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Chevrolet Camaro

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By Cor Steenstra, photography by Chris Jones, Model Candice Barthlomew, make-up by Les Laborde.

We were really looking forward to finally driving the new Chevrolet Camaro. With its whirlwind marketing campaign, its bold stance against both the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger, and the reputation GM has built up over the decades with the Camaro, we were anxious to find how it would fulfill its promisse.

The exterior design of the Camaro is clearly in the same semi retro style as the Mustang and Challenger, though there seems to be a modern interpretation given to the Camaro design. The belt line is relatively high and the roof line is kept low, making for a aw inspiring side view which is only enhanced by the low slung windows. In reality the rear overhang of the Camaro is shorter than it appears to be, due to the taper off of the center line, which gives it a more compact stance in rear three-quarter view.

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Outfitted in the bold yellow body color, we did get comments about “Bumblebee” everywhere we went, from grown ups as well as from children. It definitely is a head turner. That same attracting attention is also to its detriment. The yellow, the body design and the exhaust noise both led to other, similar cars, as well as to any police officer anywhere, to see what we would do, and to see if we could be provoked into some illegal activity. It forced us to be extra cautious, and not fall for the trap of over revving the engines like others did at traffic lights. We did not get tickets..!

The interior is also reminiscent of times gone by, and very nicely given a modern interpretation of this, though sometimes compromising legibility in the process. You really have to know the car to “get” it, to use all it has, since some interior items are placed in unusual places for the looks sake.

Ergonomics have also been slightly compromised by the retro-looking design, in the sense that the high window sill does no longer allow a Camaro driver to drive with his elbow casually slung out of the window. To do that you would have to contort your body in such an unusual and painful way, that it definitely does not look cool.

All of this of course does not weigh up to the fact that for 1 week we were driving “Bumblebee”, and the cool factor of that, the admiring stares of even the youngest of movie goers, is just impressive. Excellent marketing by GM for this car ensures it a place on the “to-have” cars of this day, gas guzzling 14.4 mpg or not…

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