POSTED: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 5:23pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 9:59am
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
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
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
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.