2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: The Steering Wheel of Safety
September 18, 2009
Yes, the steering wheel of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS is very much a retro design with its recessed hub. It has aroused a lot of comment because the odd ergonomics of the rim make it hard to hold the wheel comfortably and also compromise the action of the controls mounted on the spokes.
But back when the Camaro was new (and before three-point seat belts had become more than just a wacky bit of safety technology from Volvo), the recessed hub was considered a serious safety feature. You see, a steering column close to your chest proved a very unpleasant thing in a car crash, and a recessed hub not only reduced chest injuries but the rim design also provided a crude form of energy absorbtion.
When safety began to be taken seriously during the 1950s, recessed steering wheel hubs became a useful feature. Even in the front-engine roadsters at the Indy 500 had elaborately padded steering wheel hubs.
So there once was a time when a steering wheel like this served a useful (and very serious) purpose. We'll see how we get along with it over the next year.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 4,025 miles.