1) CamaroZ28.Com: We know what the name Camaro means, but what does Camaro mean to you personally?
Cheryl Pilcher: Wow. just thinking about the Camaro takes me back to my good old days of working at the Milford Proving Grounds on the 3rd gen and new 4th gen Camaros. We had a young and very enthusiastic engineering group working on the Camaro that LOVED Camaro. It was a great time in my life! The name Camaro just makes me think of those carefree times, loving life and having fun. And life just gets better because now I get to be intimately involved in the 5th gen Camaro - an absolute dream!
2) CZ28: Regarding the recently leaked photos, has it helped the project at all? How much did it hurt the project?
Cheryl: I think the decision to remove the camo on the Camaro has helped and hurt. It has been great to hear the majority of people that absolutely love what they see and how pleased everyone is that the production car is so similar to the concept car. The downside is that I feel like we need to give everyone a lesson on the difference between a prototype and production car. Normally that is not something that you need to worry about at this time. And on a fun note, it's fun to read everyone's speculation on what is correct and where we are headed and what everything means, especially when you know all the answers! Sometimes you are spot on, other times out in left field!
3) CZ28: Is the Camaro team surprised by the attention the car has received?
Cheryl: I'm not too surprised because I know that we all fell in love with the concept car the first time we saw it too. Keep in mind that so many of us who are working on the car are absolute enthusiasts too so we know when it felt right. You just can't stop looking at it, studying it and wanting to drive it.
4) CZ28: Is there any way to tell how the new government regulations will impact future Camaro models? If so, can there be a possibility of it being in a good way?
Cheryl: The new CAFÉ fuel economy regulations concern me. It will be a challenge and I'm hoping that GM will be up to that challenge with the next generation of Camaro!
5) CZ28: What are your thoughts on Camaro's soon-to-be competition, like the Mustang, Challenger, etc.?
Cheryl: I respect our Camaro competition, but I have no fears for the Camaro. The Camaro will stand tall compared to these competitors in so many ways.
6) CZ28: Some people feel the upcoming Hyundai Genesis is also competition for the Camaro since it has 300HP and is RWD. Agree or disagree that it is competition?
Cheryl: I think that we must be aware and study the Hyundai Genesis coupe. As we learn more about this model at the NY auto show we will be more informed as to any strengths or weaknesses Hyundai may have.
7) CZ28: What is the current state of Camaro development?
Cheryl: Things are well on their way for the Camaro validation testing. Testing is going well and on schedule. Our focus does switch to the lifecycle planning of the car, how to keep it fresh and exciting. Trust me, it will be exciting!
8) CZ28: Why is the Camaro going to be a 2010MY if it is coming out early 2009?
John: By assigning the Camaro a 2010 model year moniker, it maintains resale value. Also, what better way to start the second decade of the 21st Century?
Cheryl: Fitz has got it right!
9) CZ28: It is reported that dealerships have been taking deposits for well over a year. What are your thoughts on that?
Cheryl: It really pleases me to hear the excitement and the obvious desire that so many people have in wanting to own a new Camaro. I just hope that our Chevy dealers haven't over-promised in what they will be able to deliver and when.
13) CZ28: With the release of competitor vehicle information like the Challenger, people get frustrated when there is little Camaro information being released. Why is Camaro information not being released as soon or as frequently?
Cheryl: The Challenger will be available for sale soon and basically comes one way: with the 6.1L Hemi V8. So of course you are going to start to see detailed information on Challenger and what is available. Unfortunately we still have a ways to go with the Camaro.
15) CZ28: The lack of T-Tops and the requirement of a B-pillar are two elements that are among the most talked about with disappointment. What is the definitive reason behind both?
Cheryl: I say Amen! I'm in that choir that didn't want a B-pillar.
16) CZ28: When the concept was designed and developed, was it designed for any possibility or any intent of production or was it purely a concept at that stage?
Cheryl: I have to believe that 99% of us were thinking production car when the concept car was designed, but it was not officially approved. Just like any business, there has to be a good business case to go along with the product. Thankfully we were able to make it all work!
17) CZ28: What color will YOURS be?
Cheryl: Well, Scott knows me so well, and therefore he knows that black over white is my favorite too! But I've owned only black cars for the past 20+ years so I'd have to say black will be my choice (safe answer!). Good trick question on your part, guys!
18) CZ28: If you could say one thing to the person out there who might be considering owning a new Camaro when it comes out but is still undecided or it was just a passing thought, what would it be?
Cheryl: Just look at it. How can you resist? If you're in the market for an eye-catching car, with great performance and great value, you have to look at the Camaro.
19) CZ28: If you could say one thing to the person out there who once considered owning a new Camaro when it comes out but ran out of patience and has purchased something else or is now planning on purchasing something else, what would it be?
Cheryl: I think when they start seeing the new Camaro out on the road they'll find a way to get out of their current deal and into a Camaro.
20) CZ28: If you could say one thing to the person out there who has waited patiently through thick and thin (AKA the "Faithful") and will definitely own a new Camaro when it comes out, what would it be?
Scott: We dedicate this new Camaro to YOU, the enthusiasts. YOU are the reason the Camaro is roaring back with a vengeance! YOU were the one who could have said "I'm tired of waiting!" but you didn't. You could have said "Scott, I'm TIRED of 'having faith'. GM isn't talking. I'm outa here", but you didn't. This is a celebration for ALL of us. YOU are the ones who wrote the letters and kept the dream alive!
Cheryl: I can't say it any better than Scott, amen!