When we think of sweet summer rides, convertibles and sports cars, preferably with high horsepower, are what come to mind. The Chevrolet Camaro is able to tick all three of those boxes in a way that delights drivers, all in unexpected ways.
Thanks to Chevrolet Canada, I was able to get my hands on the latest sixth-generation Chevy Camaro 2SS (MSRP: $66,513). The vehicle’s exterior styling is aesthetic and sleek in a way that photos simply cannot communicate. The rally-green paint of the 2+2 coupe gives it a distinct and appealing look. The front grille, re-styled for 2020, adds to the total package.
The inside of the vehicle requires some adjustment: the driver sits low and needs to take time to acclimatize. The rear vision camera, included with 1LS trims and up, helps tremendously with the Camaro’s often-criticized visibility.
You can’t call it a true muscle car without a V8. My 2SS came with the 6.2L V8 DI engine – the same one found in the C7 Corvette. It makes a whopping 455 hp at 6000 rpm and 455 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm. However, those are just numbers on a page. The real test of the Camaro’s abilities would arrive after taking the vehicle out on the highway.
Chevrolet Camaro: 0-to-60 in just over 4.0 seconds
As you apply the gas, you can’t help but stop and marvel at the beautiful exhaust note. It’s the proud roar of a wild animal and it lets everyone within earshot know that you’ve arrived. Acceleration is rapid, with the V8 able to manage 0-to-60 in just over 4.0 seconds. The supercharged V8 that makes 650 horsepower is able to cut that down to around 3.5 seconds.
If there is one complaint about the engine’s performance, it’s that the mind-numbing gridlock and relatively tame speed limits of Toronto severely constrain the very obvious potential of the vehicle. The positives of six-piston Brembo big brakes will be evident if some idiot brake-checks you for no reason.
Magnetic Ride Control: Great Cornering
There are several modes including touring, snow/ice, sport and track. They all have their time and place. As my vehicle had Magnetic Ride Control, both sport and track mode are able to deliver better cornering performance.
There are myths about the handling of the Chevrolet Camaro due to associations from the very first generation, which debuted around 1967. However, there are also potent memories that people will tell you about the first time they saw and fell in love with an older Camaro.
There are some tradeoffs: the car is heavy at a curb weight of 3696 lbs. However, fuel economy is rated at a very excellent 14.6/8.9 liters per 100 km for city/highway driving (12.1L/100 km combined). While the rear seats aren’t entirely comfortable for large passengers, there is enough room and trunk space to make the vehicle practical. That combined with Chevrolet’s reliability makes the Camaro an excellent choice as a powerful daily driver.
Summer fun ride
With the low price of gas this summer, this may be one the best options for a manual vehicle with a big engine. For endless summer fun getting your hair blown back and taking that lovely lady for a joyride, a Chevrolet Camaro would make a great choice. With the four cylinder model starting at just $28,298 (CAN), there’s also room for a wide swathe of buyers.
Overall, as the auto market shifts towards SUV’s and electric vehicles, the future for the seventh-generation Camaro (rumoured to drop in 2023) becomes blurrier with each passing day. I wouldn’t wait for something better, because the sixth-generation Camaro has everything you need right now.