1980s FWD Camaro

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Thread: 1980s FWD Camaro

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    News Contributor Premium Member EJD1984's Avatar
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    1980s FWD Camaro

    I believe I've finally found a picture of the Camaro version of the (thankfully) failed 1980s fwd GM80 program.

    Comparing it to the Firebird prototype, the front axle to the base of the windshield ratio looks to be the same. In addition, the rear glass hatch between the two look identical. Though it appears that the Camaro was a little earlier in the styling development to the Firebird - That looked near production ready.



    Though maybe GM could have recouped some of the development cost by releasing versions these cars

    There also would have been a cousin to the Camaro and Firebird, the Oldsmobile Silhouette.

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Any word on what engine was to be used in these? I figured it was the Twin Dual Cam 3.4L V6
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    GMI Camaro Forum Moderator Premium Member Z284ever's Avatar
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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Nice find!

    Note how similar the GM80 FWD Camaro looks to the 4th gen. I once asked an engineer who worked the F-Car program, why the 4th gen had such long front overhangs, with essentially empty space from the front fascia to the front wheels? His response surprised me. He said, "because we designed that structure to be on a FWD".
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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Never seen that one before. great find.
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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    I don't think I've seen these photos before...

    The Firebird looks like it may have eventually morphed into the Buick Reatta...

    The Oldsmobile cousin at the link looks much like the last gen Oldsmobile Toronado...


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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    I wonder what pact the F bodies staying rear wheel drive helped the Corvette as well. Corvette came very close to getting the axe around the same time. Without the Camaro and Firebird, why develop performance versions of what would have primarily been a truck motor? Find these photos fascinating, though. An AWD, 275 hp 3.4 v6 (if they had developed a strong enough transaxle) would have been very cool. Maybe GM would have taken Camaro rallying! Imagine: Camaro beats STi and Evolution!

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    An AWD, 275 hp 3.4 v6 (if they had developed a strong enough transaxle) would have been very cool. Maybe GM would have taken Camaro rallying! Imagine: Camaro beats STi and Evolution!
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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    I was thinking that GM could have used names from the Camaro and Firebird's past.
    Chevrolet Berlinetta
    Pontiac Esprit

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Quote Originally Posted by posaune View Post
    Never seen that one before. great find.
    That would have been called the Silhouette.

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    At least GM didn't produce utter embarassments such as the fourth and--especially--the fifth (1982-1987) generation FWD Omni-Charger.

    Fifth generation: 19821987

    The Charger returned in 1982 as a subcompact hatchback coupe with front-wheel-drive, and a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. This economy-type model was similar to the Dodge Omni 024, but with a slightly larger engine. The Charger was available with the NA 2.2l SOHC or a turbocharged 2.2l SOHC engine. Both engines could be specified with either transmission. A Shelby Charger was offered starting in 1983, with a turbo version available in 1984 producing 148 horsepower (110 kW) at 5600 rpm and 160 pound-feet (220 Nm) of torque at 3200 rpm. The engine was not intercooled and used a small t3 Garrett turbo. In 1985, the electronics were updated but power output was the same. In 1986, the electronics were further updated.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by posaune View Post
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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    They should have produced these along side of the rwd Camaro and Firebird, though GM at the time probably didn't have the cash. There was a market out there for fwd sporty cars - Ford Probe & the Mazda version, Celica, Prelude, etc.. That is provided they didn't put out a lackluster product as GM was prone to at the time, such as the Fiero, taking 3 years to get it right.

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Quote Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
    Nice find!

    Note how similar the GM80 FWD Camaro looks to the 4th gen. I once asked an engineer who worked the F-Car program, why the 4th gen had such long front overhangs, with essentially empty space from the front fascia to the front wheels? His response surprised me. He said, "because we designed that structure to be on a FWD".
    That makes so much sense, I always wondered about the overhangs myself. I always felt (and still do) that that generation looked very awkward and this explains it!

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    At least GM didn't produce utter embarassments such as the fourth and--especially--the fifth (1982-1987) generation FWD Omni-Charger.

    Fifth generation: 19821987

    The Charger returned in 1982 as a subcompact hatchback coupe with front-wheel-drive, and a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. This economy-type model was similar to the Dodge Omni 024, but with a slightly larger engine. The Charger was available with the NA 2.2l SOHC or a turbocharged 2.2l SOHC engine. Both engines could be specified with either transmission. A Shelby Charger was offered starting in 1983, with a turbo version available in 1984 producing 148 horsepower (110 kW) at 5600 rpm and 160 pound-feet (220 Nm) of torque at 3200 rpm. The engine was not intercooled and used a small t3 Garrett turbo. In 1985, the electronics were updated but power output was the same. In 1986, the electronics were further updated.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Charger



    One in every crowd. There should be criminal penalties for such works as this.
    the Fwd charger was respected back then EX as NO car had enough power to make a difference (82-87) and also remember the FORD PROBE was to REPLACE the mustang and be FWD
    + remember all the GM Ads of the era pointing out the IMPROVED traction by having the engine OVER the drive wheels

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    FWD Chargers with turbos, especially the Shelby versions, were quick, rowdy cars for the day. Maybe they weren't Chargers, but they were an excellent very American take in FWD perfornance: all torque and elbows!

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    Re: 1980s FWD Camaro

    Yeah, youse guys are right. My error.

    It just looks damned odd compared to the original 60s-early 70s chargers and challengers.

    And damned odd compared to the 2005+ examples. But different eras have different priorities. Those were the days when engine computers still ran on coal, and needed a fireman to shovel the stuff in.

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond2000 View Post
    the Fwd charger was respected back then EX as NO car had enough power to make a difference (82-87) and also remember the FORD PROBE was to REPLACE the mustang and be FWD
    + remember all the GM Ads of the era pointing out the IMPROVED traction by having the engine OVER the drive wheels
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    FWD Chargers with turbos, especially the Shelby versions, were quick, rowdy cars for the day. Maybe they weren't Chargers, but they were an excellent very American take in FWD perfornance: all torque and elbows!
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