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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve got a theory about the future Camaro. This theory is about the platform on which the new Camaro will be built. The Camaro is rumored to be planned on the upcoming Zeta. I don’t believe this will happen. I believe the Camaro will be built on the 2+2 Kappa platform. This would make much more sense and this is why:

First, the size of the Camaro vs. the size of the Kappa. They are VERY close in size. This is the 2+2 Kappa I am talking about. The wheelbase of the Nomad and Curve is 107 inches. The wheelbase for the first and second gen. Camaro: 108 inches. Third and fourth gen.: 101 inches. Since the new Camaro is supposed to be draw from it’s roots, that puts the wheelbase almost exactly the same. Front and rear track are almost the same as well. First gen. Being 59 inches, fourth gen. Is 60 inches. Our kappa examples: 60 inches up front and 61 in the rear. Again, very close. The height of the cars, is yet again, very close. The Curve is 49 inches, the past generations Camaro is either 49 or 51 inches. I won’t include the width or total length of the cars because that is effected be the shape of the body and the overhang in front and back. I will say the width is close between the first gen. and the Curve, which means it won’t be a problem. Ok, I know the first thing that will be replied is that the Kappa can’t have a V8. This is not true. According to the Autoweek article, The Solstice is said to be just a little thinner than a Vette and wider than a Miata, both of which have had or has a V8 (the Miata was not produced with a V8 but people have put them in there). Now, lets compare the old Camaros to the Zeta. Wheelbase on the Velite (which is the Zeta example) is 114.8 inches, almost 115 inches. This is way to long for a Camaro! Why would GM try to shorten this platform to make it a Camaro? That wouldn’t make any sense. The track is about six inches to wide. The Camaros have been about 59 to 60 inches, The Zeta is 65 in front and 66 in the rear. Much to wide. Now the Zeta would have to be shortened and thinned. Why would GM go through that when the Kappa is already the right size? Another comparison of facts. The 05 Mustang (the new Camaros’ most direct competition) has the same close dimensions. In other words, the old camaro, the 05 mustang (and 04 for that matter), and the Kappas all are close in size.

Second would be the future RWD Monte Carlo or Chevelle, both rumors are circling the internet. For ease, I’ll say it is the Monte. This is supposed to be on the Zeta platform as well. The time frame for the rumored Monte is around 2009, give or take a year. This coincides with the projected date for Chevy to get its’ Zeta. The inside info on Cheersandgears says the new Camaro will be out for its’ 40th birthday. That is MY 2007, which is about the time Chevy should be getting a Kappa. Cost wise, it wouldn’t be wise to have two cars, off the same platform, one normal sized (Monte on regular Zeta) and the other modified (Camaro of the shortened and thinned Zeta) and not have a Kappa, or have a two seat “sportster” baby Vette (which would be a direct competitor of the Solstice). Money is my next reason.

Money…If the Camaro is going to be successful, it must make money AND it shouldn’t cost that much. The Kappas’ should be profitable at 20,000 units which means it would be hard for the Camaro to not be profitable, especially since the worst sales of the last were about 60,000. The base price of a Kappa is south of $20,000 which is where the Camaro needs to start. The Velite is rumor to possibly cost ~$40,000. I know the Velite is far more luxurious than the Camaro will be, but I can not see a base Zeta being below $20,000. This would also take away from the upscale brands that get a Zeta (Buick, Cadillac…even the Chevy and Pontiac version). I could just hear the media now, “This platform is also used on the Camaro, and GM has the nerve to charge twice as much (or more) for this …insert high end brand here…version.” Most people believe the new Camaro will nit be the high volume seller it used to be. The consensus is less than 100,000 units per year. I haven’t seen a number like the Kappa for it to be profitable, but I couldn’t see the Zeta only needing 20,000 to pull a profit, which means, Chevy would need more ensure the sale of more Camaro to keep it alive.

What do I make of the Rumor and inside info that is floating around? I think the sportster that Popular Mechanics “Spied” is really the Camaro and is not a two seat roadster, it is a 2+2, coupe. Would it be unheard of for a rumor to be leaked to a) get the people talking and B) get the focus away from the real product that is under development. I think GM leaked that rumor, in that form on purpose. The inside info on CandG, besides the part about Zeta, it all sounds good. According to the moderators over there, there is more info they haven’t released. I have no direct inside info, this all has been from placing together little pieces of info from many sources. This has also been written using common sense, which the auto industry doesn’t always use.
 

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You may be on to something here. One thing to remember, lots of young males do not care about driving V-8's. They grew up on turbo 4 bangers. A Kappa platform could satisfy a range of engine tastes appealing to a far broader audience. You could go from a full blown V-8 or turbo 4 screamer to a very sporty looking car with a fuel efficient 4 banger. You might just get your mass produced Camaro going in this direction with a far broader appeal than the new Stang. This Kappa platform used correctly could be one of the great auto platforms in history. My only regret in Chevy doing this would probably be the demise of the Nomad which is the one GM car I really, really, want.
 

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you may be onto something here...

so how a base v6 200-230hp camaro hardtop should be priced compared with the solstice? the same?
 

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If a V8 can be shoehorned in, then it will be done.

Zeta could be used for a Monte Carlo instead.

Personally I think this makes more sense - lighter, smaller, faster, more nimble - not a big ol' car with a big ol' engine on rails - that kind of car won't appeal to the youth market anymore - save it for the Monte.
 

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The Velite is about the same length as the last generation Fbodies, so I dont understand what this "big ol'car" talk is about? Just because it has a larger wheelbase doesnt always mean its a larger car. Just means that the wheels are farther out, with less overhang, better handling, and a better more athletic stance.

There are some flaws in this whole thing. One is that the Kappa car will never get a V8. It might fit, but it wont happen. On top of that, the Camaro will not be a limited run, 20k unit car.

Look at the GTO, and tell me that its physicly a large car? Its really not, its actualy pretty small for such a heavy car. It makes great use of the room it has, which teh Fbody didnt. Holden will also be using this chassis for there coupes and sedans, so I dont think that the Monaro will be that big. The Velite was about the same size as a 4th gen. Not to mention there is talk about a smaller Zeta chassis. Forget the Monte, its Camaro time.
Who says that Zeta cars wont handle well? Sure, the lighter Kappa would be a lot quicker, but dont count out Zeta. Holden builds its racing rep off the V chassis. A HSV Commadore beat out a M5 last year at Nurburgring. And thats off the aged V chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Originally posted by bigals87z28@May 2 2004, 07:13 AM
The Velite is about the same length as the last generation Fbodies, so I dont understand what this "big ol'car" talk is about? Just because it has a larger wheelbase doesnt always mean its a larger car. Just means that the wheels are farther out, with less overhang, better handling, and a better more athletic stance.

There are some flaws in this whole thing. One is that the Kappa car will never get a V8. It might fit, but it wont happen. On top of that, the Camaro will not be a limited run, 20k unit car.

Look at the GTO, and tell me that its physicly a large car? Its really not, its actualy pretty small for such a heavy car. It makes great use of the room it has, which teh Fbody didnt. Holden will also be using this chassis for there coupes and sedans, so I dont think that the Monaro will be that big. The Velite was about the same size as a 4th gen. Not to mention there is talk about a smaller Zeta chassis. Forget the Monte, its Camaro time.
Who says that Zeta cars wont handle well? Sure, the lighter Kappa would be a lot quicker, but dont count out Zeta. Holden builds its racing rep off the V chassis. A HSV Commadore beat out a M5 last year at Nurburgring. And thats off the aged V chassis.
I've never said the zeta won't handle well. It will be a good handler. So why won't the kappa get a V8? really, show me where GM said that. I also didn't say the Camaro WAS going to be limited run, I said it could be profitable at 20,000 units which means less chance of the Camaro being killed again. obviously, chevy wouldn't hold the Camaro to 20,000, but as-long-as they sell 20,000, the Camaro lives.
Yes, the Velite is about the same size However, compared to the last Camaro, there is far less overhang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here is the best one:

ZETA ROLL-OUT
2007 Buick luxury sedan
2008 Buick convertible
2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
2008 Pontiac GTO
2008/09 Chevrolet coupe and convertible
2009 Chevrolet Impala
2010 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

From the article:
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http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf...A256E45001580AB
and seen in this thread:

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forum/index.ph...?showtopic=4099

so, the new Camaro wouldn't be out for its' 40th birthday. which is what is predicted

Kappa hits the market in 06. That is for the saturn and the pontiac. Chevy would follow right behind with a 07 Camaro.
 

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Yes, the Kappa is supposed to be good handling, but putting a bigger engine up front is going to throw the weight off for the platform, which is going to mess with the handling. And, on the Zeta, remember the Impala is going to Zeta, which means that Zeta's going to have to reach down pretty far in the price range from the Velite. Zeta's the best chance we have for a 5th gen Camaro. Zeta is going to be the new bread and butter GM platform; which means it's got to be profitable at high volumes. Camaro's got to sell at least 110k to even get back in competition with the 'Stang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by nightwave@May 2 2004, 08:54 PM
Yes, the Kappa is supposed to be good handling, but putting a bigger engine up front is going to throw the weight off for the platform, which is going to mess with the handling. And, on the Zeta, remember the Impala is going to Zeta, which means that Zeta's going to have to reach down pretty far in the price range from the Velite. Zeta's the best chance we have for a 5th gen Camaro. Zeta is going to be the new bread and butter GM platform; which means it's got to be profitable at high volumes. Camaro's got to sell at least 110k to even get back in competition with the 'Stang.
And throw the Camaro on top, the zeta must dip even farther, below 20,000.

The Camaro will not see sustained sales of 110k. Maybe for a year or two but not very long. That is a big maybe. The suits at GM won't let the Camaro comeback if it is going to take more than 100k units to be profitable. Let me see...kappa is profitable at 20,000 units so any thing over that is icing on the cake. A new Camaro would sell more than 20k per year. Look bake at the fourth gen., it had sales as-low-as 60k units. If GM relies of high production for the Camaro to survive, it will die again.
 

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The dam Camaro WILL sell 100K a year if they style it properly. Curvy front AND back,.........drop the fat asses GM cars are now wearing.........and make it fast 0-60 in 4.5.....sell at 30,000................watch them sell, it's all to easy for those fat exec. to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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They might not need to sell that many to make a profit. If there is going to be tons upon tons of new cars coming from Zeta, the Camaro might not have to sell as well as if it was on its own chassis again. To get a better idea on what the Camaro needs to be, lets figure out what went wrong witht he 4th gen. Its a nice car, if your an enthusiast. If your a 17 year old girl, it might not be so nice.
Lets try to look at what made the 4th gen Camaro a not so appealing choice over the Mustang or others. Things that would hamper sales of people looking for a sporty ride.
#1- The low slung seating. This is due to the nature that the Camaro went from a Sedan like seating position, to a Corvette like seating position. To some enthusiasts, its a great feeling to be low to the ground, but enthusisats dont drive sales. Sitting in a Mustang makesyou feel like your sitting in a Taurus with buckets(hell, they share most of the parts...ZING!!). The Low slung feeling wasnt such a good idea to make the car a daily driver or appeal to the V6 owners who just want a sporty ride.
#2- Mega rake windshield. My first time sitting in a 4th gen, I couldnt stand the massive rake! It was a bit too much. Also not a great thing for daily driving people. I felt my visibility was cut to a point.
#3- Lack of back seat room. The car without the back seat for somene who wants a daily car out of this isnt gunna be too happy that they cant fit more then maybe another person in the back.
things like quality were ok when compared to what else was out there in that price range.... sorry, but the Mustangs interior is just horrid. 4th gens were too, but that Mustang... reminds me of my plastic on plastic taurus.

There are probably others, but thoes are the big 3 that stick out in my mind when I drive it. Now, sit in a GTO or Monaro. Forget about styling and the quality of the cars. The seating is not so low, but its not SUV like. Windshield rake is about as much as my third gen, maybe less. And back seat...well, you can sit people in there. The GTO's ergonomics is what needs to be brought into the next camaro, and with the Zeta chassis, that should give us exactly what it needs to keep it something that you could drive day in and day out. Not saying you could with a 4th gen, but in the whole spectrum it would be easier.

As for teh questions about Kappa Camaro. I belive GM said it somewhere that a V8 will not be seen in here. Im sure that someone will do it, its only a matter of time. I dont think we the drivers would get the same feeling from a Kappa Camaro that we would get from a Zeta. Id much rather go Zeta with a long wheel base. Id like to see some of the ideas that went into the Kappa program go into all Zeta cars, but I dont think that a Kappa Camaro would be what the buying public is looking for. A good idea, but not something I would like to see happen, or do I think would be the best way going about the next Camaro.
 

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My understanding on the Kappa platform is while it can be profitable at 20,000 units per year, it doesn't scale well to large production runs. I believe the hydoforming process used to create body panels isn't cost effective in larger volumes. So, the very thing that makes it profitable in low volumes precludes high volume production.

This is perfect for niche vehicles. GM can build 3 or 4 different cars on the Kappa platform for a total volume of 60,000 - 100,000 unit per year, make money on each one and phase different cars in and out of production as their popularity wanes. This seems to be a better way of approaching specialty and sporty models rather than the more "bet the farm" approach of something more mass market like the last Camaro.

So, if GM thinks of the Camaro as a niche car selling in the 20,000 - 30,000 cars per year range, a Kappa-based car makes a lot of sense. If it thinks it can go to much larger volumes (say, closer to 100,000+), Kappa becomes a bit problematic and some form of Zeta makes more sense.

Given that the kind of Camaro that people on this board want (V8, lots of power, focused on performance, cheap) probably wouldn't sell in great volumes, a Kappa solution might make some sense. GM could then let the various versions of the Cobalt go after the mass, sporty coupe market that buys V6 Mustangs and base RSXs.
 

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someone mentioned on this post about the camaro not being out for its 40th anniversary. GM is probably keeping the release date under wraps untill they know for sure they can make the deadline. The worst thing that could happen to the camaro, is that GM says that it will come out at a certain time, and they miss the date. it would be a total turn-off for alot of people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Originally posted by gearhed502@May 13 2004, 07:05 PM
someone mentioned on this post about the camaro not being out for its 40th anniversary. GM is probably keeping the release date under wraps untill they know for sure they can make the deadline. The worst thing that could happen to the camaro, is that GM says that it will come out at a certain time, and they miss the date. it would be a total turn-off for alot of people.
Of coarse, as of now, GM isn't saying anything about the camaro, release date included. They have said when chevy is getting a Zeta, that's 2008, the 41st anniversary. Chevy will get a kappa in 06 or 07, unless it is the nomad, it would probably be 07...the 40th anniversary. ;)

Where have you read that the body panels were hydroformed? I'm not being sarcastic, I just never read that the body panels were, just the framerails. that would change the profit margin. If it is just the framerails (like I read in the articles I saw) increasing the production shouldn't effect the profitability of it. e.g. GM wants to build a 100,000 kappas per year. we already have 20,000 Solstice and 20,000 Curve and possibly 10,000-20,000 nomads. That leaves 40,000-50,000 Camaros. Not quite as many as the last generation sold but more than a typical "niche" vehicle. However much most of us here would like the Camaro to hit 100,000+ sales, in the market today, I don't see that happening. The first year maybe two, you may see higher sales (like when the 4th generation came out), but then sales would slow to where the 4ths did, around 60,000. If GM could build it on kappa and have profitable, sustained sales of 50,000, the camaro would be here to stay. The market for the Camaro is fairly crowded, mustang, 350Z, RX8, Charger (returning), Curve against the base Camaro...50,000 in a market like that would be good.

I also believe the wheelbase needs to be a little bigger than the 4th generations 101". I'll take the 2+2 kappas 107" wheelbase. Anything bigger starts moving into mid to fullsize car wheelbase sizes. The Camaro also needs less overhang than the last generation, and if the rumors of body design are true, it would have less overhang. Little bit bigger wheelbase + a little bit shorter overhangs = a camaro close to the size of the first generation, which again is the big styling influence for a future camaro, according to rumors. :type:
 

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Originally posted by posaune@May 13 2004, 03:44 PM

Where have you read that the body panels were hydroformed? I'm not being sarcastic, I just never read that the body panels were, just the framerails. that would change the profit margin. If it is just the framerails (like I read in the articles I saw) increasing the production shouldn't effect the profitability of it. e.g. GM wants to build a 100,000 kappas per year. we already have 20,000 Solstice and 20,000 Curve and possibly 10,000-20,000 nomads. That leaves 40,000-50,000 Camaros. Not quite as many as the last generation sold but more than a typical "niche" vehicle. However much most of us here would like the Camaro to hit 100,000+ sales, in the market today, I don't see that happening. The first year maybe two, you may see higher sales (like when the 4th generation came out), but then sales would slow to where the 4ths did, around 60,000. If GM could build it on kappa and have profitable, sustained sales of 50,000, the camaro would be here to stay. The market for the Camaro is fairly crowded, mustang, 350Z, RX8, Charger (returning), Curve against the base Camaro...50,000 in a market like that would be good.

An Autoweek article on the development of the Solstice can be found here: http://www.autoweek.com/search/search_disp...29260&record=12.

The quote on the body panels:

"Thanks to a hydroforming fabrication process capable of producing the Solstice's curvaceous sheetmetal-a low-cost method, but a relatively slow one, only suited to low-volume production-von Holzhausen's job was made much easier. Invented in the '60s for making unseen interior panels, the process has become more sophisticated in recent years as some Japanese companies have pioneered its use to bend aftermarket sheetmetal panels for specialty vehicles, said Al Houchens, GM's director of advanced manufacturing technologies. Nobody has tried it for a production car, said Houchens, but GM is taking the chance because "you couldn't do this with traditional stamping technology."

This process involves using high pressure water to shape sheet metal into a mold - it's cheaper than a traditional stamping, but not suited to high-volume production due both to the slowness and I believe because the molds themselves don't have a particularly long life.

What I don't know is if all Kappa platform cars must use this method for their body panels - I assume if they are built in the same plant as the Solstice, they probably would. This would limit the volume of a Kappa-based Camaro, though as pointed out, this may not be a huge problem if the car comes back as a focused performance vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Originally posted by Tone+May 14 2004, 04:05 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Tone @ May 14 2004, 04:05 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-posaune@May 13 2004, 03:44 PM

Where have you read that the body panels were hydroformed? I'm not being sarcastic, I just never read that the body panels were, just the framerails. that would change the profit margin. If it is just the framerails (like I read in the articles I saw) increasing the production shouldn't effect the profitability of it. e.g. GM wants to build a 100,000 kappas per year. we already have 20,000 Solstice and 20,000 Curve and possibly 10,000-20,000 nomads. That  leaves 40,000-50,000 Camaros. Not quite as many as the last generation sold but more than a typical  "niche" vehicle. However much most of us here would like the Camaro to hit 100,000+ sales, in the market today, I don't see that happening. The first year maybe two, you may see higher sales (like when the 4th generation came out), but then sales would slow to where the 4ths did, around 60,000. If GM could build it on kappa and have profitable, sustained sales of 50,000, the camaro would be here to stay. The market for the Camaro is fairly crowded, mustang, 350Z, RX8, Charger (returning), Curve against the base Camaro...50,000 in a market like that would be good.

An Autoweek article on the development of the Solstice can be found here: http://www.autoweek.com/search/search_disp...29260&record=12.

The quote on the body panels:

"Thanks to a hydroforming fabrication process capable of producing the Solstice's curvaceous sheetmetal-a low-cost method, but a relatively slow one, only suited to low-volume production-von Holzhausen's job was made much easier. Invented in the '60s for making unseen interior panels, the process has become more sophisticated in recent years as some Japanese companies have pioneered its use to bend aftermarket sheetmetal panels for specialty vehicles, said Al Houchens, GM's director of advanced manufacturing technologies. Nobody has tried it for a production car, said Houchens, but GM is taking the chance because "you couldn't do this with traditional stamping technology."

This process involves using high pressure water to shape sheet metal into a mold - it's cheaper than a traditional stamping, but not suited to high-volume production due both to the slowness and I believe because the molds themselves don't have a particularly long life.

What I don't know is if all Kappa platform cars must use this method for their body panels - I assume if they are built in the same plant as the Solstice, they probably would. This would limit the volume of a Kappa-based Camaro, though as pointed out, this may not be a huge problem if the car comes back as a focused performance vehicle. [/b][/quote]
Thanks, I missed that one when doing research for the theory. I wonder if a Camaro would need as much hydroforming of the body panels. The Solstice has a much different styled body to include the clam shell (?) opening frontend. A camaro would have a traditional hood. ;) :D
 

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Either way - the method of forming of the body panels is part of what makes Kappa both flexible and profitable in low volumes. What I don't know is at what volume this process is no longer practical.

If the Kappa business case still works at the 50,000 unit level you had proposed, a Kappa Camaro seems more possible. Another interesting tidbit - Kappa uses the rear end from the Cadillac CTS, so upgrading to bigger power shouldn't that big a deal (especially with the V6 CTS at 255 hp and the CTS-V at 400). A 300+ hp Kappa Camaro doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility if a V8 could be made to fit. Plus the engineering development involved would also support higher-performance variants of other Kappa cars.
 

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Okay here's how I see it:

-Kappa will NEVER get a production V8.

-A Camaro will NEVER be produced without a V8.

Sure a V8 might fit in a Kappa, but GM would have to completely re-engineer the platform to get it to handle like a sports car with the added weight up front. Why do that when Zeta was designed for V8 RWD in the first place?
 
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