On The Road: Chevrolet Camaro SS Auto Review
I have to be honest; this was a very difficult car to get out of. Not, as you probably suspect, due to my age, but the fact that it is a Camaro, for crying out loud! And what a Camaro.
We have seen this car for a couple of years now, and you might reasonably figure that it’s getting a little hum-drum. Let me be brief, it is not. The new Camaro, the first since 2002, harks back to the last of the first generation GM ponycars, just like Mustang and Challenger did. The looks remind you most of the 1969 model, and as with the Ford and Dodge entries, retro is all the rage. And that's OK, because under the dramatic, shark-like skin of this orange beauty, is the GM Zeta platform we first drove in the Pontiac G8. It offers a fully independent rear suspension, which the Mustang does not, and more power. How much more? Well the base 3.6-liter V6 packs 304 horsepower compared to 250 for the Dodge and 210 for the Mustang. The 6.2-liter V8 in our SS Camaro has 426 rumbling ponies, and to get that much horsepower from the other two, you will pay a lot more than the $31,000 for the SS model. The V6 starts at just over $22-K.
By the way, I never thought I’d use the phrase orange beauty in a sentence inside, the retro theme continues with two-tone leather seats and cool radio and auxiliary gauges mounted on the console. At night it’s a little busy…ok…it looks like downtown Tokyo.
The new convertible top is a little slow, but an absolute cinch to put up and down. It has a plastic tonneou cover in the trunk that you can snap on. I promise, absolutely no one will ever both doing that.
The 6-speed manual in our tester is a short-throw pleasure to use. But how does it drive, you ask? Like a scalded dog with a great suspension. The new Camaro SS is planted, confident and fast. 0-60 takes just 4.6 seconds and you still get 16 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway. Not great, but if that's your priority, get the V6.
Either way, this new Camaro will earn you so many admiring looks, you'll feel like Brad Pitt. Well, until they get a gander of the gray-haired pilot of this land rocket. What a let down that must have been.