2010 Chevrolet Camaro Long Term Road Test - Performance

2010 Chevrolet Camaro Long Term Road Test

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Precision Cruise

September 27, 2010

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While I was using the Camaro's cruise control I saw a feature I hadn't noticed in other cars. When you set the speed you get this message in the center display screen. It hangs there unobtrusively for a few seconds and then goes back to displaying whatever other information you need.

What I like about this is it lets me dial in the speed just under what I think will be the speeding ticket threshold. If the speed limit is 70 mph, I usually set it for 78 since 80 is probably the threshold. If you go above 80 you might see lights in your rearview mirror. If it's 65 mph, I go for about 72 mph. You have to think of these things when you're driving a car that looks like the Camaro.

Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 21,923 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: A V8? Indeed.

August 10, 2010

Our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro's best feature is certainly its SS 426 hp 6.2L pushrod V8.

I've driven a lot of 4-cylinder test cars lately, both naturally aspirated and forced induction.
They're just OK -- most make adequate power and they are more efficient of course.

But they are not exciting. And they don't sound like this.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 20,150 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Graybeard Approved

August 09, 2010


It's been a little while since I've driven our Camaro and I was reminded how much fun this car is within a second of firing up the engine. It's that engine and the resounded roar it makes in a parking garage.

First thing I did for the weekend was to go out and shoot a round. In the parking lot of the club, an older guy drove up in his shiny black ML and asked if I liked the Camaro. From experience, people usually ask about a car because either they own one, or want one. If I don't like the car, I don't slam it and offend the person. There is such a thing as constructive criticism. But I don't have a lot of negatives for this car because I realize what it is: a toy.

"So how do you like the Camaro?" the gent with the receding hairline asked asked. After a moment of thought I replied, "To be honest, this thing is a blast to drive." The guy looked at me with a smile. "Yeah, I've been looking at these pretty hard."

The Camaro made my weekend fun because I was able to blip shift this thing so easily. It had motor to blast down the freeway and pass at will. It has the added bonus that it does it all with an awesome engine note. On top of all that it looks mean. It was turning heads all weekend from all kinds of folks, both young and old. But it was graybeard in the second generation Firebird that came bombing up next to me on the freeway, gave the car a look over, flashed me a smile and a thumbs up before he blasted off again that really made my weekend.

I agree with your, Sir. It is pretty cool.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Skip-Shift Work-Around

July 13, 2010


So most people on staff, including myself, just don't like the skip-shift feature on our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. I mean, at least the skip-shift indicator on the Z06's instrument panel is easier to pick up peripherally speaking in that it's a different color from everything else. But in any case I found an easy work-around with our Camaro and it didn't require that I buy a skip-shift eliminator.

Nope, I just either floor it or simply stay in 1st gear up to 20 mph. Of course, I've also learned to look for the skip-shift indicator out of the corner of my eye, but in any case, easy peasy. So as long as I don't drive like an old lady (not that there's anything wrong with that) I'm fine.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 18,692 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Feels Back to Normal

May 19, 2010


After our big tranny service, I was a little concerned that the shifter would never feel right again. It's not the most complicated repair in the world, but once you pull something apart like that it's not always easy to get it all lined up perfectly again.

No problem though, it's fine. Goes through the gears as quick as ever. In fact, it reminded me just how different the shifter in the Camaro is compared to the Challenger. The Chevy has short throws with a notchy engagement while the Challenger's linkage feels much longer between gears and goes in with a softer transition. Which one is better? Not sure, I'll have to rip a few more gears before making a final decision.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 16,812 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Gettin' Mean

May 17, 2010


So the Camaro is on a return tour with us after having its' guts ripped out. Literally.

I drove it just before it went into the doctor and it wasn't pretty. Coughing, grinding and all manner of unnatural sounds that make you wince and suck in your breath through clinched teeth. Kind of like watching a dude get kicked square in the.... (yeah).

I'm happy to report that after driving it all weekend, I never found a hiccup in the transmissions' performance. It felt strong. After a few good pedal stomps and hard shifts I'm reminded of a colleagues comments regarding the Camaro, "Big motor. Big pushrods. Most power." It's a riot to drive when you push it. Listening to her scream off the line, you can't help but smile.

If I was to go our cruising for some back street trouble, this and the Viper would definitely be my top choices in our fleet.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 16,447 miles

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: I'd Rather Have a Mustang

April 06, 2010


I just spent a week in a new 2011 Ford Mustang GT with new 5.0-liter V8. Then I switched into our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS for a few days.

I'd rather have the Mustang.

And it's not because of one thing the Mustang does better or because of one thing the Camaro doesn't do. I just like the Mustang better overall, from its packaging to its styling to its details to the driving experience it provides.

Hell, it's even hard for me to explain why, but I prefer the Ford. It's the one I would spend my own money on. If money was no object I'd have a GT500. Black with red stripes, just like the one Ford had at the Chicago Auto Show back in February (I included a picture of it on the next page of this blog post.). Then I would lower it just a bit and bolt on a set of hardcore deep dish wheels.

Which of the three new Detroit-bred muscle cars hits your nitrous button?

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Spring Training, Part 2

March 19, 2010


There are a lot of things to like about our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS on a long road trip. A couple significant design issues would keep me from going out and buying one of my own, but I can't deny that this car is in its element speeding across the desert.

In addition to ride quality, seat comfort is very good. The front seats are roomy, yet still offer useful lateral support (unlike our Dodge Challenger). Minor symptoms of dead butt crept in on the trip out to Arizona, but I had no such complaints on the drive back to LA -- the driver seat is just about the right blend of soft cushioning and firm support. Meanwhile, my passenger snoozed blissfully alongside me, though he later reported that the Camaro's head restraints aren't as comfy as a Holiday Inn Express pillow.

We both enjoyed the sounds of the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 when you lay into it full throttle coming down an entrance ramp, and when you abruptly lift off throttle and hear the exhaust burp. I also find this to be the most user-friendly application of the Tremec six-speed manual I've driven to date. Clutch takeup is easy enough for daily use (far less vague than in the Challenger) and the medium-throw shifter moves through the gates well.

Alas, the terrible steering wheel got on my nerves by the time we reached San Bernardino on the drive out to Arizona. I tried some different grips, and ultimately found that a loose grip at 10-and-2 is the most comfortable way to hold this wheel. (I'd rather hold it at 9-and-3, but that's just not sustainable with this funky-rimmed wheel.)

My bigger complaint, though, is visibility. I don't really expect to be able to see well out the back of a coupe (see 370Z, Challenger, etc.), but not being able to see well out the front, either, is a major bummer. The affable Dan Pund has described the visibility/seating position in this car as being akin to a bunker, and I couldn't agree more. After 1,000+ miles, I still can't place the front corners of our Camaro and this makes parking more of a hassle than it should be.

With those rants out of the way, I can report that our 426-horsepower, rear-drive coupe averaged a solid 19 mpg on the trip. Of course, it helped that I wasn't in a hurry and also didn't seek out any back roads. Worst tank was 18.5 mpg. Best tank was 19.7 mpg.

And, oh by the way, if you're in Tempe to see Angels' spring training games, I recommend the prime rib at Monti's La Casa Vieja -- probably the best steak I've ever had at a restaurant.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Spring Training, Part 1

March 18, 2010


Our long-term 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS and I have just returned from a 1,000-mile road trip to MLB spring training in Arizona. I still have my doubts about the Dodgers' pitching depth, but as I guessed before the trip, the Camaro has an excellent overall ride quality.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Rides Like a G8

March 11, 2010


Whenever I cruise down the freeway in our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, I think of our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT. The ride quality is remarkably similar.

The Camaro rides firmly, but there's just enough compliance tuned into the chassis that you never feel like you're making sacrifices to own a fast car. It's not harsh over major seams and ruts and it's not busy over the washboard sections. Undoubtedly, our car's Pirelli P Zeros deserve some credit, too.

I'm about to put 800 miles on our Camaro SS this weekend, and if nothing else, it should be a comfortable trip.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 13,100 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro: Competitive Driving Mode

February 18, 2010


Maybe you already knew this, but the 2010 Camaro SS comes with a competitive driving mode. When activated, it relaxes the car's stability control system to allow a bit more of a slide than normal before corrective action is taken. It's activated by pushing the traction/stability control button twice. (Launch control is also activated via this way.)

Of course, holding the button down for about five seconds turns it all off. But the competitive driving mode could be useful for someone taking his or her Camaro to an autocross or high performance driving event for the first time as it allows you to learn the car's limits and still have a safety net.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro: Family Road Trip

February 16, 2010


Normally vehicles like our Ford Flex or the XC60 are the vehicles of choice for family road trips. But over the weekend I decided to try out our Chevrolet Camaro by doing a 600-mile trip with my wife and two-year-old daughter. I knew the Camaro would automatically be more interesting to drive than about 90 percent of every other new car out there, but would its inherently small backseat and trunk make it a poor road-trip companion?

Results from the Camaro drive follow after the jump.

First, some specific observations:

Highway passing power: Heh, with the 426-horsepower V8, there's not much to worry about here. But sixth gear is pretty tall. At speeds less than 70 mph, I typically kept it in fifth gear. For a respectable highway pass, you'll want fourth.

Ride quality and road noise: For a sport coupe, the Camaro was fine. Its ride is not as comfortable as our long-term Challenger's, but it doesn't beat you up, either. Wind and road noise are again acceptable.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro: How Many Have The V8?

February 09, 2010


Ever wonder what the mix is for new Camaros moving off dealer lots? Well, I noticed a post on a Camaro forum that gave a link to a database site that tracks Camaros being sold and gives you the ability to filter for a variety of parameters. There seems to be some disagreement among forum posters about how truly accurate the information is, but it's certainly better than nothing.

I was interested to learn how many 2010 Camaros are like our long-term car, which is to say Camaros with the V8 and the manual transmission. The results:

Percentage of 2010 Camaros sold with the SS trim (V8): 61 percent
Percentage of those Camaro SS models with the manual transmission: 46 percent

I was a little surprised; I would have guessed lower percentages for both. Another way to look at it would be: a little more than one out of four Camaros sold is the V8/manual combination.

Camaro5 forum

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 11,716 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Singin' in the Rain

January 19, 2010


The rain has returned to Southern California, and the timing couldn't have been better. Somehow I was able to snag the keys to our Camaro for the extended weekend and it transported me back to my musclecar days. I find great joy when combining wet pavement, rear-wheel drive and gobs of torque. In the wet, I found the Camaro to be just as well-mannered as my old SVT Cobra - pitchable, controllable and very entertaining. Yes, it's true, I am praising our much maligned bitchin' Camaro. But don't worry, I still found something to complain about.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: The Back Road

January 14, 2010

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Yesterday afternoon I did something I don't do nearly often enough: I left work early to go drive a car, our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS.

I don't know our Camaro especially well, and even after this drive, we're still just friendly acquaintances, not close friends. As you can see, it took me a while to get to my favorite roads and, once I did, the sun dropped quickly.

In a lot of ways, our Camaro is everything our 370Z is not. The Chevy has a ride quality I'd describe as compliant, at least by sports coupe standards, but it's still plenty composed over lumps and ruts, too. The Camaro is also quiet, with wind and road noise kept to a minimum.

But it isn't very exciting through turns. This car weighs well over 3,800 pounds (500 more than our Z car). Although, it doesn't feel too big for two-lane roads, its reflexes are slowed by its chub. And there's more suspension movement than I'd like. The steering also doesn't feel that precise and the effort level doesn't increase soon enough as you move the wheel off-center.

Others have mentioned that this Camaro doesn't take a tail-out attitude when you boot the throttle. It just plays it safe. I haven't driven than many old muscle cars (only drove an F-body one time), so I think I could live with that -- if the Camaro felt sharp through the turns. But it doesn't really. It just feels relaxed and dumb-driver-proof. (And I get that. We can all be dumb at times. And when we're dumb while driving a car, we're liable to sue.)

That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy my drive. Pacific Coast Highway was wide open on the trip back. I leaned into the 6.2-liter V8 a bit and created opportunities to downshift the 6-speed. Though the cockpit layout has gotten mixed reviews, the pedal layout is just to my liking for heel-and-toe downshifts. And every time I rip off a clean one, I get a lot of satisfaction from the distinct exhaust note of a GM small-block V8.

I wouldn't choose our Camaro SS for back-roads work, but it feels great on the open highway -- and it's a lot more relaxing to hang with than our 370Z.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 10,732 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Thank You, Mr. Tremec

January 14, 2010

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No mystery about the reason we chose a manual transmission for this Camaro. Every time you move the lever, you're connected right to the heart of this car. The shift lever has the crisp action that reminds you that a car is a mechanism, a jumble of bolts and rods and gears that miraculously work together. In fact, I'd argue that the transmission does more to give a car its personality these days than the engine or tires or anything else.

This six-speed gives you what you ask for, no waiting and wondering what the electronics might have in store for you (aside from skip-shift, though it's easily circumvented). It combines a slick rifle-bolt action with positive gear engagement, yet at effort levels low enough to be manageable at commute hour as well as Sunday mornings. Big biceps are not required, and you pick up the next gear with the smooth, practiced smoothness of a skilled professional.

The Camaro's TTC TR-6060 six-speed has come a long way from the original Borg-Warner T-56 design developed specifically for the 1992 Dodge Viper, where it felt as agricultural as something from an old tractor. It has triple synchros on the first two gear ratios and double synchros for the rest, while low-friction strategies are employed throughout the shift linkage. The reduced shift lever travel required because of the synchros also enables wider gears to be used to handle more engine torque. Overall the TR-6060 is a miracle of refinement compared to the old Muncie M-22 Rock Crusher used in GM muscle cars in the late 1960s.

Now that drivetrains are being even more aggressively calibrated for squeaky clean air emissions, we might be coming to the end of the line of pure manual transmissions. We'll find ourselves driving an eight-speed automatic or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, cursing the early upshifts, tardy kick-downs, and hanging throttle between gear changes. Even today, much of what we perceive to be serious drivability flaws in vehicles as disparate as the BMW 750i, Ford Edge and Infiniti FX50 have to do with the electronic programming for the transmission, not the relative goodness of the mechanical bits.

The Camaro's manual transmission is one of the best I've ever encountered. Unfortunately, it might represent the end of the line for the evolution of manual transmissions, just as the Camaro itself might be the end of the line for muscle cars.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 10,883 miles

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2010 Camaro SS: Speak Softly and Carry a Big V8

January 12, 2010


When I was a teenager I briefly dated a guy who had a semi-beat Camaro that he used to tinker with himself. That thing idled so high and was so loud inside, it used to turn my stomach. That relationship didn't last very long, especially when my Dad spotted me in that car.

Our 2010 Camaro doesn't have any of that grit. Well, it also hasn't been worked over by whatever-his-name-was.

This new Camaro keeps you insulated from its own noise. The cabin stays fairly quiet. I made a video for you of it starting. But it was so quiet, I had to make it again with the windows down so you could hear it:

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Fast

January 06, 2010

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Yes, I was nine miles late. Whatever. I was too busy going fast. And no, I'm not being puerile with this particular speed reading (though I know you are). I made it so because it's the velocity at which the Camaro gets real fast provided you play it right.

Granted, the procedure I'm about to describe is not one you'd normally associate with a 400-plus-horsepower muscle car. We're not kidding about this car's lazy gearing. But trust me -- if you've ever got a Camaro SS on one of those closed course things, give it a shot.

Step 1: hold it at 69 mph and downshift to 3rd, which puts you right at 4,000 rpm.

Step 2: floor it.

There aren't many cars on the road that can keep up with the SS after that. The Corvette-sourced V8 just makes a whole bunch of country-strong power from 4,000 rpm to redline (also atypical by historical muscle-car standards). I prefer the subjectively brawnier low-end torque of my newly beloved Challenger R/T's 5.7-liter Hemi, but there's no doubt the Chevy will flat smoke either Challenger (R/T or SRT-8) once that LS3 gets going.

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: How it Should Drive.

December 25, 2009

(Photo by Kurt Niebuhr)

First thing ya know, there's a big screw up with traffic and we need to bring our 2010 Chevy Camaro SS out to the track as a support vehicle for a certain vehicle testing assistant. Next thing ya know, well, the track's all wet, the traction control's off, Josh Jacquot's snagged the keys and the Camaro's all sideways around the skidpad.

Sigh. These things happen.

But really, why doesn't this thing drive like this ALL THE TIME? On dry pavement the Camaro is all grip all the time. You've gotta drop the clutch from like, 5 grand to have any fun. Slam the gas from 20 with the wheel cranked and it just sort turns...quickly...booorrrriiiinnng. That's not what a Camaro should do. At least, that's not what the Camaros (third and fourth gen) I grew up driving did. They went sideways if you werent' careful. It took skill to drive it in the dry and it really took some attention to drive it in the wet. Oh, and I grew up in New Englad...and we drove them in the snow and frankly, we're better men now because of it.

The kids who will, in a few years, end up in used 5th gen Camaros won't have to deal with any of that. They'll just hold the gas down and let the traction control and the wussy gearing keep them safe and coddled.

Driving the 5th gen in the rain was fun. It was stable and controlable, but it finally commanded the respect a 400+ hp RWD car should.

Follow the jump for a quick video...Josh's last lap of about, oh, 12?

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Exhaust Burble

December 07, 2009

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On the overrun in our longterm 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, the exhaust note responds in a way that was probably intended to sound burly and burbly and old-school-y.

While I appreciate the effort to add some flavor to the experience, the end result is a hollow plip-plip-plap that doesn't quite sound right to my ears. In a word, it's feeble. The flip side is that it's not obtrusive, either, so there's no real drawback related to it.

I'm reminded of another recent sporty car that had carefully-crafted spice in its exhaust -- the original Dodge SRT4. With its pops and cracks, the little four-banger turbo did Sporty Car On The Overrun more convincingly than this Camaro. Perhaps a bit too convincingly, though, as the SRT4's constant exhaust enthusiasm could grow tiresome in prolonged stop and go driving.

There's a balance between character and annoyance to be had here. Striking it must give exhaust NVH engineers sleepless nights.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 9,198 miles.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Turkey Trot

December 01, 2009


At 5am, I started out on the 360 mile drive to be with my family for Thanksgiving. Heated seats? Check. Full tank? Check. Coffee? Check. There was a surprising amount of traffic heading out of town for a Thanksgiving early morning, mostly trucks and the family truckster caravans. Thankfully the Camaro has a TON of power and it allowed me to pass the long lines of Lemmings on their trek north.

My exposure to the new Camaro has been fairly limited. I'm not a muscle car kind of guy, but I thought it'd be fun to have a go at it over the long weekend. Before I got in the car, I kept hearing people complain about the shifter and steering wheel. After a few hundred miles, I couldn't have agreed more.

I get a touch of arthritis in my hands in the winter weather and the oddly narrow but deep set ring of the steering wheel made it uncomfortable for me to grip the wheel in any place other than the 10 & 2 position. When you're doing the long haul, you like to grip the wheel in places other than that position. It became annoying and uncomfortable after a few hours

Because duty (aka my job) called and needed me at Dodger stadium on Sunday morning for the Chevy Volt drive, I made the drive south on Saturday. Again, loved the power for passing, fairly comfortable ride, but the steering wheel really annoyed me and my old man hands. It made my uncomfortable condition worse.

For the most part, I liked driving the Camaro on short trips around town. Normally this isn't my kind of car, but a couple of nice blip-down shifts, the simple joy of a gurggling exhaust note and the thrill of a good acceleration pull make this thing plenty of fun to drive around town. Ultimately that steering wheel is a deal breaker for me. To make this car work for me, I'd have to get a fat grip sport style steering wheel installed to alleviate the discomfort and I don't think I love it that much to do so.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 8,854 miles

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: 1,860 rpm at 80 mph

October 26, 2009


On Friday I posted about possible modifications we should make to our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. In that post I stupidly forgot to mention my desire to put numerically higher (shorter) rear-end gears in the car.

Of course many of you picked up on my idiocy and began screaming for a set of 4.10 gears to replace the Camaro's tall 3.45s. But it made me wonder what it would do to the car's highway cruising ability.

As you can see in the photo, right now at 80 mph in 6th gear the Camaro's V8 is lumbering along at just under 2,000 rpm (1,860 rpm to be exact). With 3.73 gears that number would jump to 2,015 rpm and with 4.10 gears it would leap up to 2,216 rpm.

What do you think? Would the decrease in highway fuel economy be worth the additional acceleration? I say yes.

Scott Oldham, Inside line Editor in Chief

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: Should We Modify?

October 23, 2009

I'm really enjoying our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. I like it so much, I've been driving it for two weeks straight. Well, almost, I drove a Taurus SHO home Monday night, but on Tuesday I was right back in the Camaro and its key is still in my pocket.

However, that doesn't mean I think it is perfect. In fact, it's shift knob is the pits. I like the shifter's action, but the Camaro's bloated knob stinks.

Should we stick with it or turn to the aftermarket for solutions? In the above video KILLER74Z28 (mike), a forum moderator at www.camaro5.com, domonstrates the Hurst Billet/Plus shifter he put in his Camaro SS. And I love the way the units chrome stick and white ball look in the Camaro's interior.

Trouble is, we used that shifter in our Project Mustang GT (Part 1 and Part 2) a couple of years ago and hated its action. It felt right in our hands, but just didn't work the way we wanted and was hard to shift quickly.

So what do you think? Should we modify our Camaro or leave it stock?

I'm thinking we should do a roots type supercharger, shifter, lower suspension and deep dish wheels with a flat black finish. Exhaust too. However, anybody that has ever modified a car knows that with every gain there is pain. And all of those mods would also deminish some of the Camaro's good points, whether it's the car's ride comfort or its fuel economy, etc. And as I said before, I really like the Camaro SS as it is.

I'm getting together with other Camaro owners at the Cars and Coffee early tomorrow morning in Irvine, California, and in two weeks or so I'll be attending the SEMA show were there will be dozens of modified Camaros. I think I'll check out what other guys are doing to their cars before we decide how to proceed, but I'd still like to know what you think we should do.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: This Is A Good Car

October 19, 2009

Camaro-car-wash.jpgI just spent seven days living with our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. Yes, seven days in a row. I drove it to work. I drove it to the store. I drove it home. I used it to take my kids to school, the family to the pumpkin patch and the dog to the groomer. The car and I enjoyed several clutch dump burnouts. Sat in more than enough traffic. Touched 100 mph more than once. And on Friday it got me to the Formula D event at Irwindale Speedway.

Overall we covered about 450 miles together.

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2010 Chevy Camaro and 2009 Nissan 370Z: Gas, Oil and Money

October 08, 2009


The other day I realized that our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS runs on regular gasoline (87 octane) but requires expensive synthetic oil. But our long-term 2009 Nissan 370Z requires more expensive premium gas (91 octane) but its engine is filled with much cheaper conventional oil.

Obviously, over the life of the car the Z will cost you more as you'll buy far more fuel than oil in the years you own the vehicle. But I'm still not sure it's right that the budget-buyer minded Camaro requires expensive synthetic oil.

By the way, the V6 in the Camaro LT uses conventional oil and runs on regular gas.

What do you think?

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Nothing To Write Home About

October 08, 2009

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This might be a record for an ostensibly interesting long-term car: with just 5,317 miles on the clock, our long-term Camaro SS was the last car standing when my low-ranking ass got the sign-out sheet yesterday. Actually, that's a lie. The Civic GX was available too. But a 426-horsepower muscle car slumming it with a natural-gas Honda? How the mighty have fallen!

Here's your explanation. Quite simply, the Camaro may be fun to look at, but there's no joy in the drive. It's damn fast, but the combination of too-tall gearing and oddly soft low-rpm response (a non-issue in the similarly engined Corvette) makes that speed less accessible than it should be in a muscle car. The interior reeks of cheapness with the exception of the comfy seats, the well-padded armrests and the precision feel of the center-stack knobs. The steering's all light and loose on-center like a big sedan's -- it's as if they just dropped in the G8's steering rack without recalibrating it for Camaro duty. We've already touched on the mystifying steering-wheel design and the miserable visibility.

Add it all up, and what you've got is a car that elicits exasperated sighs from its drivers, never mind the admiring glances from passers-by. I like the concept of the Camaro and the fact that GM actually built it, but next time I have that choice on the sign-out sheet, I just might go with the GX.

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor @ 5,317 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: On The Dyno Rollers

October 01, 2009

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You knew it was only a matter of time before we strapped down our long-term 2010 Camaro SS to the Dynojet rollers. There are nearly 5000 miles on the big silver lunchbox's odometer, and what better way to celebrate than a dozen wide open-throttle pulls to redline.

Yes, it took several runs for the power to reach a stabilized result but once it was in the zone, it remained fairly consistent from run to run.

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: Track Tested

October 01, 2009

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A Camaro at a drag strip? I never thought I'd see the day...

About 2,000 miles ago, literally the day the odometer said we no longer had to abide by engine break-in rules, we brought our 2010 Chevy Camaro SS to the track for some testing: 0-60, quarter-mile, slalom, skidpad...we did it all.

Follow the jump for the full results....

Vehicle: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS
Date: 8/25/09
Driver: Chris Walton
Odometer: 1,576
Price: $35,425

Drive Type: Rear-wheel-drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Engine Type: Aluminum OHV V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 6162 / 376
Redline (rpm): 6,400
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 426 @ 5900 400 @ 5900
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 420 @ 4600 410 @ 4300
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc with 4-piston fixed caliper
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc with 4-piston fixed caliper
Steering System: speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front) MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear) multi-link
Tire Size (front): 245/45ZR20 103y
Tire Size (rear): 275/40ZR20 106y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P-Zero
Tire Type: Summer Performance
Wheel Material (front/rear): Aluminum
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,864

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 2.5 (2.9 traction control on)
0 - 45 (sec): 3.8 (4.2 traction control on)
0 - 60 (sec): 5.4 (6.0 traction control on)
0 - 75 (sec): 7.3 (8.0 traction control on)
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.5 @ 108.6 (14.0 @ 108.1 traction control on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.1 (5.7 traction control on)
30 - 0 (ft): 28
60 - 0 (ft): 112
Braking Rating: Very Good
Slalom (mph): 66.0 (64.8 with Competitive mode. 64.3 traction control on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): .84g (.83g with traction control on)
Handling Rating: Average
Db @ Idle: 51.1
Db @ Full Throttle: 79
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 64.8 (engine rpm: 1,800)

Acceleration Comments: As per usual with a Camaro, the best run is with minimal tire spin and going to WOT asap. The shifter is a little heavy, the clutch pedal doesn't offer much info where engagement occurs and the car sounds faster than it is.

Braking Comments: Strange progression of stops (112, 125, 123, 122, 115, 116, 115) could be due to low mileage. Still the pedal effort remained steady and the ABS cycle consistent. no smelly brakes or fading.

Handling Comments: Skidpad: Moderate and stubborn understeer with Stabilitrac off and both throttle intervention and mild brake application with it on. Very difficult to see painted skid pad line in clockwise direction. Steering feel is only a little useful in terms of front tire grip info. Slalom: It's as if I'm slaloming with blinders on. It's very very difficult to determine where the front tires are and it's critical for a good run to stay tight to the cones. Also, the inherent understeer requires an early turn-in that (more often than not) results in a cone strike.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: It's The Beast Under The Hood That Counts

September 30, 2009

CotW_04 copy.jpgCamaro-V8.jpg

I just looked through all 31 posts on our still new long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro. All of them seem to deal with the car's interior or exterior. Well I'm here today to tell you it's the beast under the hood that counts. Anybody out there that thinks GM can't build greatness needs to experience the 6.2-liter all-aluminum V8 that lives inside our silver Camaro.

With the possible exception of the supercharged beast in the big-buck Shelby GT500, this is the best engine available today in an American muscle machine. And I'll go as far as saying it is the absolute best normally aspirated overhead valve engine in the world. Sorry Hemi.

It tuns out that pushrods work. And the SS Camaro's pushrod V8 is worth the premium (in fuel and MSRP) over the LT Camaro's "more sophisticated" double-overhead cam V6.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: LT is fine too!

September 20, 2009

V6 Camaro.JPG

I recently drove a V6 version of the new Camaro, it's actually quite good. Before you start name calling, keep in mind this one has 304 hp - that's the base or LT engine. Opt for a Mustang GT - you know the V8 Mustang? You'll get 315 hp. I think the V6 Camaro is perfectly acceptable - would I rather have the SS? Sure but a very well equipped LT would run about $30k. Our long termer is more than $40k.

Brian Moody, Automotive Editor @ 4,107 miles.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Utah Is a Good Place for the Camaro

September 07, 2009


For a good chunk of my life, I never thought I would see a speed limit higher than 55mph. Then the feds wised up and let the states choose their own limits. Not surprisingly, many of the less-densely populated areas out west changed to 65, 70 and even 75mph limits.

As you can see, Utah has gone even higher, at least in this 30-mile or so "test section". It was a welcome sight as the Camaro cruises quite nicely at such speeds. There's very little wind noise for a car with such a distinctively-shaped exterior and even the tire noise from our car's optional 20s wasn't all that noticeable.

Don't have a bad word to say about the seats either. I made the roughly 10-hour trip from L.A. to Salt Lake City with barely a hint of soreness. Don't know how well they would fare on a tighter, twisty road, but for highway cruising they felt great.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 2,106 miles

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Past Long-Term Road Tests