2002 Camaro New Car Test Drive
After years of hints and rumors, the show is finally over. 2002 will be the last model year for the Chevrolet Camaro, at least for the seeable future.
The Camaro is a big-engine, heavy-metal throwback to another time. That, of course, is the source of its appeal.
The Camaro is leaving in style, featuring a dazzling 35th Anniversary edition in its final year.
Coupe and convertible models are available. And they come in base and Z28 trim.
The base coupe lists for $18,080, the convertible for $26,075. Z28 models retail for $22,495 for the coupe, and $29,590 for the Z28 convertible.
Base models come well equipped, and are powered by a 3.8-liter V6. Standard for 2002 are P235/55R16 tires on painted alloy wheels. An automatic transmission and cruise control are optional on the coupe, standard on the convertible.
To hear real V8 thunder, you must opt for the Z28, with 5.7-liters of 310 horsepower prime mover. We called it a 350 in the olden, pre-metric, days. No matter what you call it, it rumbles. The Z28 also adds the appropriate performance suspension, along with a heavy-duty automatic transmission and power steering cooler. Like the base Camaro, the Z28 has grown wider tires this year: big, sticky P245/50ZR16 Goodyear Eagle RSAs. The Z28 convertible gets a six-way power driver's seat. A six-speed manual gearbox is offered as a no-charge option.
An SS Performance/Appearance Package ($3625) is available for the Z28 models. SS ups the horsepower ante to 325, thanks in part to forced-air induction and a wide-mouth, low restriction, dual-outlet exhaust. An SS-only rear spoiler adorns the back deck. Big 17-inch aluminum wheels shod with enormous P275/40ZR17 speed-rated Goodyear Eagle F1 tires are mounted on the corners. They complement a High-Performance Ride and Handling Package that further stiffens the Z28 suspension with beefier shock and spring rates.
If that's not quite enough, SS buyers can add the 35th Anniversary Package ($2500), featuring traction control, a Hurst short-throw shifter, and a 12-disc CD changer. All 35th Anniversary Camaros will be painted Bright Rallye Red and decorated with broad silver racing stripes; black-accented, machined-face alloy wheels; special identification; and ebony leather with gray inserts for the interior.
A Sport Appearance Package ($1345) dresses up any Camaro with unique front and rear fasciae as well as a rear spoiler extension. Base Camaros can be beefed up with a $275 Performance Handling Package that adds a Zexel-Torsen limited-slip differential, dual exhausts, and a faster steering ratio.