To say that I was excited to be testing the all-new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
would be an enormous understatement. As a huge fan of the Camaro
, I was actually quite giddy
I've never owned my own Camaro
but I did enjoy driving and working on countless Camaro
s while employed as a General Motors master technician at a Chicago area Chevrolet
dealership during the 1980s. I always enjoyed the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Camaro
, or a Corvette, more than any other Chevrolet
My experience with the 2010 Camaro
was both awesome and, at times, a bit disappointing.
I drove two versions of the new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
: the Camaro
2LT and the 2SS. The 2LT model is powered by a 304-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine mated to a six-speed matic transmission. Even more impressive, and more powerful, was the Camaro
2SS, which featured a 426-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 engine mated to the more racelike six-speed manual gearbox.
The Red Jewel Tincoat on my Camaro
2LT tester was pretty, but the mono-color scheme presented a silhouette that doesn't do much for me, especially when it came to the rear-end styling.
While I'll admit there are plenty of Camaro
enthusiasts who think the overall exterior design looks great, I don't care for the round exhaust pipes jutting out of the almost square trim or the tiny backup lamps that look like they were an afterthought.
Inside, I do like the totally cool ambient lighting system that puts a blue-green light along the dash, doors and console. Chevy chose to use two rotary knobs with built-in push-type switches to set the cabin temperature, fan speeds and air distribution. I would have preferred three simple rotary knobs without built-in push-type switches; I find them cumbersome.
I did like the refined ride exhibited by my Camaro
2LT tester. The ride is much more impressive than expected and the V-6 is quite peppy. There is a raspy exhaust note from the V-6 that comes from accelerating hard.
2SS featured an Inferno Orange Metallic hue and an equally impressive interior. My 2SS tester looked so much better than the 2LT I drove.
I liked the orange leather seats in my 2SS tester; orange door panels, orange instrument panel trim and SS-embroidered front headrests all make the interior ensemble awesome. Without a doubt, the 426-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 is incredibly powerful. Mated to the six-speed manual gearbox, my Camaro
2SS was a blast to drive.
There is absolutely nothing for me to complain about regarding the ride, handling or brute power exhibited by the Camaro
2SS. I do understand the need to be symmetrical and keep the gauge packages in all the trim levels alike, but I don't understand why my Camaro
2SS, with a six-speed manual transmission, needed a transmission temperature gauge. I think the engineers could put a more useful gauge in that slot when the vehicle is equipped with a manual gearbox.
All things considered, I'm thrilled with the return of the Camaro
. It's an iconic car with a loyal following and hopefully a droptop version will follow soon. The entrylevel model delivers great bang for the buck while the 2SS exceeds expectations for power and performance.