What's New for 2001
More horsepower is on tap for the Z28, newly-styled chrome 16" wheels are a new option for base and Z28 models and Sunset Orange Metallic is added to the list of colors.
"From the country that invented rock 'n' roll" claimed the advertisements for this Quebec, Canada-built sport coupe when it was redesigned in 1993. A small technicality, we suppose, but there are no technicalities when it comes to the Camaro's performance abilities, particularly in Z28 or SS guise. These Camaros are blazingly quick, hold the road tenaciously, cost less than the average price of a new car in this country and get decent gas mileage when they're not being hammered along a twisty, two-lane road.
Two trim levels are available for 2001 in either coupe or convertible bodystyles. Base Camaros are powered by a 3800 Series II V6 that makes 200 horsepower. Mated to a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission, this sufficiently stout motor makes a strong argument for avoiding the higher insurance rates and prices of the Z28. An optional performance-handling package puts dual exhaust, tighter steering and a limited-slip differential on the V6 Camaro.
The Z28 is the go-faster Camaro. Equipped with a detuned Corvette 5.7-liter V8, the Z28 makes 310 horsepower, 50 more horses than the Mustang GT. Opt for the SS performance package and you get 320 real horsepower (same as the 1999 Mustang Cobra), thanks to forced air induction through an aggressive-looking hood scoop. The SS gets to 60 mph from rest in a little over five seconds. SLP Engineering - known for working magic with GM's F-Bodies since the late '80s - supplies the parts to turn a Z28 into an SS.
For 2001, revisions are few. Revalved shocks, newly restyled 16" chrome wheels, an additional five horsepower for the LS1-powered Z28 and one new exterior color are available.
The interior of the Camaro is functional, but cheap in appearance. Visibility is nothing to brag about either. The Camaro holds a respectable amount of gear in the cargo hold (more than 33 cubic feet of space with the generally useless rear seats folded down), and airbags and antilock brakes are standard.
Rumors are still flying that GM is set to kill the Camaro, and since no product is scheduled for the Canadian Camaro plant after 2002, those rumors are likely true. Steadily declining sales are to blame, and the company is eager to slice non-performing models from the lineup. If the Camaro dies, it would be a real shame because - from a bang-for-the-buck standpoint - the Z28 is unbeatable. More mature drivers can order traction control, but that option defeats some of the fun of Chevy's pony car: smoky, adolescent burnouts that leave the drivers behind choking on charred Goodyears.