2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
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The 2010 Camaro SS has a Corvette-derived, 6.2-liter V-8 stuffed into the engine bay. Manual SS Camaros breathe out 426 horsepower, but automatics drop that figure to 400 hp.Enlarge Photo
Whatever. Fine. Take the V-6 if you're brain-dead or testosterone-free. Camaros are about V-8 engines and tire-torturing accel runs, and nothing less than a Corvette-based V-8 sits under the hood of the SS Camaro. Buy it. Don't even think about the available automatic: with it the engine only makes 400 horsepower and the automatic only boosts fuel economy to 16/25 mpg, one stinking mile per more than the manual on highways.
It's the shift-it-yourself V-8 Camaro you crave, trust us. The six-speed manual edition will cure some forms of clinical depression with only a speed limit sign as its warning label. This SS spits out 426 horsepower and craves running from its throaty idle burble to a full-on banshee howl at about 6000 rpm. Close your eyes (not while driving, please) and listen to the soundtrack and you'll swear you're in a Corvette, of course--because that's where the 6.2-liter V-8 comes from. The buff books have ticked off 0-60 mph times of about 4 seconds with this tag team, and it's only a shock they haven't eked out quicker runs.
These outstanding powertrains pair up--finally--with gold-medal handling that puts the live-axle Mustang to shame. Like the Challenger, the Camaro's spun from rear-driven gold--in this case, the Camaro's a cousin to the utterly charming Pontiac G8. You feel it in every synapse: the independent suspension has the reflexes of a gymnast. There's little body roll and nearly no tuck to the nose. Charge into a corner and it's your skills that will make or break things, not the Camaro's handling. The steering communicates in any language you can dream up. This year's Camaro is easily the most planted, capable handler to ever wear the name. Going the extra mile, GM penned a body that feels stout and muscular, and hardly a shiver moves through it as the Camaro cruises over single-wheel bumps, even with its massive 20-inch, low-profile tires and tight suspension settings. 2010 Camaro: Things to Hate
Yes, there are things to hate about the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The Camaro cockpit is snug for two, and the rear seats are practically useless. Day in and day out, it's cramped, and will make the third passenger cranky (four is right out). The Challenger is more forgiving of tall drivers and human back-seaters; the Mustang's a damn cathedral by comparison. The trunk's a joke, with a small orifice that just begs for all sorts of off-color comparisons. There could be more storage inside, but storage means distraction--if the USB port for music players were in the front of the center console instead of tucked into the back, inside the bin, we'd all be fiddling with iPods trying to bring up '80s hair bands while hammering on the Camaro's throttle. That's what XM is for--and the Camaro has it standard.
Also standard: air conditioning, power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a rear-window defroster, and a capable audio system. The three trim levels include increasingly more equipment: the base LS, the uplevel LT, and the V-8-powered SS. The "RS" option group can be added to the LT or SS models, and it gives the Camaro a more aggressive look with HID headlamps and "halo" rings, a rear spoiler, unique taillamps, and 20-inch aluminum wheels. That's on top of dual front, side and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control.
Our Camaro SS also sported standard Brembo brakes (deeply effective brakes, at that); a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls; a telescoping steering wheel; heated side mirrors; and a universal garage remote to keep it well hidden from prying fingers. With the RS option package ($1200) also fitted to this test Camaro, along with a $900 sunroof, $500 orange accents in the cockpit, and $470 polished aluminum wheels, our Camaro SS turned in a sticker price of $37,250. The going rate for reliving both its glory and yours? About $600 a month, as far as we can figure.
Now that's it's inherited a 'Vette heart and a new set of robo-knees, the Camaro feels bright and shiny again. How many of us can say that in middle age?
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS