2014 SLP Panther Camaro: Comprehensive Set of Gauges
February 11, 2014
The 2014 SLP Panther Camaro isn't afraid to tell you how it's feeling. There are the usual gauges in the gauge cluster, of course, plus the four accessory gauges ahead of the shifter (engine oil pressure, engine oil temperature, transmission oil temperature and volts), the configurable display in the gauge cluster (trip computer plus many other features), and the heads-up display that can be used to show speed, rpm and other vehicle aspects.
From a performance vehicle standpoint, I enjoy having this much information available.
The main reason I'd be looking at the gauges would be if I were participating in a high performance event, whether it was drag racing, road racing or autocross. The view of the accessory gauges is still partially blocked by the climate control knobs, something that has been an issue for the latest generation Camaro since day one. But I'm still glad they're there.
For a modern car just driven on the street, it'd be very unlikely you'd ever be looking at this information unless something's gone terribly wrong. That said, you can still use the Camaro's gauges to give you an indication for when the car is fully warmed up and really for maximum acceleration.
A couple of recent long-term performance cars stand out in my mind for offering a feature that indicates when their powertrains aren't ideally warmed up enough for maximum rpm. On our Corvette Stingray, it's the adjustable cold-engine redline. And on our departed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, it was an operating temperature display.
On the Panther Camaro, you can accomplish the same thing by looking at the bottom two gauges in the accessory gauge pack (engine oil and transmission temperature). For my photo, I brought up the coolant display (there's also the regular coolant temperature gauge as well). Unlike the Corvette or SLS, there's no actual indicator for what temperatures are "OK" to fully let it rip. But if you set the configurable display to engine oil temperature, there is a specific operating range that's highlighted by two yellow lines.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 3,702 miles