2021 Camaro New Car Test Drive
Through most of its half-century on the market, the Chevrolet Camaro served as a muscular “pony car” rival to the popular Ford Mustang. The 2020 Chevy Camaro retains its retro-yet-modern look, but has turned into a true sports car. Built on a stiff foundation shared with the Cadillac ATS and CTS, the Camaro demonstrates agile road manners, along with an enticing driving feel, thanks to some premium suspension components.
A new LT1 model joins the already broad Camaro lineup for the 2020 model year. Combining elements of the LT and SS trim levels, the value-focused LT1 borrows the SS model's 6.2-liter V-8. Standard features largely echo those in turbo-4 and V-6 versions. Meanwhile, the SS gets revised front-end styling, inspired by a Camaro show car. Camaros with V-6 power adopt the 10-speed automatic transmission that had previously been limited to V-8s.
The base 1LS comes with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, capable of 0-60 mph acceleration in a lively 5.4 seconds, according to Chevrolet. Each of the three LT versions can have either the turbo-4 or a 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque, dropping the 0-60 mph time to an even 5.0 seconds.
Both the SS and new LT1 trim levels get a 6.2-liter V-8 that whips up 455 hp and 455 lb-ft, sinking that 0-60 mph acceleration figure to a brisk 4.0 seconds. The ZL1 gets a supercharged version of the V-8, blasting out 650 hp and 650 lb-ft.
All engines comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. An 8-speed automatic is optional with the turbo-4, while the other engines are offered with an optional 10-speed automatic gearbox.
As expected, fuel economy sinks as performance increases. The turbo-4 is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city, 30 highway, and 23 combined with the manual. Equipping the automatic improves fuel economy to 22/31/25 mpg. The V-6 earns 16/26/20 mpg with the manual or 19/29/22 mpg with the automatic.
As for the V-8s, the SS gets 16/24/19 mpg with the manual and 16/27/20 with the automatic. The supercharged version is rated at a guzzling 14/20/16 mpg (manual) or 13/21/16 mpg (automatic).
Decent but imperfect crash test scores are offset by a lack of automatic emergency braking ? a vital active-safety feature. All Camaros come with eight airbags and a rearview camera, but additional standard safety equipment requires moving up to the 3LT. Here, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warnings, lane change alert, and rear parking sensors become stadard.
The NHTSA awarded the Camaro its top rating of five stars overall. The IIHS has rated it 'Good,'? its top score, in each of its tests except for roof strength.
The Chevy Camaro is available in 1LS, 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, LT1, 1SS, 2SS, and ZL1 trim levels. Prices include $995 destination charge and are for the manual transmission.
The base 1LS costs $25,995 and comes with a 2.0-liter turbo-4, 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver's seat, keyless ignition, a Bose six-speaker audio system, and a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel. The infotainment system includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, wi-fi hotspot capability, and two USB ports.
Stepping up a notch, the $26,495 1LT includes a six-way power passenger seat and satellite radio. The 2LT version (28,495) adds leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated and cooled front seats. The 3LT ($32,495) adds the active safety features, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, an 8.0-inch driver information display, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, and a nine-speaker audio system.
The new LT1 starts at $34,995 and adds the 6.2-liter V-8. It blends LS features with components from the SS, including a vented hood and 20-inch wheels that are squared at each corner. A drive mode selector and limited-slip differential are standard.
The $37,995 1SS model comes with the V-8, as well as Brembo front/rear brakes, a rear stanchion spoiler, and slightly wider rear tires. The $42,995 2SS combines the features of the 3LT with the performance components.
Topping the lineup is the ZL1 that's priced from $64,695. It employs the supercharged version of the V-8, along with upgraded brakes, suspension, and cooling. A Magnetic Ride Control suspension is installed, along with Recaro bucket seats, a Performance Data Recorder for track use, and forged aluminum 20-inch wheels.