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Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Future Vehicle, Coupe
May 18, 2006 (5:02 am)
I've read Bob Lutz has mention they have to sell 100k units/yr for the Camaro to be successful. If that's the case, a solid v6 offering in the low $20s is a must. You need these entry level sales to support a v8 model that will sell in modest numbers. Look at the GT0 (not the best comparison I know, but similarities exist).
The Mustang is successful because they sell a ton of v6 models, probably in the order of 3 to 1 or more over a GT. It has been that way since 1964, women have always loved Mustangs and have bought tons of the entry level model.
The fact is, while many will want to see nothing but HiPo v8 models, there are not enough buyers to plunk down $30k plus on a muscle car.
If Dodge brings the Challenger to market it will also make things tougher in the market place. The Mustang has a foot hold and with it's attractive price along with a convertible.
While I miss the "pony" car wars and I miss reading and seeing head to head comparisons, I just don't know if the market can support 2-3 muscle cars in relatively large numbers.
#5 of 53 Re: Consequences of a new Pony Car war [carlisimo]
May 18, 2006 (5:16 am)
carlisimo, you say that chevy has a faster v8 sedan than pontiac, but isn't the gto a 2 door sedan? there's only one chevy faster - it's not a sedan and it's nearly double the cost.
regarding the supposed pony-car war, i wonder if it will occur if recent fuel prices continue in USA.
one feature i would probably like in my 6-speed GTO is cylinder-shutdown since i use the car for mucho highway cruising where the engine is loafing. i hear the next-gen camaro will have cylinder-shutdown for the V8 models... and there's a good chance i'd trade my GTO for a next-gen camaro, unless i decide to go for a diesel. i doubt we'll be seeing any diesel pony cars
#6 of 53 I think the basic premise...
May 18, 2006 (6:00 am)
of this topic is flawed. None of the Big Three have a sporty RWD compact coupe anywhere in sight. They do have a raft of full-size heavyweight coupes on the way. The Solstice is more of a pony car than the neo-Chevelle "Camaro".
#7 of 53 Re: I think the basic premise... [bumpy]
May 18, 2006 (7:27 am)
The interesting philosophical question your comment brings to mind is "what makes for a pony car?" This was the real subject of the Ford Probe/Mustang fiasco in the 1980s, and I suspect might resurface again soon (possibly with different results this time).
But to the immediate point, in terms of size and weight, pony car status is usually relative to what else is out there. For instance, Mustang specs have shifted up and down as the rest of the automotive market has. Look at 1965 and a 1973 together, and the difference is astounding.
The current Mustang seems quite large compared to my 2002, just as my 2002 seems quite large compared with a Fox body. But when you compare them each to the size of the average family sedans in the market at the time, they're all relatively about the same in proportions.
#8 of 53 Re: v6 a must [dieselone]
May 18, 2006 (8:38 am)
The Mustang is successful because they sell a ton of v6 models, probably in the order of 3 to 1 or more over a GT.
If I'm not mistaken, the split is about 50-50, with many of the retail six-cylinders going to women, and the majority of the retail V8's being sold to men.
To clarify my previous point, the six-cylinder variants of these cars have tended to be crude afterthoughts with coarse, anemic motors and less appealing styling, definitely screaming out "Base Model"! I would suggest that the 6-cylinder models be attractive and appealing in their own right, so that getting one isn't such an obvious compromise. Just as a BMW 325 doesn't seem to be such a horrendous compromise as compared to the 330 -- each car is desirable in its own right -- I wouldn't continue to build a second-rate 6-cylinder pony car just to make the 8-cylinder version look better.
The V8 needs to be available to maintain the image, while understanding most of the buyers won't actually buy one if the fuel costs too much. The V8 helps to maintain the allure of the nameplate, even for those who buy the less powerful version.
#9 of 53 Re: v6 a must [socala4]
May 18, 2006 (9:12 am)
"To clarify my previous point, the six-cylinder variants of these cars have tended to be crude afterthoughts with coarse, anemic motors and less appealing styling, definitely screaming out "Base Model"!"
Could be worse...remember back in the late 80's-early 90's when the engine choices for the Fox body Mustang were either a 2.3L 4 cylinder, or the 5.0V8?
#10 of 53 Re: v6 a must [1racefan]
May 18, 2006 (9:49 am)
I think the V6 to V8 ratio is more toward the 3 to 1 range than a 50-50 split. There just aren't enough GTs made for the 50-50 spread to work.
But on the "screaming 2.3 liters of Mustang fury" topic , it's interesting that right now in one of the other discussion theards, there have been in the past week two seperate people with 4cyl Foxes who have inquired if they should fix them up and hold onto them.
I think it says a lot about the non-performance qualities that a good pony car should have that there is interest in even those versions...GM and Chrysler take note: it's not all about 0-60 times.
#11 of 53 Re: v6 a must [john_324]
May 18, 2006 (9:58 am)
I still see a lot of those old 4 bangers on the road. They apparetnly were put together fairly well, and that engine is bullett proof (so to speak).
#12 of 53 Re: v6 a must [john_324]
May 18, 2006 (10:48 am)
"GM and Chrysler take note: it's not all about 0-60 times."
Actually, it's some of their fans that need to take note of that fact. You'd think that the ONLY things that matter were engine displacement, hp ratings, and 1/4 mile numbers. It's like they want to drive a spec book instead of a car....
#13 of 53 Re: v6 a must [rorr]
May 18, 2006 (11:07 am)
What's really funny is that despite all of the GM fanboys gushing about the last F-body's performance stats (and they were something to behold, that's for sure), not enough of them were willing to put their money where their mouth is and go out and purchase one.
So the cars are axed and the assembly line is put to use building what people really wanted to buy, not just admire...