General Motors and Holden promised Australia that a rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered sports car would return to the country’s shores following the end of VF Commodore production. We now know the answer hails from Chevrolet, via a Holden Special Vehicles right-hand-drive conversion for the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.
But, it looks as if GM has more in store as it moved to trademark the “ZL1” name in Oz. Wheels reported on Wednesday that the automaker has begun the process to protect the Camaro’s high-performance badge, though it will need to wait until September of this year for the next step, per the report.
What isn’t clear is if the current sixth-generation Camaro ZL1 is on the table, or if the trademark comes ahead of the seventh-generation car. Previous intel from the publication alleged a 2021 introduction date for the next-generation Camaro. Additionally, GM has supposedly baked in a fail-safe option should the Australian market shun V8-powered cars altogether; the automaker allegedly has until 2019 to pull the plug on the RHD Camaro program.
An RHD Camaro has support from high up the corporate ladder at GM, too. GM vice president of global design, Michael Simcoe, has lobbied for a factory RHD Camaro for Australia, and it appears he’s gotten his wish. It also helps to know the Ford Mustang, which arrives from the factory in RHD, has performed very well since the end of Ford Falcon production in Australia.
In the meantime, HSV will begin converting the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS for Australia this year and plans to begin sales this summer.