Camaro LT2 is a racy, retro blast to drive
I love the way Chevy’s new Camaro looks, both aggressive and modern, but with a lively dose of 1967 tossed in for good measure.
The Victory Red Camaro was the LT2 Convertible.
I got in a few runs with the top down, and, like all convertibles, it’s a blast to zip around sans roof.The top lowers in about 20 seconds with the flip and turning of a central lever and the push of a button. While the Camaro looks great with the roof up, it’s a little more sleek and looks less weighty with it down. At 3,719 pounds the Camaro is a bit lighter than the Dodge Challenger and a couple hundred pounds heavier than its other retro muscle car competitor, Ford’s Mustang.
The powerful 3.6-liter V6 is rated at 312 horsepower and is applied smoothly via a six-speed automatic with TAPshift (a $1,185 option), a feature that allows you to shift manually to boost performance. A six-speed manual is standard. The automatic is so smooth and efficient you won’t use the manual feature much and likely won’t miss having the six-speed manual.
The Camaro’s steering and the car itself feels heavy. Part of that I attribute to the low-slung seats and tall door frames, the upper ledge being so high that you feel like you’re driving from inside a tunnel. Visibility is lousy, unless the roof is down.
While the steering feels heavy, the car corners well. Ride is stiff and became rough at times, something I wouldn’t expect in a car with a 112.3-inch wheelbase.
The Camaro 2LT has a sport suspension that firms things up, so you may want to consider a base LS model if you appreciate a more cushioned ride.
Traction and braking are top notch. The 2LT features four large disc brakes, plus traction and stability control.Gas mileage is rated at 18 mpg city and 29 highway by the EPA. I got 18, with much of my driving on city streets with only short freeway jaunts.
I like Camaro’s racy and retro interior. Everything is well laid out for a driver to use the controls while driving.
The test car featured black leather seats with white stitching and a black textured dash with pewter-look trim on the doors, console, center stack and three-spoke steering wheel hub.
The speedometer and tach are in squared pods, with the trip computer readout between them. The computer is operated via buttons on the turn signal to the wheel’s left.
I found the head-up display that projects the speed onto the windshield’s lower portion to be useful. It could be dimmed so as not to be distracting, but allows you to keep your eyes on the road and still see your speed.
There are big radio buttons and knobs for volume and tuning, plus two big climate control knobs you can quickly adjust.Camaro’s power seats are well formed and firm, comfortable for a long trip. There also are two-speed seat heaters. Camaro’s rear seat remains an afterthought, with little legroom. But this is a muscle car mainly meant to haul two folks. That explains the small trunk, a modest 10.2 cubic feet, when the roof is up, but just 7.8 cubic feet when it’s down.
The interior is noisy, the top letting in a lot of road and wind noise. Driving at speed, you feel like a back window is down or at least partially opened.
The 2LT starts at $32,650, and after adding the automatic transmission and the RS package (20-inch flangeless painted aluminum wheels, high-intensity headlamps, a rear spoiler and RS taillamps) for $1,500, hit $36,185, including delivery.
A base LS coupe starts at $22,805 with the same engine. A 1LT convertible starts at $29,275. Moving up to the SS coupe with a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 426 horsepower will cost you $31,070. The convertible lists at $39,775.