GM previews next global ute with Colorado concept

March 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

General Motors has just revealed the first details and images of it’s next-generation midsize ute truck. Ahead of an official unveiling at the Bangkok Auto Show GM has revealed the new ute in Chevrolet Colorado form but expect a new re-badged Holden Colorado in the future.

The concept truck is an extended-cab mid-size ute which features a prominent grille, polished aluminum accents, and LED-infused headlights. Elsewhere, there’s a body-color tonneau cover and 20-inch alloy wheels with Cooper Zeon off-road tyres.

Like the next-gen Ford Ranger the styling of GM’s new ute is sure to stir some controversy as all the best and worst designs do. But Chevrolet’s global vehicle line executive Brad Merkel said of the design, “Although this is a show vehicle, the basic proportions convey the vision for the next-generation Colorado that we will bring to market.”

The Colorado in concept form features a 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine, five-speed manual transmission 20-inch wheels and all-wheel drive.

The Colorado cabin was an area of criticism for the current model and that has been addressed with the new concept vehicle. The interior is apparently high quality and has a motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster, leather seats, dark wood trim, and chrome accents. Other highlights include a dual-zone climate control system and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen display. Continue reading “GM previews next global ute with Colorado concept” »

Chevrolet remakes Camaro ZL1 – most powerful ever!

February 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The year was 1969 and it was the heyday for American muscle cars but still no one predicted the impact the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was about to have. It was a hard-performing monster featuring an all-aluminum engine displacing 427 cubic inches that was originally only intended for racing purposes. Just 69 examples of the ZR1 were built and unsurprisingly, they remain much coveted by car collectors today. To relive the interest and uncompromising performance of the original ZL1 Chevrolet have resurrected the name plate for what it is calling the fastest and most technologically advanced Camaro ever built.

While specifications haven’t been finalised, Chevrolet says that the new ZL1 Camaro will come packing an LSA 6.2-litre supercharged V8 engine that will pump out an estimated 550 horsepower and a massive 745 Nm of torque. The heavyweight engine will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch system and a short-throw shifter. GM is staying closed-lipped on performance numbers for now, but with 550-ponies packed under the bonnet, the ZL1 will move with some pace.

Away from the supercharged V8 engine and the new transmission, the ZL1 also boasts a series of chassis upgrades including a reworked suspension setting with a Magnetic Ride Control system. Putting down the anchors is a high-performance Brembo brake system with six-piston calipers up front and four at the back. A brand new electric power steering system and 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels cloaked in Goodyear Supercar F2 tyres, finish off the package. Continue reading “Chevrolet remakes Camaro ZL1 – most powerful ever!” »

Chevrolet Camaro convertible revealed as 2011 Indy 500 pace car

January 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Chevrolet has revealed the special-edition Camaro Convertible which will serve as the official pace car of the 2011 Indianapolis 500. The retro inspired Camaro is the 22nd Chevrolet chosen to pace the Indy 500 and is the seventh Camaro. Their will be 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee cars built and they will all be styled after the iconic 1969 pace car – replicas of which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.

The pace car, along with the matching festival cars, features a Summit White exterior accented with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument panel trim. The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes.

The pace car, along with the matching replicas are all based on the SS model and are equipped with a 400-horsepower V8 engine.

“’It’s an honor for Chevrolet to pace the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, especially during this landmark year,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “This is also a great opportunity for us to build on Camaro’s strong momentum, while supporting an important charity.”

Continue reading “Chevrolet Camaro convertible revealed as 2011 Indy 500 pace car” »

Chevrolet Camaro launching in Europe with special edition

December 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new Chevrolet Camaro is on the verge of its European launch and to help gain interest in the iconic American machine GM has teamed up with tuning firm Irmscher to release a limited production version of its i42 Camaro study.

First shown at the Essen Motor Show the i42 Camaro was built by Irmscher with help from Auto Magnus und Velocity Performance Parts. The special edition is based on the Camaro SS with its 6.2-litre V8 engine, but the i42 has a range of upgrades, the most important being the addition of a supercharger and a new custom exhaust system. The modifications increase power output to 509-horsepower and enables the i42 Camaro a 0-100km/h sprint time of about 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 275 km/h.

The brakes have also been upgraded and now use 380 mm front discs with 6 piston calipers and 355 mm rear discs with 4 piston calipers. There’s an adjustable sports suspension and the car now rides on new 22-inch alloy wheels with a unique black and silver design. The look is suitably finished with black racing stripes and matching “Since 68″ logos.

Depending on optional equipment the  Irmscher i42 Camaro will be sold in Germany from €49,000.

Chevy Camaro set to outsell Ford Mustang for first time in 25 years

December 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new Chevy Camaro has gone from strength to strength this year and for a reward it looks set to steal away the yearly pony car sales crown from the Ford Mustang. It will be the first time in 25 years the Camaro has managed this achievement.

According to industry insiders, the GM has sold 75,685 Camaros in the States through to the end of November, while Ford has only shifted 68,264 units. With the current sales totals in mind, it’s estimated that Chevrolet will finish 2010 with around 82,500 sales and Ford with 74,500. Coming in third in the muscle car pack is Dodge’s Challenger with 36,000 units sold in 2010.

How did the Camaro break the trend and come up trumps?

There was a built-up demand for the Camaro among badge fans after its prolonged absence in the States, combined with an excellent product on launch has done the trick. What’s even more impressive about the Camaro’s sales total is that the Chevy has outsold the Ford and the Dodge with far fewer special editions and no convertible bodystyle like the Mustang. The rag top Camaro is on the way shortly and when that is finally released things will get even more interesting.

Watch the Chevrolet Volt be built in two minutes (+video)

December 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

What would we do without time lapse video footage? Watch long and arduous tasks in real time – definitely not. The lastest door opened by this new technology allows us to watch the construction of the new 2011 Chevrolet Volt, from beginning to end. It takes less than two minutes to see the entire production process from when the first pieces of metal are welded on to the chassis to when the car is first started and driven off the production line.

The Volt is an interesting model and represents the first range-extended hybrid vehicle to enter production. It’s being built at GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant in Detroit, USA where production is now up to full speed. The first deliveries of the car are heading out to American customers later this month.

Holden are working on rebadging the Volt and bringing it here to NZ in 2012, click here to find out more.

Check out the time lapse video below. Continue reading “Watch the Chevrolet Volt be built in two minutes (+video)” »

Officially Revealed: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible (+video)

November 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Heads up all you Camaro fans out there, General Motors has just released official details and images of the drop top version of Chevrolet’s retro-styled muscle car.

The upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show will play host to the long-awaited 2011 Camaro Convertible getting revealed for the first time  before going on sale in the States from February of 2011 with an estimated starting price $30,000 USD.

Chevrolet’s newest convertible has been in development ever since the introduction of the coupe version but was constantly delayed due to the firm’s financial troubles.

GM says that converting the coupe to drop top requiredf four strategic reinforcements to enhance the body structure including, the addition of a tower-to-tower brace under the bonnet, a transmission support reinforcement brace, underbody tunnel brace and, front and rear underbody “V” braces. The overall goal was obvious – to match the coupe as closely as possible in ride quality, handling and overall performance.

The convertible uses a folding softtop built by the same makers as the unit in the Corvette, it will likely use the same centre-handled locking mechanism. GM says that the top stows away in about 20 seconds. When up, the top uses composite knuckles instead of the traditional convertible roof ribbed look.

“To compensate for the reduced structure of an open car, engineers often will make the suspension softer, making the convertible a boulevard cruiser,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Instead, we took the more difficult, but better path of bolstering structure rather than softening the suspension. We didn’t change a strut, bushing or spring rate from the Camaro coupe.”

GM is claiming that the result of the structural changes to the convertible body give it greater torsional stiffness than the BMW 3-Series convertible.

The soft-top four-seater will be offered in a similar model range as the Camaro coupe, meaning buyers will have a choice of two engines. There’s a 312HP 3.6-litre V6 mill and for V8 fans there is a 6.2L V8 producing 426 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with al six-speed automatic box available as an option.

Check out a video of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible below and images in the gallery. Continue reading “Officially Revealed: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible (+video)” »

South African tuner builds high-power Holden/Chevy ute

November 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

While their rugby may of turned to jelly that’s still not going to stop the men of South Africa from enjoying hairy-chested V8 sports utes. One of the meanest ute machines to be conceived over there is a high-powered version of what we call the Holden SS Ute but is badged in S.A as the Chevy Ute SS.

Turning the screws is South African tuner LupiniPower which has pumped up this Chevy pickup to an output of 399 kW with 799 Nm of twist from the supercharged 6.0 litre V8 power plant. Performance is very impressive with the 0 to 100 km/h sprint taking just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 282 km/h.

LupiniPower also provides a suspension ‘tweak’ for better handling and race-spec front disc brakes and calipers. Packing the guards are 20-inch alloy wheels, with 8.5 x 20-inch rims at the front and 10 x 20-inch at the back, wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza RE050 ultra-high performance tyres. A full Bilstein suspension and a limited-slip differential for can be fitted as an option.

All this power and those fancy Chevy badges don’t come cheap and the tuner’s all-inclusive price for the SportUte SS is $117,000 NZD. Continue reading “South African tuner builds high-power Holden/Chevy ute” »