Good morning, Camaro Comrades, Firebird Friends, and Corvette Cousins!
Let's take a walk back in time to 2001, shall we?
In August of that year, I was asked to help craft a press release that would upset a lot of people. That Press Release announced to the world that, indeed, we would discontinue the production of the Chevrolet Camaro (and Pontiac Firebird) by August of 2002. We put a word in that press release (...that got a few of us within GM into a bit of trouble internally......) - and that word was "hiatus."
A few hours after that Press Release hit the wires, I sent a note out to the Camaro/Firebird Enthusiast community at large -- and in that note, I begged you to please "Keep the Faith."
I wanted you to know that one day the Camaro would once again return to the American and Canadian Market.
None of us within the company knew for sure WHEN that would happen......or, for that matter, that it WOULD happen. I simply knew that this legendary automobile was beloved by so many Enthusiasts --- the very people who put other GM and Chevrolet cars and trucks in their garages. And - as many of you have heard me say over and over: "Everyone - EVERYONE - has a Camaro in their past......."
After reading that Press Release in the summer of 2001 --
You could have said "....OK.....that's it.....I'm done with GM....."
.........but you didn't.
You could have said "........fine - I'll buy a Mustang and get rid of my Camaro and all of my Camaro stuff.....the HECK with GM....."
..........but you didn't.
Many of you could have said "....well....what's the use in even having a Camaro Club? - let's just close it up and move on......."
.........but you didn't.
In fact, most of you continued to grow your clubs - and gather many times a year to celebrate these great automobiles.
You could have sent me many nasty-grams and told me "where to get off"..........
.........but you didn't.
No - you didn't. Rather:
--you trusted GM -
--and you trusted me -
--and you "kept the faith" --
--and you kept gathering with like-minded individuals to preserve 'All things Camaro.'.........
--and together, we (that's you and me...) watched as the Camaro roared back into the market-place. By any measure, it's been a resounding success. It continues to win awards......it continues to win accolades.
And 'whoda thunk' that we'd be offering a Camaro -- straight off the showroom floor - with 580hp?
So - I share this next Press Release with you -- and we have YOU to thank for our success. Without you and your enthusiasm and your 'faith' -- none of this would be possible.
So - Thank you - thank you - THANK YOU!
It IS INDEED - a GREAT time to be a Camaro enthusiast!
Your Camaro Comrade -
For Immediate Release: Monday, Feb. 27, 2012
Chevrolet the Top Performance Brand in the U.S.
Corvette and Camaro accounted for one in three sports car sales in 2011
DETROIT – Chevrolet is America’s favorite performance brand, with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States in 2011.
In 2011, Chevrolet accounted for 37 percent of the sports-car segment with the sale of 88,249 Camaros, surpassing its nearest competitor, the Ford Mustang, by more than 18,000 units. That lead is expected to increase when the new Camaro ZL1 goes on sale this month.
Chevrolet accounted for 27 percent of the luxury-sports-car segment in 2011, with a total of 13,164 Corvettes sold. Corvette – currently the only domestic car in the segment – more than doubled the sales of its nearest competitor, the Porsche 911.
Top 5 Sports Cars by 2011 Total Sales and Market Share:
1. Chevrolet Camaro - 88,249 37%
2. Ford Mustang - 70,438 29%
3. Dodge Challenger- 39.534 16%
4. Honda CR-Z - 11,330 5%
5. Hyundai Veloster 9,284 4%
Top 5 Luxury Sports Cars by 2011 Total Sales and Market Share:
1. Chevrolet Corvette 13,164 28%
2. Porsche 911 6,016 13%
3. BMW 6-series 3,903 8%
4. BMW Z4 3,479 7%
5. Mercedes SLK 3,220 7%
“With the addition of the Camaro ZL1, there are only a handful of brands in the world with two cars that can match the performance, technology, and excitement of Corvette and Camaro,” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. “Unlike many competitors’ performance cars, the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1 are appropriate for both daily drivers and track use from the factory – with standard coolers for brakes and drivetrain.”
“And we challenge any company to bring two cars to compete with the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1, dollar for dollar,” Reuss continued. “They will discover what enthusiasts already know – that Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette are the world’s best performance cars for the money.”
To demonstrate the capabilities of the Corvette and Camaro, Chevrolet recently tested both cars on the “Grand Course” at Virginia International Raceway. The Grand Course configuration is a challenge for production cars because it requires prodigious power, precise handling and tenacious grip to record a fast lap.
The 2012 Corvette ZR1, equipped with new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, lapped the Grand Course in 2:45.6 – faster than the published lap time for any production car.
The 2012 Camaro ZL1 lapped the Grand Course in 2:52.4 – more than 10 seconds faster than the published lap time of the Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca on the same track.
Car and Driver Magazine, which conducts the annual Lightning Lap shootout at VIR, called the track “the nearest thing to the Nurburgring’s fabled Nordschleife.”
“The Grand Course at VIR is an excellent test of all-around vehicle performance,” said
Al Oppenheiser, global chief vehicle engineer for Rear Wheel Drive and Performance Cars, General Motors. “Like the Nurburgring, a single lap at VIR tests every aspect of a car, including power, brakes, steering, tire grip and chassis balance. To break a three-minute lap on the four-mile Grand Course is an incredible accomplishment for any car.”
The Corvette ZR1 is the most powerful vehicle Chevrolet has ever produced, with a supercharged, 6.2L, LS9 V-8 delivering 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. Of all mass-production companies, Chevrolet is the leader in carbon fiber use, with the lightweight material used for structural components on the ZR1 including the front fenders, hood, roof, front splitter, rocker panels and floor pans. With a curb weight of 3,353 pounds, the ZR1 features a power-to-weight ratio of just 5.2 pounds per horsepower. As a result, the ZR1 is also the fastest Chevrolet ever produced, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 205 mph. The Corvette ZR1 starts at $112,575, including destination.
The Camaro ZL1 is the most powerful Camaro ever produced, with a supercharged, 6.2L, LSA V-8 delivering 580-horsepower, and 556 pound-feet of torque. It is also the most sophisticated Camaro ever, with exclusive performance technologies including Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Ride suspension. Other standard performance features include six-piston Brembo brakes, and coolers for the rear differential, brakes, and transmission. As a result, the ZL1 is also the most capable Camaro ever, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, reaching a top speed of 184 mph, and lapping the famed Nurburgring in just 7:41.27. The Camaro ZL1 starts at $54,995, including destination.
Both Corvette and Camaro have also recently been recognized by IntelliChoice as being the best overall value in their segments – further proof that consumers are getting more performance for their money from Chevrolet.