was mentioned in the 1000s of other topics on the subject :rolleyes: , but what realistic weight amount are we talking about, Camino?

Edited by balthazar

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Camino LS6    866

>>"convertibles don't have to meet the same crash standards as coupes. "<<

Well, how abouts a 'hardtop standard' so we can get a few back on the road ??

The fact that a convertible can expose it's occupants to notably greater injury/fatality is a quaint, surprising anachronism in this 'under-thumb' bureaucracy.

Apologies if it was mentioned in the 1000s of other topics on the subject :rolleyes: , but what realistic weight amount are we talking about, Camino?

On the first part, I agree completely. But convertibles had just enough "special interest" pull to get the exception.

As far as weight goes, it would need significant bracing both in the quarters and along the entire perimeter of the roof to meet the side-impact and rollover crush standards. I figure an extra 100-200 pounds at a minumum (assuming steel was used).

The rollover crush standards are pretty severe now.

Edited by Camino LS6

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