2014 SLP Panther Camaro: Domesticated
February 19, 2014
I don't know about you, but it's not every day that I get to drive a 600-horsepower vehicle like our long-term 2014 SLP Panther Camaro. It is a wild beast that has more power than any human would ever need. So, what's the first thing I did when I got behind the wheel? I went to Target.
Seriously, I had stuff to do. After that, I went to the bank and cashed a check. It seems anticlimactic, but let's face it, such is the reality of these cars. Ninety percent of the time, you will go about your business and the other 10 percent is reserved for smoky burnouts or foot-to-the-floor acceleration.
As others have pointed out, this Panther is quite tame when driving around town. The ride doesn't beat you up, and aside from being slightly louder, it's pretty much like driving a regular Camaro.
But it has a Camaro's weaknesses, and that's where things started to go south for me. Backing out of a parking space is a leap of faith. You pray no one is approaching the car from the c-pillar that blocks all your vision from that angle. From the driver's seat, it feels like you're taking up the entire lane and then some.
It had drizzled the night before and on my way into work, the roads were slightly wet. I was worried that traction would be an issue, but the Panther surprised me with its composure.
I'm not much of a car modder. I went through that phase in my 20s and thankfully got over it. But if you're going to tune a car, this is the way to do it. This Panther can still be a wild beast if you want it to be, but otherwise, it's a domesticated creature that can easily be your daily driver.
Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 4,100 miles