2010 Camaro New Car Test Drive
The rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Camaro looks new and it is, but it was built from existing hardware, starting with the chassis architecture of the impressive Pontiac G8. Its chief engineer, a true-blue car guy, had three instructions, to make it: 1 drop dead gorgeous; 2. high performance; and 3. affordable. The Camaro succeeds on all three counts and is a breath of fresh air for GM.
We found the handling, ride and brakes exceptional. The styling is stupendous. Inside, the the instrumentation slips back into GM's too-hard-too-break habit of trying too hard to be clever with gauges.
The Camaro LS and LT models use a potent and sweet-sounding Cadillac V6 that makes 304 horsepower, with a six-speed manual transmission standard and six-speed automatic (with semi-manual shifting) optional.
The SS has the killer V8, a 6.2-liter Corvette engine making 400 horsepower with the optional six-speed manual automatic, or 425 horsepower with the standard six-speed manual. It uses the same suspension design with firmer shocks, springs and anti-roll bars, producing the same result under more demanding circumstances: great handling, great ride.
The Camaro LS ($22,245) comes with the 3.6-liter V6. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic with manual shifting is optional. Not a bare-bones model, the LS is fully power equipped, including cruise control, telescopic steering wheel, six-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 sound system, OnStar Safe & Sound plan for one year, limited slip differential, 18-inch steel wheels. (Prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices and do not include the $750 destination charge.)
The Camaro LT ($23,880) upgrades with leather upholstery with six-way power reclining driver's seat; foglamps and integral front fascia; and 18-inch painted aluminum wheels; and OnStar Directions & Connections plan, offering turn-by-turn route instructions, both verbal and visual.
The Camaro SS ($30,245) features the 6.2-liter V8 with a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual gearbox. The SS has special exterior trim, a beefier suspension, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, and four-piston Brembo disc brakes.
Option packages LT2 ($2,700) and SS2 ($3,185) include heated mirrors and seats, nine-speaker, 245-watt audio system, Bluetooth and USB port, leather shift knob and steering wheel with audio controls, remote starting, and console mounted gauges including oil temp and pressure, volts and transmission fluid temp; the LT2 package also includes 19-inch painted aluminum wheels. A sunroof ($900) is optional. Also available are 20-inch painted aluminum wheels and an RS appearance package.
Safety equipment on all Camaros includes electronic stability control with traction control, anti-lock brakes, frontal airbags, front side airbags, airbag curtains, and tire pressure monitor.