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Chevrolet Camaro ship comes in

Muscle cars rolling into Walkinshaw factory ahead of Chev Camaro RHD production

Chevrolet logo6 Aug 2018

IT IS a sight to gladden the hearts of impatient Chevrolet Camaro customers in Australia and New Zealand – a truck-load of the shiny new American coupes arriving at Walkinshaw Automotive Group’s right-hand-drive conversion factory at Clayton South, in Victoria.
 
The six left-hand-drive Camaro 2SSs on a semi-trailer from vehicle logistics company Prixcar were snapped by GoAuto on the way to the factory where they were taken straight around the back to be stored in readiness for the start of production within the next two weeks.
 
Walkinshaw’s engineers are putting the finishing touches to the Camaro production line that is slap bang next to a line that is already churning out Chevrolet Silverados in RHD form at the rate of about six a day.
 
Like the Silverados, the Camaros will be sold through Holden Special Vehicles’ network of 55 dealerships.
 
But unlike the body-on-frame Silverados, the Camaros with their monocoque construction will go through a distinctly different conversion process, requiring the cars to have the powertrain removed so the firewall, steering column and dashboard can be switched from the left to the right.
 
The Camaros will be moved along a series of production stations, each with its own hoist, so workers can complete the process in stages.
 
The Silverados, on the other hand, have the body removed so the body and rolling chassis – complete with big V8 diesel engine, automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive powertrain – can travel down separate lines for the conversion process before being joined up again at the end.
 
August is a big month at the Walkinshaw factory. Apart from the start of Camaro production late in the month, the factory is also due to begin RHD conversion of the heavy duty Silverado 3500HD with its dual rear wheels, alongside the 2500HD that has been rolling out to dealerships for a couple of months.
 
The factory is also turning out RHD Ram pick-ups for Ateco Automotive, while also dressing up Holden Colorado SportsCats for the broader Holden dealer network.
 
The Camaro – built at General Motors’ Lansing plant near Detroit – will be offered by HSV dealers in only one configuration in Australia: 6.2-litre V8 2SS Coupe with eight-speed automatic transmission.
 
Most of the specifications for the Australasian version of the sixth-generation Camaro have been known since May, but pricing has been kept under wraps. It could be expected to made public any day now.
 
The normally aspirated LT1 V8 produces 339kW of power and 617Nm of torque, which is the same power but 61Nm more torque that the smaller 5.0-litre V8 of its main competitor, the Ford Mustang GT (339kW/556Nm).
 
The extra torque should make the Camaro slightly quicker from zero to 100km/h than the Mustang which does the dash in about 4.3 seconds.
 
As our spy pictures testify, the Camaro will be offered in a range of mostly bright colours, including two shades of red and a pair of blacks.
 
The Camaro is expected to appeal to traditional HSV customers, many of whom have owned a series of V8-powered cars over the three decades of the HSV brand.
 
With no V8-equipped model in the Holden range since the demise of Commodore local production last year, the Camaro will carry the high-performance flag for GM Down Under.

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