Each year dozens of new or significantly updated luxury and performance cars hit the market, and it is our job to drive them and report back to you. We also compare them and name our annual Best Car to Buy.

We had to leave several excellent vehicles off our list of finalists this year, and we narrowed the nominees for the top prize down to seven candidates. We've already looked at the Cadillac ATS-V and the Cadillac CTS-V, and now it's time to take a deeper dive into the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS.

The case for the Chevrolet Camaro SS

Now in its fifth generation, the newest Camaro is also the best, and the competition from the past isn't even close. It's based on the Alpha platform that it shares with the Cadillac ATS, and that's a wonderful thing. This platform performs admirably under that more expensive car, so this case of trickle-down economies of scale means that the Camaro is built on premium bones.

Add to the platform the LT1 V-8 from the Chevrolet Corvette. In the Camaro SS it blasts out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. Those are similar numbers to the 464-horsepower ATS-V at a price that starts at almost $30,000 less. Smells like a deal to us. The thunderous power is a constant and welcome companion. It sounds like a bully, and the Camaro SS has the performance numbers to back it up: 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds, and the ability to handling 0.97 lateral Gs.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

Aside from the power, you will fall in love with the handling and that starts with the steering. The tiller is communicative, responsive, and more direct than anything this side of a race car. The car reacts quickly to steering inputs, too, turning in sharply, staying pleasantly flat through corners, and rotating willingly. In fact, we think it's not appropriate to call the Camaro a muscle car or even a pony car any more. It's now a genuine sports car. For more information on the 2016 Camaro, see our First Drive.

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We'll announce the winner of our Best Car To Buy award on January 4, along with the winners from our sister sites, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. We'll also reveal the winners in our Driver's Choice awards—as voted by you, our readers—at that time.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow when we make the case for the 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350.


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