2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Road Test Review

Alexandra Straub - CAP staff
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What's old is new again. It's a phrase that's common these days. Whether it comes in the shape of fashion, entertainment or transportation, the classics we have grown to love are not only being revamped and reintroduced, but are doing it with more sass and flair than ever before. This statement holds true to Chevrolet's iconic muscle car. On hiatus since 2003, the 2010 Camaro SS is heating up the streets yet again.  
With a colour like Rally Yellow gracing its exterior, it's no wonder that heads turn. Add that to some dynamic styling like a long hood and a short deck, an aggressively sculpted grille, defined wheel arches and that's a recipe for one hot, front engine, rear-wheel drive coupe. It's also hard to miss the red Brembo 4-piston brakes since the contrast with the front 245/45 and rear 275/40 summer performance tires with 20" aluminum rims is very becoming.
Needless to say, the Camaro is definitely an attention attracting kind of vehicle. Very rarely could I get out of this muscular two-door without being walked up to by random strangers who then turned our encounter into "21 Questions." I was even flogged by a group of teenage boys! Onlookers must have thought I was some kind of cougar although I didn't think I was that old. Nevertheless, one boy asked if the car's name was "Bumblebee" and asked if it transformed. I said no to both but told them if transformation was possible, I would want the package that included the ability to do the dishes and laundry. Blank stares all around. I thought my comment was witty. Clearly I was wrong.
Then the discussion came to what's under the hood. I was proud to explain that there were a whole lot of horses packed into the 6.2-litre, V8 engine; 426 to be exact-- plus the 420 pound-feet of torque. Giddy Up! Harnessing the stallions was the new Tremec TR 6060 six-speed manual; an ideal match since this transmission was created to handle the high amount of torque the V8 engine puts out. The close-ratio gearbox also spiced up my drive time thanks to its short throws and brawny personality.
What I did have trouble harnessing was my enthusiasm. Sometimes I would rev the engine only to hear the vivacious grumble from the Camaro's exhaust. What a great note! Other Camaro highlights included the cabin's console-mounted gauges indicating oil pressure, oil temperature, voltage and transmission fluid temperature. Who doesn't like a set of gauges to look at? Also, the deep-set instrument cluster came outlined in chrome and the available ambient light package was also a very welcome feature of the interior. The advanced LED light pipe technology gave the cabin a distinctive glow and looked quite psychedelic. Throw the 9-speaker, premium Boston Acoustics sound system in there and not only does it sound great from the outside, but from the inside, too.
When it came to taking the SS out for a spin, there were no shortages of good times. The 4-wheel independent, performance-tuned suspension was very agreeable, or at least it felt like it to me. My passengers felt otherwise. Having previously driven the V6 model, I remembered how pleasant it felt while cruising along at highway speeds. The SS, although it has a different suspension, was comparable. But where the real fun was had was on the switchback roads up to a local ski hill. I took the Camaro up the sinuous road and it held its own in the tight turns and while accelerating uphill. While it didn't feel as refined as the suspension of the Nissan 370Z, it still performed considerably well.
There were, however, some lowlights to the Camaro. There was poor visibility out of the rear sides thanks to the robust "C" pillars. It was very hard to back out of parking spots or parallel park since I could barely see behind me. The rear seats were perfect for kids, but not for adults. And even though the interior had some cool gauges, the rest of the dash was just so black and without texture. Arguably, the dash is not checked out nearly as much as everything else on the vehicle but I think the cabin would be better looking had there been a little more flavour.
Although it may come as a shock to some, the SS isn't the most efficient on fuel. I know, I know, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but someone has to do it. On average, the V8 engine with the 6-speed manual transmission uses an estimated 13.2L/100km in the city and 8.2L/100km on the highway. I can't say I was thrilled to fill up the tank but that's the reality with a toy like this. Then again, for the kind of looks and comments I received in this vehicle, it just might be worth every penny.
And speaking of pennies, the Camaro SS (the 2SS trim) has an MSRP of $42,780 (including the $1,350 destination charge.) That's not unreasonable when compared to the Dodge Challenger SRT8, Ford Mustang GT or the Nissan 370Z coupe.
I can't say I'll miss filling the tank of the SS, but I will miss its other endearing characteristics. Plus the attention I received while driving it was a bonus, too. And for those who want a vehicle that sparks interesting conversations with strangers, the Camaro just might the ideal icebreaker; a Rally Yellow icebreaker.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Chevrolet, 2010, Camaro SS, $30,000 - $39,999, $40,000 - $49,999,

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