you like this story, then you might also want to read thoughts
on a new compact pickup from Chevrolet by 2012.
prices reducing demand for big pickups, rising fuel economy targets,
and last week's Supreme Court Ruling - that the U.S. federal government
must use its authority to mandate the reduction of carbon dioxide from
automotive exhaust - may be the sticks that prompt General Motors to
reward El Camino enthusiasts with a juicy carrot by 2011.
Lutz's recent comments to AutoWeek, we
expect a reborn El Camino would use GM's new Zeta rear-wheel-drive
platform, like the
2009 Chevrolet Camaro. The Zeta architecture was created for the
North American and Australian markets, where GM subsidiary Holden sells
popular car-based pickups called Utes.
Utes come in several configurations and flavors. Buyers have a choice
of two-door (Coupe) or four-door (Crewman) cabs with V6 or V8 motors,
including a high performance 350-horsepower Super Sport version.
El Camino would likely offer several engine choices, including V8 and
V6 gasoline engines and, potentially, a four or six cylinder diesel.
All engines would be mated to a standard six speed transmission. An
SS badged El Camino could highlight the lineup with a V8 pushing more
than 400 ponies.
cues may combine the Camaro's muscular fenders and flanks with the
prominent new Chevrolet family front-end that's starting to appear
on bow-tie branded cars and trucks, such as the 2007
Avalanche and 2008
assembly lines, GM could build El Caminos and Camaros side-by-side
with other future Zeta-based cars, like the Pontiac GTO. The benefit
- lower manufacturing costs for GM and potentially cheaper alternatives
to full size and midsize pickups that get better mileage, emit fewer
greenhouse gases, and still offer decent open bed utility for commercial
and casual buyers.