Chevrolet Camaro

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

The all-new sixth generation 2016 Chevrolet Camaro makes a mere 455 horsepower in its hottest version, way less than the 526-horsepower Ford Shelby GT350 or 707-horsepower Dodge Hellcat, but were not going to say its blown away by them, or that it cant compete with them. After all, what good is horsepower if you cant use it? and to be honest, mostly all you can do with 500-plus horsepower is show it off, which is not the same as using it. But we digress.

The thing about the Camaro is that it also, for the first time in history, comes with a four-cylinder engine. Its a turbocharged 2.0-liter making a civilized 275 horsepower while bringing 30 highway miles per gallon, never mind that that model is the one they call the chicks car. It wasnt that long ago that 275 horsepower was a muscle car. In fact, that was the power produced by the 5.7-liter V8 in the original 1967 Camaro.

The looks of the new 2016 Camaro dont depart much from the 2010-2015 model, but its changed a lot underneath, as its slightly smaller, built on the platform of the Cadillac ATS. Even though it has more muscle than ever, the Camaro cant be called a muscle car, because the description has a connotation of the bulk of yore. This Camaro boasts flexibility to match its power, with exceptional handling.

There is also a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 335 horsepower (compared to a mind-bending 140 horsepower from the inline-6 in 1967) and 284 pound-feet of torque to scoot the car to 60 mph in about five seconds, fast enough to challenge the V8 muscle car Camaro of recent past. It uses a 6-speed manual gearbox with rev matching, or an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

And we havent even gotten to the Camaro SS with its Corvette engine, the LT1 V8 making 455 horsepower and an equal number of foot-pounds of torque. Its formidable and sensational, with zero to 60 times of about four seconds.

A big reason for the superb handling of the new Camaro is its reduced size and weight: 2.3 inches shorter on a wheelbase thats 1.6 inches less, and slimmer by up to 200 pounds. But the new chassis might mean just as much to the cars feel, with engine rails, trunk floor and steering gear from the awesome Cadillac CTS-V.

As always, there is a tradeoff. Smaller exterior means smaller interior, felt in the trunk and back seat, which is fine if your passengers are backpacks. But if you stay in the front seat, the Camaros cabin has never been more comfortable, organized or detailed. The roof is one inch lower, but the headliner is carved out and the front seats are lower too, so no headroom is lost. A tall driver can strap on his helmet and take the Camaro SS for a track day.

Standard equipment on every 2016 Camaro is the Drive Mode Selector, which allows the driver to select the levels for the cars steering, stability control, shift timing, and throttle response. Four-piston Italian Brembo brakes are standard, with 18-inch alloy wheels and Goodyear Eagle Sport tires.


2014 Chevrolet Camaro

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro features updated and the addition of a high-powered Z/28 model, keeping its place as the best-looking American muscle car currently on the market.

Changes for the 2014 model year include a new front fascia with a lower, wider front grille and new headlights. In the rear, theres a new spoiler, redesigned exhaust tips and new single-piece taillights, replacing the old double-rectangle design found on the current Corvette Stingray). New Recaro sport seats are optional on Camaro SS and Camaro ZL1 models.

The Camaro Z/28 is a track-ready, super high-performance variant that weighs about 300 pounds less than the Camaro ZL1. The Z/28 is powered by a 7.0-liter V8 that makes a hearty 500 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Its paired exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission and uses a race-inspired suspension. Carbon ceramic brakes and performance tires come standard. The interior is no-frills: Standard Z/28 models come without air conditioning (though it can be added as an option), and a spartan audio system that includes only one speaker.

Camaro LS and Camaro LT models continue with a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard and a 6-speed automatic is optional. In terms of power, the V6 can pretty much pass for a V8, a bonus for the price. EPA fuel economy ratings are modest for its class, at 17/28 mpg City/Highway with the manual transmission and 19/30 mpg city/highway with the automatic.

Camaro convertibles are equipped like the coupes but feature a power soft top fitted with acoustical foam in the headliner to minimize noise with the top up.

Camaro SS uses the 6.2-liter V8 from the outgoing Corvette, good for 400 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque with a 6-speed automatic, or 426 hp and 420 lb.-ft. with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The Camaro SS uses firmer shocks, springs and anti-roll bars than do the V6 models, but the ride doesnt suffer for it. A limited-slip rear differential is included to reduce wheel spin when trying to put all that power down.

The uber-high-performance Camaro ZL1 uses a supercharged version of the 6.2-liter V8 good for a whopping 580 hp and 556 lb.-ft. of torque. It can accelerate from zero to 60 in 3 seconds flat with a top speed of 184 mph. While testing at Germanys famed Nurburgring racetrack, Chevrolet factory drivers set a lap record with the ZL1, beating the Porsche 911 GT3. At $55k the ZL1 is cheap, given its level of performance.

We found the handling, ride and brakes to be excellent in both the Camaro LT with the V6 and the Camaro SS with the big V8, although the SS suspension is stiffer and its 20-inch tires are firmer. Inside, the cabin is quiet, so 80 mph feels more like 70. Interior materials are good, but the instrumentation is disappointing, with GM trying to be retro rather than clean with gauges.

Perhaps the Camaros biggest drawback is its lack of driver visibility, due it its high beltline and relatively small windows. Up front, the view is compromised by the long hood and raked windshield. Rearward visibility over the drivers shoulder is hampered by the low, slanted roofline.

Competitors to the Chevrolet Camaro include American pony cars Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, each with high-performance versions. Those looking for performance and sporty handling at an attainable price should also consider the Scion FR-S or Hyundai Genesis Coupe.


2013 Chevrolet Camaro

The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro is in its fifth-generation, last redesigned for the 2010 model year. For 2013, the Camaro remains relatively unchanged, but upper trim levels do get Chevrolet's MyLink touchscreen interface, with optional GPS navigation. A new race-inspired 1LE Performance Package on SS models equipped with the manual transmission includes a sportier suspension, high-performance summer tires and unique gearing.

2013 Camaro LS and Camaro LT models come with a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. In terms of power, the V6 can pretty much pass for a V8, a bonus for the price. The V6 on 2013 models revs to 7200 rpm.

Engine modifications introduced for 2012 help with power and efficiency, and include a revised cylinder head design with integrated exhaust manifolds, improved intake ports, larger intake valves, longer-duration camshafts, a composite intake manifold, new fuel pump, optimized-flow fuel injectors, cylinder block enhancements, stronger and lighter connecting rods, and a cleaned up camshaft cap and throttle body.

A Camaro LS achieves a fair EPA fuel economy rating for its class, at 19/30 mpg City/Highway with the automatic transmission.

Camaro convertibles are equipped like the coupes but feature a power soft top fitted with acoustical foam in the headliner to minimize noise with the top up. This latest-generation Camaro was designed from the outset to include convertible models, and reinforcements were added in four key areas to increase rigidity.

Camaro SS uses the 6.2-liter V8 from the outgoing Corvette, good for 400 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque with a 6-speed automatic, or 426 hp and 420 lb.-ft. with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The SS uses firmer shocks, springs and anti-roll bars than the V6 models, but the ride doesn't suffer for it. A limited-slip rear differential is included to reduce wheel spin when trying to put all that power down.

The uber-high-performance Camaro ZL1 uses a supercharged version of the 6.2-liter V8 good for a whopping 580 hp and 556 lb.-ft. of torque. It can accelerate from zero to 60 in 3 seconds flat with a top speed of 184 mph. While testing at Germany's famed Nurburgring racetrack, Chevrolet factory drivers set a lap record with the ZL1, beating the Porsche 911 GT3. At $55k the ZL1 is cheap, given its supercar levels of performance. We drove a Camaro ZL1 at Virginia International Raceway and found it both thrilling and easy to drive fast. It's a fantastic performance car, great for track events or autocrossing. Yet it can cruise comfortably around town and on the highway as a daily driver. The suspension does not punish the driver on rough roads. It's a very impressive machine.

We found the handling, ride and brakes to be excellent in both the Camaro LT with the V6 and the Camaro SS with the big V8, although the SS suspension is stiffer and its 20-inch tires are firmer. Inside, the Camaro cabin is quiet, so 80 mph feels more like 70. Interior materials are good, but the instrumentation is disappointing, with GM still trying to be retro rather than clean with gauges.

Perhaps the Camaro's biggest drawback is its limited driver visibility, due it a high beltline and small windows. The view out front is compromised by the long hood and raked design. Rear visibility over the driver's shoulder is hampered by the low, slanted roofline.

Competitors to the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro include other American pony cars like the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, each with its own high-performance versions. A refreshed Camaro is on the way for 2014, so there may be deals and offers on 2013s.


 

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