2010 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT Review
THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG
Model: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT
Engine: 3.6-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 304 hp @ 6400 rpm/273 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with Tap shift
Wheelbase: 112.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 190.4 x 75.5 x 54.2 in.
Tires: P2435/45ZR20 (F)/P275/40ZR20 (R)
Cargo volume: 11.3 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 18 mpg city/29 mpg highway/18.2 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 19.0 gal.
Sticker: $31,485 (includes $750 destination charge and $4,155 in options)
The Bottom Line: It's Back to the Future with the 2010 Camaro, which is a faithful re-rendering of the `68 Camaro. We had "only" the V6 version (a 6.2-liter V8-powered Camaro is also available), but it had plenty of power and exhaust rumble to make it feel as if it was a V8. If you're hankering for the good old days, this is the one for you.
I felt as if I was lost in the Sixties. Here I was, driving a Sunoco Blue Camaro that sure looked like the one Mark Donohue drove in the Trans am series in the Sixties. The only thing missing was the number 6 on the side and a discreet "Penske Camaro" on the front fenders.
But no, it was 2009 (is it really 40 years later?) and although the car looks, and to a certain extent sounds, like the race car, it's a perfectly legal street machine and it's a ball to drive.
To be honest, I was more of a Mustang fan in the Sixties and even owned one. But I was also a Donohue fan, so when his Camaro completely dominated Parnelli Jones' Mustang, I wasn't disappointed.
Kudos to Ed Welburn and his design team at GM for the design of the new Camaro. It resembles the older car, but is a completely modern rendering. It helps that Welburn is an older Camaro owner and could go home at night to check the sketches against the real car.
The design is angular with sharp edges. This is noticeable in the rear fender flares, which, when you look at them through the outside rearview mirrors, resemble a Porsche's, but are more angular.
My only complaint is that the windows seem narrow, making the finished car look "chopped." This is a problem with a lot of new designs, and I believe it's caused by the abundance of safety equipment inside the doors that actually make the doors taller. So if the designer is looking for a certain roof profile, what suffers is the windows.
Sitting in the Camaro is as much fun as looking at it. The seats offer excellent side support and are comfortable. The rear seats offer support, but they're difficult to enter because the car is a coupe. Our tester had dark grey leather seats with a lighter grey insert.
Fire up the engine and that's when you first hear the rumble coming from the dual exhausts. I had to check to be sure that I had the V6 instead of the V8 under the long hood.
Out on the road the ride is hard, but not harsh. The firm suspension lends itself to excellent handling (probably better than the original). Ride quality suffers a bit on "normal" roads (especially the kind Pennsylvania considers normal), but you can easily become accustomed to the ride quality.
Acceleration is excellent, and you really have to pay attention to the digital speedometer located in the center of the instrument panel. There are a normal large tachometer and speedometer, but the digital speedo is so easy to rear one tends to ignore the analog one.
I liked the way the 6-speed automatic shifted, but still wanted to try the manual version. There are rocker switches located behind the steering wheel that you can use to shift without taking your hands off the wheel. Donohue would have loved them.
In addition, there are a water temp and fuel level gauge in the main i.p., with four accessory gauges in a "4 pack" ahead of the shifter at the base of the center stack. these are oil pressure, oil temperature, volts and transmission fluid temperature.
The gauges are light blue on black, a nice combination. Each door also has a light blue slash that is lighted at night.
Like the original, the trunk is compact. What makes it tough for loading larger objects is that the opening is small.
Options on our tester includes the RS package ($1,450) which consisted of 20-inch wheels, high intensity headlamps, a rear spoiler, and RS unique tail lamps. The 6-speed automatic with remote start went for $1,185, polished wheels added another $470 and the compact spare another $150.
Chevrolet dealers tell me they can't keep the Camaro on their lots. I can understand why. It's not only a faithful modern re-creation of the classic Sixties Camaro, it's a ball to drive and be seen in.
© 2009 The Auto Page Syndicate