2014 SLP Panther Camaro Long-Term Road Test

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2014 SLP Panther Camaro: Performance Testing

February 17, 2014

2014 SLP Panther Camaro

SLP has been in the business of building badass GMs for decades. Just the utterance of the word "Firehawk" leaves some of us grinning for hours. But that car, and previous SLPs, existed in a time when General Motors wasn't exploiting the talents of the Camaro and Firebird to their fullest potential.

Times have changed.

While you can now walk into some authorized Chevy dealerships and walk out with a 600-horsepower 2014 SLP Panther like our long-termer, you can go to any Chevy dealer and drive out in a stonking-fast, supercharged, 580-hp Camaro ZL1. Or, if a naturally aspirated V8 is more your thing, you can get the built-for-handling Chevy Camaro SS with the 1LE suspension pack. And let's not even mention the Z/28 since it's not on sale yet.

So, considering the home-grown talent within GM, how does our SLP stack up? We tested our long-termer and then, using our most recent test data, compared the numbers against a 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1, a 2013 Chevy Camaro SS 1LE and, for a baseline, a 2010 Chevy Camaro SS.

We'll let you dig through the numbers below, but here's the TL;DR: Our SLP Panther 600 runs a nearly identical 0-60 time as the factory built, 580-hp Chevy Camaro ZL1 and then goes on to run a 12.5 @ 11.6 in the quarter versus the ZL1's 12.7 @ 114.7. And, proving it's not some dumb brute, the Panther holds its own in handling. It laps our skidpad at a sustained 1.01g versus the ZL1's 1.03 and slips through the slalom at 69.9 mph. If our daily driving impressions haven't already convinced you, the track test should: The SLP Panther 600 is a real alternative to the Camaro ZL1 on track and off.

 
SLP
ZL1
SS 1LE
SS
 
0-60
4.5
4.4
4.8
5.1
0-60 (with rollout)
4.3
4.1
4.6
4.8
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)
12.5 @ 116.0
12.7 @ 114.7
13.0 @ 108.7
13.1 @ 110.4
60-0
104
110
108
111
Skid pad (ft.)
1.01
1.03
0.97
0.89
Slalom
69.9
70.8
71.1
68.2
As-tested weight
3,966
4,096
3,880
3,864

Vehicle:
Odometer: 3,056
Date: 1/21/2014
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $67,020

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Longitudinal, supercharged V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 6,162/376
Redline (rpm): 6,200
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 550 lb-ft
Brake Type (front): Ventilated and drilled discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated and drilled discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 285/35ZR20 100Y
Tire Size (rear): 285/35ZR20 100Y
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle F1 Supercar G:2
Tire Type: Asymmetrical, directional summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,966

Test Results:
Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.0 (w/ TC on 2.2)
0-45 (sec): 3.0 (w/ TC on 3.2)
0-60 (sec): 4.5 (w/ TC on 4.9)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.3 (w/ TC on 4.6)
0-75 (sec): 6.2 (6.3 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.5 @ 116.0 (w/ TC on 12.7 @ 115.1)

Braking
30-0 (ft): 26
60-0 (ft): 104

Handling
Slalom (mph): 69.9
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 1.01
RPM @ 70: 1,700

Comments:
Acceleration: Lots of power here, but can be finicky to put it down just right. Also, the clutch is a bit grabby. Need to find that sweet spot between too little rpm/bogging and too much rpm/wild spinning. Best run came using a linear clutch release with revs around 2,700 rpm and just a bit of wheelspin. I think there's a short-shift kit on this thing. Takes more effort to get the shifter into the next gear and it crunched into 2nd and 3rd gears when rushed, so the stock shifter might be better. But I never missed a gear. Nice resistance to heat-soak, as the trap speeds stayed consistent throughout the runs.                                              

Braking: Nice, firm and consistent pedal. A lot of ABS commotion but little nosedive. The first stop was the longest at 110 feet. The fifth stop was shortest at 104 feet. The sixth and final stop was 106 feet.

Handling:
Slalom: Impressive grip and control, especially considering this Camaro is wide and not exactly easy to see out of. This thing goes where you point it, with intuitive steering and a nicely tuned stability control system that isn't overly intrusive. Suspension is stiff and not overly forgiving on our mid-slalom undulation, but in general it keeps this car planted. Frustrating on the test driver's part to come so close to 70 mph and not achieve it.

Skid pad: Again, pretty amazing grip, even though the front tires constantly feel like they are washing out. Luckily the Panther's chassis is receptive to drop-throttle action to tuck the front back in. With ESC switched fully on, it cut the throttle enough that you could have your right foot to the floor. 

2014 SLP Panther Camaro

2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1

2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1

2013 Chevy Camaro SS 1LE

2013 Chevy Camaro SS 1LE

2010 Chevy Camaro SS

2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Mike Magrath, Features Editor (@Mike_Magrath) @ 3,056 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro in VA is:

$173 per month*
* Explanation
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