Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quick Spin: Chevy Camaro

This time we take a quick spin of the 2010 Chevy Camaro with Robert Mullings, another avid auto enthusiast friend of mine. Brother to David Mullings, check out their website

2010 Chevy Camaro SS

As of late, Chevrolet was not known for making cars that could evoke any sense of emotion [Other than the Corvette: Ed]. They simply made cars for basic transportation with as much cheap plastic as possible. You didn't buy a Chevy because you wanted to, moreso for the great deal you got. But that has now changed. Recently I was invited to test-drive the New Chevy Camaro. This car was the change that GM has needed to inject a dose of excitement into its lineup and from first sight this car had me. I couldn't believe I was taking double and triple looks at a Chevy product. This car is what I think a muscle car should look like in the 21st century. The model I was offered to drive was a brilliant green color with black racing stripes and is the SS edition which comes with a 426 hp 6.2 liter LS3 V8. So far so good on the outside, let's just hope I wouldn't be let down once I got inside. They offered me the option of a manual or auto (the automatic transmission is powered by the L99 6.2 V8 with 400hp), I choose manual [But of course: Ed]. I got in and right away was greeted by acres of plastic trim, but it didn't feel cheap. Some thought and effort was definitely put in to the use and look of it all. I started the car and the rumble of the exhaust immediately threw out the window any issues I previously had with GM. I adjusted the power leather seats (which were remarkably comfortable) pressed in the clutch and shifted into first gear with ease. Light clutch takeup, this was impressive. Most cars with that kind of power has a heavy clutches that would fatigue the casual driver in any kind of South Florida traffic, but the Camaro didn't have that feel and the shifter felt short and precise. I tapped the gas and the engine revved effortlessly, both of us (GM test driver and I) start smiling). We looked at each other and knew this was going to be a good drive. He turns to me and says, "Let's have some fun." That was my cue to to go. Off we go...

Immediately I found one problem, the steering wheel. I just couldn't find a very comfortable position to put my hands. The wheel felt unusually big and awkwardly shaped. We made a right out of the dealer and headed down the road, the ride was good: stiff enough that you know you are in a sports car but still comfortable enough to for extended road trips. As we are cruising down the street I opened the sunroof and rolled the windows down, time to test the sound system. I cranked it and was met by a very clean sound with the bass hitting pretty hard. The test driver turned to me and, with a smile says "This is what I love about South Florida!" (he's from Detroit). We stopped at a light, "This is my chance to see if this car really feels like it goes 0-60 in 4.6 secs." I thought. Light turns green and I punched it. First gear is done in the blink of an eye, into second then third, and before I knew it we were doing 90 mph grinning like a bunch of school kids at an amusement park. You definitely feel the power of this car even with it weighing in at almost 3900 lbs. As I headed back to the dealer I found myself very impressed with the Camaro SS and wishing I had more time with it. This is a car I would consider a serious contender in the sports car arena. With independent rear suspension, a limited slip differential and Brembo brakes, it's a good platform and all for a starting price of $30,945. Cant go wrong there. Time to turn the keys in. The GM test driver turns to me and asks if I wanted to drive the automatic SS. I reluctantly said yes knowing there is no way it can top this experience, he hands me the keys and off we go...

Part two of his review is on the way!