PINEHURST, NC — February 19, 2020 —While I am driving, and also occasionally when I look at the cars we are so fortunate to drive, I often think of sentences that I should use to open the car review for that model. I think of things like, “Can you say modern day ‘muscle car’?” Or, “When it comes to rockin’ the road, the Camaro is still the car to beat.” Catchy things … or so I think.
The Camaro is really a beautifully styled car. It is long, low to the ground, aerodynamic, incredibly powerful with a 6.2L, V8 having 455 HP, and it just looks “BAD” – in a good way. It is hard for me to write about cars objectively, as if I wasn’t the guy driving and giving you my opinion about what it feels like, handles, rides, accelerate, and corners. I take driving very personally. Just ask my partner in crime … uh, I mean driving, okay, life … Laurie. In my occasionally misguided youth, I would have called this particular vehicle a ‘chick magnet’ – sorry ladies, we weren’t as civilized in the 60’s. Girls loves guys in ‘bada**’ cars and this would certainly fit that adjective. I love the Shadow Grey Metallic color of our test car, but there are nine other choices covering the spectrum of colors, from Riverside Blue, to Garnet Red, to Shock – a sort of cross between lime green and yellow (you just have to see it).
It is also an ‘earth shaker’. When you fire up the 455 HP engine, you get the rumbling sound of all those horses through the Dual Mode Performance Exhaust – an Optional Package piece for the car at $996, but worth it if you like “VAROOM, VAROOM” when you start the engine. I do.
Our Camaro came with an optional 10 speed automatic transmission as opposed to the standard 6 speed. It also had Magnetic Ride Control, a feature I was not familiar with. Magnetic Ride Control is the latest development in the search for the perfect balance between handling and ride comfort. It’s the fastest-reacting suspension system available today. This reactive suspension system can read the road a thousand times per second and automatically adjust your shock absorbers. Don’t you just love technology? Actually, the car rides like a sports car – on smooth roads it is a road hugging, smooth riding machine. If the road is bumpy, so is your ride, but I have to say that the Magnetic Ride Control does do a lot to make that minimal.
This technology can read the road and change damping in just 10 to 15 milliseconds. As to the road hugging, I was told by a close friend that if you lay off the brakes and trust the car to stay in its own lane on an almost 90 degree turn at reasonable speeds, it will. Thank goodness for good friends who do those kinds of things so I don’t have to. The Ceramic White Interior was the only other extra, which is a back-hand way of saying that most of the wonderful features on this beautiful beast are standard items.
Our heavy horsepower beauty is only one of four engine combinations for the Camaro, and, as you can guess, all of these things affect the price. Engines run from a 2.0L 4-cylinder Turbo, to a 3.6L V6, to the 6.2L V8 like ours, and on to the Supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 with 650 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, also available with 10-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, a jumpy 0 to 60 times on 3.5 seconds, a 1.7L Eaton® supercharger, and Direct Injection and Variable Valve Timing which help improve fuel efficiency.
Let’s see. That pretty much makes the Camaro an approved sports car from starter kit for the uninitiated, up to ‘I want to rock the street and my world’ well informed motor madman. Oh, and you look good doing it too.
Let’s take a quick look at the interior from the driver’s perspective and then hit the safety features. Pictured above is me at the controls – okay, it’s not me, it’s a professional model. But it could have been me because that looks like how I drive. There are probably 300,000 guys who would look at that picture and see themselves. You know what that is? Good marketing. That’s what that is.
Regarding the features you see in the picture, your start/stop button is just in line with your right hand behind the steering wheel. Speedometer and all your gauges are directly in front of you, and there is a heads-up display for speed. Volume control is one dial just above your right hand. The 8” Touch Screen for the car is well placed and easy to use. The Driving Modes button and the electric brake setting is conveniently behind the gear shift at your right hand. You have a selection of four Driving Modes – Tour, Sport, Track, Snow & Ice.
According to Camaro, the ‘cockpit’, they call it, “has been carefully optimized for performance driving, with aggressive seat bolsters, a flat-bottom steering wheel and exceptional ergonomics for shifting.” Our car came with heated and ventilated front seats, RECARO® performance seats, heated steering wheel, power seats with Memory Package, red seat belts (the seat belts are more important than the color), sueded steering wheel (very comfortable to the hand, I must say) and shifter, and aluminum driving pedals (importance?) The RECARO performance seats are what we would have called “Bucket Seats” in another life, but once I got my old frame in, they were quite comfortable. Oh, and the 2020 Camaro has a rearview mirror that is also a Rear View Camera, giving you a wide, less obstructed view. (We first saw this on the Blazer) One thing I noticed, as I did similarly on the previous Camaro we reviewed in 2019, is that, while the car sits low to the ground, the windshield sweeps back, and although it appears to be wide, when you are sitting in the car, you have a narrow window view. If you tend to be claustrophobic, I am not sure this car is for you. The biggest problem I have personally with cars like this is that, while beautiful and stylish and reasonably priced and performance driven, you need to live in a place where you can let the horses run. This car is perfect for a commute from the Vegas Strip to 30 minutes away on a smooth road with no traffic signals, a 75-mph speed limit and an open road. 25 mph speed limits, even up to 55-mpg, don’t do this car justice, so we are looking, in my opinion, at a real niche market.
Safety – The Camaro offer a whole list of Safety items under the title; Alert and In Control. I read this and genuinely thought about why car companies would have to say something like this on their website about a vehicle – “Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather and road conditions may affect feature performance.” Here’s why. Because there are people who think cars can drive themselves apparently, and the car companies have to cover their legal requirements to remind people that they, the people, are still responsible for driving their cars, and you can’t blame all accidents on something being wrong with the safety features. Isn’t that a shame that we have people driving who don’t understand that? As to safety features on the Camaro, we have the Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Par Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Forward Collision Alert. It is worth noting that they ‘warn’ you but don’t necessarily ‘stop’ you. Thus, a driver, is responsible for their driving.
Our beautiful power monster weighed in with a base price of $42K even, but was $47,475 with the options. If you want one, it’s a bargain. Oh, and when buying a muscle car, you generally don’t look at mileage as a ‘deal killer’ of an item. Mileage was 16 around town and 27 mpg on the highway. Look at that again, 27 mpg on the highway – now that’s efficient highway driving in a ‘bada**’ driving machine. Anyway, the average is 20 mpg which I think is darn good for 455 hp rocket. Ah, the 2020 Chevy Camaro SS Coupe – bringing the past alive again. Gotta’ love it.
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Chevrolet Dealership in Pinehurst, NC
Clark Chevrolet Cadillac, 35 Dundee Rd, Pinehurst, NC 28374
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Chevrolet Dealership in Yonkers, NY
Beck Chevrolet Co, Inc., 561 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, NY 10704
Phone: +1 914 595 1463