If we had to describe the Camaro in one word, we’d call it a heartbraker. It has provided joy to multiple generations of enthusiasts and it’s been the secret ingredient for countless life stories. In 2002 it was pulled off the market and it was badly missed until 2009, when a new generation was born.
Now that the Camaro is back, it does the same thing, it breaks hearts. This muscle car makes you fall in love with it using its appearance and when you get to know it better it offers you a diluted experience, leaving you craving for more. There are many who choose to ignore the problem and focus on its looks and heritage, which is why sales figures are not a problem.
The good part of the Camaro SS we drove is its exterior styling. The design is not just inspired from that of the original car, it’s also mixed with fresh elements and turns heads everywhere. The current Camaro’s styling cues have even allowed it to maintain the tradition of becoming a Transformers character, the Bumblebee autobot.
You may not expect such a bad boy to display proper Grand Tourer characteristics, but this is exactly what this car does. When you walk up to it in the parking lot, its lines will bring a smile on your face and its comfortable nature will keep this in place during any kind of long trip.
The bad part of this muscle car is its excess weight. This is an issue that GM itself has admitted and promised to correct for the next generation of the car, but until this arrives the current one has to deal with the multitude of negative consequences.
The acceleration, braking and handling are affected - You don’t buy a Camaro to be the fastest on a racetrack, but in the end, the driving emotions are less than you’d expect. From behind the wheel, the Camaro feels like it’s a bit old despite its new conception and aside from the aforementioned weight problem, a part of the responsibility for this comes from a few details of the car.
We’re referring to the engine’s shy voice, which never makes you feel that you’re controlling a 6.2-liter V8. In addition to that, the suspension allows a bit too much body roll through the corners and the setup also brings more understeer than you’d want.
For the naturally-aspirated V8 SS models, GM has found solutions for both of the aforementioned problems, but the fixes only partially solve the issues.
First of all, we had to wait for the 2013 model year to receive these fixes. It all starts with an optional dual-mode exhaust that keeps the V8 calm when you want it so, but lets it express its feelings if you step on the gas pedal.
In addition to that, there’s an optional 1LE package which sorts out the handling. Alas, this is only offered for manual-fitted SS models, so the automatic is left to wobble a bit.
As for the ugly part of the Camaro, this title goes to its interior. The cabin is not bad, but it simply lacks the shine it was expected to have after the concept car was presented. The production model keeps almost the same inspiring styling, which combines retro details with an original approach, but the materials used take away an important part of the magic.
A bit earlier we mentioned the Camaro’s sales and we have to tell you that this car doesn’t just borrow the styling from the original model, but also the affordability. You can get an entry-level V6 model for a little over $22,000 plus destination charges. If you want to be able to call it a muscle car, you’ll need a V8 under the hood, which brings the starting price to around $35,500 plus destination charges. We drove the V8-powered Convertible, which comes with a premium of around $4,000.
What’s more, the Camaro should no longer be regarded as a model that’s only destined for the US market. GM has decided to make it a global product and thus the muscle car culture can be tasted on markets such as China, Europe and South Korea. Unfortunately, the passport also brings a considerable pricing increase for the car.Continue reading