The Camaro makes a brilliant Grand Tourer, as the car has many aspects that favor cruising. If used in this way, its comfortable nature mixes with certain sporty assets to offer a pleasing experience.
Nevertheless, the Camaro's bad boy lines make you dream about the word "open" - an open road and an open throttle are the dream team. When you do mix the two, the Camaro has some aces up its fenders, but it doesn't quite manage to deliver a vivid experience.
We don't know if it's abused junk food or not, but the Camaro does have a weight problem that even GM itself admitted and promised to solve once a new generation arrives.
The torque monster under the SS' hood manages to deal with the extra kilos and together with the six-speed automatic in our test car, it can make the speedometer sweat in most gears and regardless of the speed. In terms of fuel efficiency though, you can clearly feel the weight of the car. Despite the cylinder deactivation system used by the powerplant of our SS Convertible test car, this returned an efficiency of 13.8 mpg (17 l/100 km).
It's the same story with the Brembo brakes, which provide a confidence-inspiring level of stopping power even at highway speeds.
Things do change when talking about the suspension. Its setup places comfort high on the list of priorities and while it does keep the body's motion under control, it doesn't inspire you to push the car hard. This becomes obvious during heavy braking, when the car shows a pronounced pitch. The problem makes you doubt the official 109 ft (33.2 m) stopping distance from 60 mph (96 km/h), even though you know this is accurate.
Now that we've talked about the "big picture" aspects that influence the Camaro's behavior, it's time to cover the smaller details.
The engine may be potent enough to deal with the excess weight without breaking a sweat, but to enjoy the muscle car experience you'll need to floor the throttle. The V8 truly seems to come alive past 3,000 rpm, but not even then are you convinced that you've got a 6.2-liter V8 under the hood.
Partial loads won't do the job due to two reasons. First of all, the exhaust is surprisingly quiet, whether we're talking about low or high revs. This is doubled by the serious soundproofing, which does make this a sweet cruiser, but kills what was left of the aural enchantments.
As for the handling, the Camaro is safe to drive, thanks to the independent rear suspension and the StabiliTrak electronic nanny, but it doesn't inspire you to push it very far. The aforementioned suspension setup meets a rather vague steering and you won't see why you should step on the throttle more.
If you do, you'll discover that you can have fun with this muscle car, as the chassis is well balanced. However, you'll still get more initial understeer than you'd expect.
There is one solution that fixes many of the aforementioned issues though and this comes in the form of the 1LE pack. Packages have always been extremely popular on the Camaro and for the 2013 model year, Chevrolet has released a brilliant one.
The SS-destined 1LE pack brings suspension tweaks that favor handling. The list includes 20-inch wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle Supercar G2 rubber, as well as a different final drive ration for the transmission. For 2013 you can also order an optional exhaust system that uses valves to control the sound.
The two aforementioned options dramatically transform the Camaro SS. While you can't escape the body fat, the handling is seriously improved, with less understeer and body roll, while the extra V8-generated decibels are a perfect match for this.
Don't imagine that things are now perfect - the 1LE package is only available for manual transmission-fitted SS models, so if you want an automatic you'll have to stick with the loose setup described above.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
It's absolutely gorgeous. Now this is what I call a car, this is how all cars on the road should look like. People never seem to pay enough attention to details. For example, they're spending millions to give our cities a nicer look, but has anybody noticed that a big part of what we see on the street are the cars? If you'd simply fill the streets with cars that are this sexy, the whole town would be a piece of eye candy
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