General Motors Special Vehicles, the brand risen from the ashes of HSV, has locked in Corvette and is eyeing the return of a cheaper Camaro as it looks to protect and grow the American muscle-car pipeline to Australia.
The Corvette is set to be priced at $149,990 when the mid-engined V8 Ferrari-fighter lands in Australia late 2021.
The price has been adjusted up to suit demand, which has been strong since local RHD availability was confirmed.
Wheels has learned the mid-engine C8 Corvette will be imported in strictly limited numbers of no more than 200 a year.
We believe it was originally pitched at $129,990 when Holden management was in charge, but since the creation of importer GMSV, it has been lifted to $149,990.
Higher performance versions will follow priced close to $200,000 – still a bargain for the massive performance on offer, and compared to Ferrari and Lamborghini rivals.
Chevrolet Silverados and other GM SUVs will be converted to RHD by the Walkinshaw Automotive Group, formerly producer of Holden Commodore-based HSVs.
The Chevrolet Camaro is also set for a comeback as a WAG ‘remanufactured’ model.
GMSV is also looking at local conversions of other GM SUVs, including Cadillacs, though Cadillac sedans, even V8 models, have been ruled out because of rapidly declining demand for performance four-door sedans.
According to informed sources, GMSV has plans to import the Chevy Tahoe SUV and Suburban multi-seater, which are based on the same architecture as the Silverado.
The Cadillac Escalade is a contender for the same reason. Its ‘gangsta rapper’ appeal is also a factor.
Local RHD conversions of Silverado-based big trucks would be enhanced by preferential transaction rates, while cheaper imports would also help the reintroduction of Camaros.
RHD conversions of Camaro SS and ZL1 have finished, but the V8-powered coupe could win a local reprieve because its life has been extended.
Wheels understands the end date of the current Camaro – which will be the basis of GM’s 2022 Supercars racer – has been pushed out from 2024 to 2026.
GMSV is looking at reintroducing RHD-converted Camaros in both SS and ZL1 spec as soon as 2021 ahead of competing against arch-rival Ford Mustangs in Supercars in 2022 under the new Gen3 rules.
Under the GMSV umbrella, the Camaro should be much cheaper because of a better exchange rate deal with GM in Detroit.
More competitive pricing would put it on a closer par with the factory-direct RHD Ford Mustang, the world’s best-selling ‘sports car’.
Before the Camaro, the Tahoe and Suburban are next on the conversion list.
GMSV is also looking at importing and converting the GMC Hummer EV pick-up, which local sources think has great potential.