If the word ‘iconic’ doesn’t come to mind when you see 2021 Chevy Camaro SS, you have forgotten the original Camaro from way back in 1966. There have been some modifications and changes over the years, but the original muscle car is still a muscle car in 2021 with lots of style, beauty, safety, and ‘Vroom’!
One of the things about being a car reviewer is that it is ‘my’ review, or in our case, mine and Laurie’s review. I’m sure she will share her on thoughts on the Camaro as she did drive it several times over the course of the week. I say that so the reader knows this particular part of the review is mine – and it’s not your usual review. Yes, I will talk about engines and transmissions and safety and ride and comfort, and so on, but I want to review this car from more of a ‘mental’ state. “What does that mean?”, you ask. It means this –
I don’t think you buy this car because it provides a form, or function, or HP, or style that you are looking for. I think you buy this car because you want to say something about yourself. It is not a sports car in the traditional sense. It has two doors, like a coupe. It is powerful, and might even be considered a ‘race car’, as even Chevy refers to it as “what street dreams are made of”, a reference to the dangerous and often illegal street racing. So, if you are buying this car, you aren’t looking for a family sedan, or a crossover SUV, or a ‘runabout’. In my opinion, and that’s all there is after one presents the data on a vehicle, this is an ‘ego’ car. I want one because a.) I can afford it – they start at $25K with the four-cylinder turbo (very affordable), and go up to around $47K with the big engine, paint, stripes, spoiler, and all the trims and options you can imagine. If you buy one at $25K, because that’s your budget, you are saying – “Even on a budget, I’ve got style.” If you add all the options you can, you are saying, “I’ve made it; I’ve got it; I’m going to flaunt it – a little; and I see myself as young, capable, aggressive, and a force to be reckoned with.” Just an opinion – mine.
The next question is “Why” would one say that? And here are my thoughts on that. This car looks beautiful. It’s a long way from the original Camaro, but not in spirit. It is low and wide and meant to hug the curves and ‘stick’ to the road. It is also very aerodynamic in design which contributes to that overall ‘racing’ look. However, from a practical standpoint, you better be limber when you get in (i.e., really in shape for your age, or young and flexible). Because it is low to the ground, you need to ‘slide’ in. Also, ‘duck your head’, no matter where you wonderful wife has the driver’s seat programmed, and there’s a better chance she has it elevated than not. Next, once you are in the form fitting bucket driver’s seat, and have your seat and steering wheel adjusted for optimum handling, you realize that you really are in a ‘race car’, or at least that’s the fantasy. You also notice that the windshield in front of you is narrow compared to most cars, and you can barely see out the rear window because it is also narrow and much of it is blocked by the head rests on the driver’s and passenger’s seats. If you are claustrophobic, you will think about exiting now if you haven’t before.
If you have gotten this far comfortably, you are probably ready to ‘rock’. Assuming you have the key in your pocket, push the Keyless Start and listen to the 6.2L V8 Direct Injection engine come to life. You will hear it as the dual exhaust will emit that earth rumbling roar of a highly tuned performance engine. Standard to the 2021 Camaro SS is the ‘standard’ manual transmission, a six speed, with Reverse way over to the right and easy to manipulate. In reverse, the rear-view camera really comes into play with the distinct lack of mirror-controlled backing for those of us who learned to use mirrors in backing about 100 years ago.
Put the car in first, give it a little gas as you gently release the clutch to get a feel for how the gas and clutch will work together, and away you go. I did get to 4th gear around Pinehurst, but seldom got out of 3rd with the 35 mph speed limits. On the highway with 70 mph speed limits, you could get to 6th easily and the car, quite literally, cruised along with no exertion whatsoever.
Is it a beautiful car? Yes. Is it a comfortable, smooth riding car? Overall, I would say “Yes”. Is it an affordable car? Starting at $25K, I would say “Yes”. Is it the car for me? I can’t say it is, but I left my ego out of a lot of decisions a long time ago. Let’s let Laurie weigh in her thoughts about the car and get a different ‘view’…
Well, honey, I drove the Camaro before you—and it was on “a dark and stormy night.” The moment I started the car, that thunderous roar pierced the blackness of evening. The rain fell from the sky in sheets, washing over the windshield like Niagara Falls. Intent on my mission (picking our grandson up from work—it’s already dark here at 6:30 p.m.) I put the Camaro in first gear. Immediately I felt the power. I shifted into second, my foot was too heavy on the clutch and the car bucked. That’s when I knew I was driving a real thoroughbred, horsepowerand all. It took me some breaking in (me, not the car) but once I got used to it, I took control,and it rode like a charm. This magnificent car is not for everyone. Just like riding a spirited horse, you have to have the upper hand. You have to be in control, know how to handle its every move, be soft yet firm on the clutch. That first night out on the road was a test and I returned home feeling I had failed. The next day, I avoided the Camaro. I mustered my courage and the following day, I got behind the wheel. After that, the ride was smooth and delightful—as I rode into the sunset. (Well, actually, as I drove to the grocery store.)
No, this car is not for everyone and to be honest, it’s not even for me. Did I enjoy driving this powerfully built, responsive sportscar? Absolutely. But my lifestyle doesn’t suit a car like this. This is for the spirited individual who has plenty of open road to travel, and the wherewithal to the open road. That person will thrill at the maximum available 650 horsepower and 650 maximum available lb.-ft of torque. He or she will have a choice of the 2021 Redline edition, the Shock and Steel Special Editions, the gorgeous Convertible, the RS, and the 1LE top-of-the line edition. As handsome and as stylish as this car is on the outside, hold your horses when you see the inside. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
No, this car is not for me. But for the time I drove it, I tapped into my inner Young at Heart, Cool Gal mode. And it felt awfully good.
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Chevrolet Dealership in Pinehurst, NC
Clark Chevrolet Cadillac, 35 Dundee Rd, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Phone: +1 910 364 9979
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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