Fast Cars. Expensive Gas.

Gary S. Vasilash


While we understand that when you’re a broad-market vehicle manufacturer it can be advantageous to have solid—and ideally leading—representation in an array of market segments.

Earlier this week General Motors pointed out that it is number-one in both the Sports Car and Luxury Sports Car segments based on 2011 sales, with Camaro representing 37% of the Sports Car market thanks to sales of 88,249, and Corvette leads the Luxury Sports Car segment with 13,164 units, or 28%.

Second in sales to the Camaro is the Ford Mustang, with sales of 70,438 units (29% of the total segment) and the Porsche 911 follows the Corvette, with sales of 6,016, or 13%.

And GM anticipates that greater sales will be realized with the availability of the 580-hp Camaro ZL1.

Corvette and Camaro

Mark Reuss, GM North America president, stated, “With the addition of the Camaro ZL1, there are only a handful of brands in the world with two cars that can match the performance, technology, and excitement of Corvette and Camaro. Unlike many competitors’ performance cars, the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1 are appropriate for both daily drivers and track use from the factory – with standard coolers for brakes and drivetrain.”

About that “daily driver” aspect: According to on Monday the 27th, “Average retail gasoline prices in Detroit have risen 25.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.68/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 11.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.64/g.”

The Camaro ZL1 will deliver an estimated EPA 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway. The Corvette ZR1 delivers an estimated EPA 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway.

Here’s something that doesn’t sound particularly good vis-à-vis numbers like those: “2012 is looking increasingly like 2008," said Gregg Laskoski, senior Petroleum Analyst for "Gasoline prices are climbing aggressively as speculation drives crude oil higher; and once again, it's an election year. But this time it’s the volatility in the Middle East that has everyone wondering 'How high is up?’”