A Hat-Trick of Chevrolet Performance Models
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, New York Bureau
The Auto Channel
About fifty miles west from our Nation’s Capital situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains are some wonderful and scenic driving roads that provide the opportunity to experience cars that are intended to be driven hard.
A beautiful sunny day and a selection of ten performance cars from Chevrolet’s stable would make for a lot of excitement and pleasure. Granted this beautiful Virginia countryside is also quite suitable for horseback riding. But on this day, if my math is correct, there was a total of 4,479 horsepower at the disposal of a select contingent of auto writers from the Mid-Atlantic and DC area.
The soon to come 6.2 LT4 in the 2015 Z06 Corvette has just been announced by GM rated at a monstrous 650HP.
The Stingray Coupe starts at $51,995 and the Convertible is priced at $56,995, both prices include destination. Russ Clark, the Director of Chevrolet Car Marketing tells me that so far this year about 36% of Corvette buyers chose the convertible.
• The 323-horsepower V-6-powered LS coupe and LT coupe and convertible – including the 2LS with an EPA-rated 30 mpg on the highway
• The Camaro SS coupe and convertible, with a 6.2L V-8 delivering up to 426 horsepower
• The road-racing-inspired Camaro 1LE performance package with unique gearing, suspension tuning and tires that make the model capable of more than 1 g of lateral acceleration
• The 580-horsepower supercharged Camaro ZL1 coupe and convertible.
• The track-capable Camaro Z/28…a coupe only, featuring the 7.0L LS7 engine rated at an SAE-certified 505 horsepower. The Z/28 is best described as a street-legal race car.
Unlike Camaros of old, today’s Camaro features fully independent front and rear suspensions, with the rear suspension featuring a 4.5-link system that includes a unique, L-shaped upper control arm that attaches to the knuckle at one end and incorporates a ride bushing in the rear. Ride and handling on the twisty Virginia roads was just outstanding and very confident.
Camaro prices run from $23,555 for the V6 to $56,255 for the ZL1 and up to $75,000 for the Z/28. About 14% of Camaro buyers opt for the convertible.
The Chevrolet SS is priced at $45,770 including destination and a $1300 gas guzzler tax. I don’t think EPA mpg numbers are a big part of the purchase equation when the SS gets shopped.
Chevrolet is “finding new roads.” We found some new roads in Virginia. All of them lots of fun to drive; all of them driven with fun cars; all of them driven confidently in Chevy performance cars that deliver not just straight line performance but ride, handling and braking to match.
In 1911 there were 207 car brands in the U.S. Now in 2014, Chevrolet is one of three that are still around. Do you know the other two?
© Larry Nutson