Holden’s red-hot HSV Chevrolet Camaro is on the way

Australian fans of the Chevrolet Camaro will soon be able to park one in their driveway for $85,990.

The long-awaited price line for the classic American muscle car comes as HSV confirms the final details of its plan to import, re-manufacture and convert the Camaro for sales down under.

Only 550 cars will be available in the first year of Camaro sales, which will be made through the existing HSV dealer network.

The price announcement is the best news for Holden since the end of local production of the Commodore, giving the red lion brand a much-needed hero car to take the place of the SS Commodores, and the fully hot rodded HSV versions, that provided the shining halo for the whole Holden family.

Even with a showroom sticker that is substantially more than then $49,990 starting price for the rival Ford Mustang, and tops the $73,688 for the upcoming Bullitt edition 5-litre coupe and the $74,709 for the Mustang GT automatic convertible, the Camaro is expected to be an instant sellout.

HSV dealers have had their allocations for 2018 for several weeks and were only waiting for the price to confirm their initial orders with loyal owners.

The Camaro will retain its Chevrolet badges in Australia, as well as its 6.2-litre V8 LT1 engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Mechanically, the car also has independent rear suspension, Brembo brakes and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Luxury features include leather seats, a sunroof, auto air-conditioning and a nine-speaker Bose sound system, a customisable 8-inch digital instrument display and wireless phone charging.

The whole General Motors world is watching the Camaro project with interest, as highly-placed executives in Detroit – including former Holden president Mark Reuss – consider giving a green light to a full right-hand drive version of the next-generation Camaro.

But there are doubts about the demand for the Camaro in Australia, given a limited appetite for two-door American coupes and pricing by HSV which has to cover the multi-million dollar spending on engineering of the car’s right-hand drive conversion in Melbourne and the actual conversion costs.

Even so, HSV is bullish about the Camaro project as it is already converting the hulking Chevrolet Silverado pick-up and also has conversion experience with the right-hand drive program it created for the RAM pick-ups sold by Ateco Industries in Australia.

Tim Jackson, managing director of HSV, says that bringing the Camaro down-under is a project that “has been over three years in the making and involved millions of dollars of investment in product development, testing and validation.”

“We set out with the goal of retaining the integrity of the left-hand drive vehicle through the adoption of extensive engineering, development and manufacturing processes.”