Reviews

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Driving Impressions


The 2.0-liter four cylinder engine is quite powerful, with 275 horsepower and an even more impressive 295 pound-feet of torque, which is more torque than the V6 makes. It hasn’t been made available for testing yet, but with numbers like that, there should be little disappointment as long as the buyer doesn’t think it’s going to feel like a V8. Chevy says it will do zero to 60 in less than six seconds, which is quick if not neck snapping.

We have gotten good seat time in the 2016 Camaro with the 3.6-liter V6 making 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, an engine that makes an exciting howl in the middle rev range. It almost sounds like a vintage Ferrari in there, before reverting to a more common V6 drone at high revs. The noise is enhanced, piped in from the engine bay and amplified.

Both transmissions are good. The standard rev-matching 6-speed manual or the paddle-shifting 8-speed automatic bring the power to the driver quickly.

The Cadillac-based chassis, suspension and steering deliver a superb ride with precise cornering, and great stability and tracking on the standard 18-inch wheels and tires, without needing to go for the optional 19s or 20s, or the suspension upgrades that come standard on upper models. Patchy roads and rough pavement don’t send the rear end all over the road. Specifically, the suspension is a double-pivot, control arm and strut design that lightens the nose and helps make the car nimble.

With the Drive Mode Selector, you can make the car jump like you want it to, with a menu that allows specific settings and individual combinations of steering, shifting, and throttle. In Sport it’s a happy pony, able to zip through tight switchbacks with precision and forget about the understeer of old, or even the understeer of last year.

In Tour mode the steering is heavier than Normal, but still responsive and quick.

The Camaro SS may be a throwback monster with its 6.2-liter V8, but it’s no beast to drive. With the standard 6-speed manual transmission it blips its downshifts smoothly and perfectly, and with the 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters, it shifts quick like a Formula 1 car. The Magnetic Ride Control adaptive dampers take out the roughness and instability, especially from the rear end. The standard 20-inch Goodyears grip like hot rubber out in farm country, making the SS feel like an overgrown sports car, able to blast to sixty in four seconds. The SS has a Track setting. Smiley face goes here.

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