It’s hard to believe that the current Chevrolet Camaro has only been on sale for two model years, but during that time the car has starred in a number of Hollywood blockbusters, regained the muscle car sales crown, and picked up some healthy performance upgrades along the way.
That’s right. The base 2012 Chevrolet Camaro benefits from a new V-6 engine that still displaces 3.6 liters but outputs a stronger 323 horsepower instead of the 2011 model’s 312-horsepower rating. The V-8 powered Camaro SS still delivers a heady 426 horsepower but the big announcement for V-8 fans is the addition of the ZL1 to the 2012 Camaro lineup.
This model is the new range-topper and comes equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8, the same unit found in the Cadillac CTS-V line, but with output dialed up to 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers will make some supercars blush but don’t expect supercar prices on this Chevy; it starts from a very reasonable $54,995.
We recently conducted a first drive of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 so click here to see what we thought of it.
The Camaro range offers two bodystyles, a coupe and a convertible, and yes, even the ZL1 can be ordered as a convertible.
We find the base model to be pretty peppy, but to really bring the chassis to life, particularly when paired with the six-speed manual transmission, a V-8 is a must. The six-speed automatic, by the way, is no slouch, offering slick shifts and solid acceleration as well. You’ll consistently see 0-60 mph times of 4.5 seconds or less with either transmission, as long as there are eight cylinders up front.
It’s not all positive though. While the tough look of the car has won it much praise, the low, sleek roofline means a shortage of headroom for taller drivers. The high beltline, meanwhile, makes it hard to see out of the car for shorter ones, and rearward visibility is rather disappointing. The back seat is suitable only for children, and the trunk, despite the car's overall size, is diminutive.
At least it’s quiet inside the cabin and there’s plenty of features to keep you entertained, including available navigation, Bluetooth, USB, and iPod connectivity, as well as a new head-up display like the one found in the Corvette.
For an in-depth review of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, including details on the car’s styling, performance, quality, and safety, head over to our sister site The Car Connection.