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Old 08-26-2008, 10:12 AM   #1
radz28
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Bob Lutz interview

http://www.leftlanenews.com/lutz-int...um-on-z28.html

It’s hard to interview General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz without at least mentioning the Chevrolet Camaro. The car represents a huge investment for the automaker, and more recently a point of some controversy. In an exclusive interview with Leftlane, we asked Mr. Lutz about the Camaro’s journey from concept to production, timing of the launch, plus future model plans.


Do you think it was a mistake to unveil the Camaro concept so far ahead of actual production?

Bob Lutz: “No, I don’t think so at all. The Camaro started out not being a production program. We did this pure concept car. There’s a couple of different kinds of concept cars.”

“There’s the kind I call ‘fake,’ which are so-called precursors — when the real car has already been decided on and is already in the hopper and is about eight months away from production, and you do a conceptualized version, reducing the roof height a little bit, putting bigger wheels on, like we did with the Cadillac Provoq which now turns out to be the Cadillac SRX. They’re a way of revealing most of the production intent of the car, but making it a little more exciting and getting some advance press on it.”

“Then there are the other types of concept cars that start out as a pure concept, just as a great idea, sort of ‘Wouldn’t that be nice,’ with no intention of producing them whatsoever. Examples of that kind of car is the original Dodge Viper, shown in 1989, the Pontiac Solstice, shown in 2002, and the Camaro. A lot of times what happens with those is that the car guys within the company do that car because the only thing that has a chance of convincing the corporation that it might be a good thing to do is the overwhelming success and response to the concept car.”

“The skeptics in the company say ‘oh no, jeez, we shouldn’t be wasting our money on that, these Pony cars are short-lived.’ Once the concept is shown, the company is bombarded with emails and letters, and even your own board members start asking what’s to prevent us from doing this?” That’s when the whole company gets energized and says, ‘well, maybe we ought to do this.’ I hate to say it, but sometimes it’s the way to sell something internally that otherwise would be tough to sell.”

“Once we showed the concept, and it got a good reception, we moved the implementation phase. And since we were starting from scratch, the concept had in no way been designed in a way to enable easy production. It was a special version of the Zeta rear-wheel drive architecture and nobody had a clue how to get wheels that big onto that architecture, and so on.”

“So under three years from concept to production is pretty darn fast. I don’t think that hurt the car, in fact I think there is a very agreeable surprise on everybody’s part that the production car looks almost identical.”

We’ve had several people familiar with the supercharged Camaro project tell us that it has been cancelled. Whether it was to be called Z28 or something else has there been a change of plans in terms of high-performance Camaro offerings?

Lutz: “Well there certainly has been a de-emphasis because of the fuel economy rules, we have to bias the mix towards the vehicles with the V6 engines, and discourage the sale of large powerful V8s. That’s what we’ve always said about the CAFE legislation- it puts us at war with market demand. Gasoline is four dollars a gallon and maybe someday going to five and six, the market will automatically gravitate to the smaller-engined cars.”

“But that’s the point we’ve always been making, that with fuel economy mandates without a concomitant increase in gasoline prices, you are going to have cars that the public desperately wants and you’re going to have to say to the public, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t give you one of those.’”
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:16 AM   #2
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Notice he didn't say there won't be a Z28 OR a supercharged model
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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got to love it no z28 is dead nonsense
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We do not want to use the Z28 moniker on a car that does not deserve this hallowed name.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:33 AM   #4
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GM is like beyond broke right now. I just don't think they have the cash to do more than they are already doing with Camaro.

It's gonna take more than just Camaro selling well too. The other new models like Volt are also tied to the Z28 etc. If GM is not rolling in some cash soon...
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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I believe the Volt will have runaway success, and so with the Camaro if it's priced right.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:39 AM   #6
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Eh; I'm sure Z28 has been in development for more longer than a year. Still, I'm keeping my faith, as instructed
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radz282003 View Post
Notice he didn't say there won't be a Z28 OR a supercharged model
Sounds like he pretty much said so in the last line

Quote:
Lutz: “Well there certainly has been a de-emphasis because of the fuel economy rules, we have to bias the mix towards the vehicles with the V6 engines, and discourage the sale of large powerful V8s. That’s what we’ve always said about the CAFE legislation- it puts us at war with market demand. Gasoline is four dollars a gallon and maybe someday going to five and six, the market will automatically gravitate to the smaller-engined cars.”

But that’s the point we’ve always been making, that with fuel economy mandates without a concomitant increase in gasoline prices, you are going to have cars that the public desperately wants and you’re going to have to say to the public, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t give you one of those.’”
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:38 AM   #8
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IMHO, I don't think that's what he meant; I'm not even going to mention there's a good chance this quote was once again taken out of text. I'll have to see if I could find a transcript. How many times has this happened before?( perhaps he's talking about people wanting the LS9 in Camaro or something along those lines) I'm only suggesting Z28-fans don't need to worry
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:50 AM   #9
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He seems to have made it clear that if one does surface, it will have to be limited production. He also didn't specify that the Z28 name will make production. It almost sounds like a ZL1 is secretly in the works.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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Also there is nothing stopping an owner from making a custom Z28. Just get some custom paint or stripes and some Z28 stickers. Toss some custom wheels on it. Paint the calipers. LED kit. Some fuzzy dice. Then it's the home rolled Z28.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:14 PM   #11
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LOL, fuzzy dice. That's a nice touch!

You're right Blur, I'm just doing as instructed by 'Father I ZL1 would be super sweet, I just can't help but think no one, outside of automotive circles, would know what that RPO represented. Everyone knows the Z28, however, IF a 500-fighter is in the works, Z28 and ZL1 have little to nothing to do with a GT-machine I think the 500 more represents. They were at complete ends of the performance spectrum - road racer; all-out drag racer. You're right though
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vash View Post
Also there is nothing stopping an owner from making a custom Z28. Just get some custom paint or stripes and some Z28 stickers. Toss some custom wheels on it. Paint the calipers. LED kit. Some fuzzy dice. Then it's the home rolled Z28.
YAY RICER-mobile!

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Sounds like he pretty much said so in the last line
to each his own in how he reads into that.
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We do not want to use the Z28 moniker on a car that does not deserve this hallowed name.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #13
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If an almighty ZL1 is in the works then I'm am gonna have to start saving some money.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:04 PM   #14
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I don't think he completely shot it down, he was saying, IMO, that he wants to give it to you, but the government might make that impossible.
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