Insider Information Claims No Right Hand Drive 2016 Camaro Coming
The Chevrolet Camaro has been marketed around the world throughout the majority of the current 5th generation model, but although it was sold by dealerships in some markets where right hand drive cars are the norm, it was sold in the same left hand drive form that we are accustomed to here in the US. However, when Ford Motor Company announced that they would offer the new 2015 Ford Mustang around the world, with right hand drive models for those markets where that configuration is preferred, it was widely expected that the next generation Camaro would also have a right hand drive model.
This new report indicates that the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will not be offered as a right hand drive model, which could give the Mustang a significant advantage in markets where they drive on what Americans would consider the wrong side of the road.
Motoring Learns of No RHD Camaro
While speaking with a General Motors executive (who preferred to remain anonymous) at the 2014 SEMA Show, the Australian automotive news site Motoring was looking for news of high performance, rear wheel drive V8 models for the Aussie market. The Holden Commodore (Americans know it as the Pontiac G8 and now the Chevy SS) is expected to be discontinued after 2017, and Motoring wanted to know if there was a replacement planned since the Commodore has long been a popular go-fast model in Australia. Unfortunately for readers in their home market, Motoring learned that there is no replacement planned for the Holden Commodore.
Worse yet, Motoring also learned during this SEMA Show discussion that GM isn’t planning to introduce a right hand drive version of the next generation Chevrolet Camaro when it drops for 2016. Even when the Mustang wasn’t offered with right hand drive, it was expected that the next generation Camaro would offer a proper drive configuration for the Australian market. Unfortunately, this unnamed exec said that the RHD Camaro program was “highly unlikely”. Fortunately, the program hasn’t been cancelled altogether – it just sounds like there won’t be a right hand drive Camaro when it arrives in US showrooms for the 2016 model year.
Why No Right Hand Drive Camaro?
While we aren’t likely to get a solid answer as to why there is no right hand drive Camaro until after the 2016 models have been fully introduced, there is probably one main reason why GM might not build the right-drive 6th gen Camaro.
There is a great deal of engineering involved with taking a left hand drive Chevrolet Camaro and converting it to right hand drive. That engineering – and the testing procedures that come with a new drive configuration – isn’t cheap. If GM opts not to offer a right hand drive Camaro for 2016 or shortly after, it will almost certainly be due to the fact that the automaker doesn’t expect to sell enough RHD units to justify the costs of engineering and building those models.
Of course, this isn’t based on official information so there is still a chance that we could see a right hand drive 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, but it doesn’t look good for those folks who drive on the left side of the road to get a 6th gen Camaro that will work better on their local roads.