I’m sitting on an airplane heading to NYC for the New York motor show. Early this morning I read the latest news in the USA regarding General Motors’ ignition switch defect issues and the related government inquiries and departures of top executives.
But on this Big Apple-bound jet plane, I’m not thinking about that mess. I’m thinking about GM’s Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 that I will be driving before the motor show at Monticello Motor Club, a circuit just outside NYC. I’m very excited to finally have a go in the 505bhp, rear-wheel-drive monster. I’m excited to feel the difference that the 136kg weight saving makes, and how it compares to the supercharged Camaro ZL1. I’m excited to see if Chevy really built a 911 GT3 killer for around half the price of the Porsche.
As I type these words I’m also thinking about the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible that will be revealed at the New York show. We saw the rather insane Z06 coupé and Corvette C7.R racecar in Detroit in January. I watched the C7.R take a win in the Tudor United Sportscar Championship race in Long Beach, California this past weekend. The Corvette beat impressive competition, including the Ferrari 458 Italia, BMW Z4 GTE, Porsche 911 RSR, and the SRT Viper GTS-R.
It’s clear that GM’s US performance division is on a roll. Unfortunately, it seems the company’s political and safety issues in the States, combined with their sales slump in Europe, is dulling its pursuit of brilliance in other areas. Cars like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST continue to trump the hot hatches from Vauxhall in the market place.
I’d like to see some of GM’s performance DNA in the USA trickle into their European products. No, I don’t want an Americanised, front-wheel-drive muscle car running around Britain but I hope Vauxhall soon offers a greater selection of automobiles that are both fantastic to drive and desirable to own. While they’re at it, how about a few right-hand-drive Camaro and Corvette models in Britain, just for a bit of extra fun.