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Text and photos by Cor Steenstra
As you could read in the previous article on this Camaro, we had our fair share of impressions from driving it around. It was so ‘in your face’ that people never held back in sharing their opinion on it, mostly in awe, and only from the other owners critique on the facelift of the rear.
All in all, it is clear that the front end facelift of this Camaro is a success. It fits well within the design theme of the car, is less retro, clearly more modern, but still clearly in line with the overall design theme. It was also very recognizable as a new face, which means it will lead people to the showroom. That is very good.
The lower rear bumper did an excellent job of hiding the underbody of the car, something the previous version was sadly lacking. That looked like underpants that were pulled up too high on a less than nice buttocks. Nothing sexy about that. This is well resolved here. The rear deck lid had issues. I don’t know if it was just our test car, or if it was due to that rear spoiler mounted too tightly, but in the center of the rear deck was definite dip, something that does not belong on a $49,900 car.
The taillights were fodder for ample discussion, clearly. With the original Camaro the design harked back to years gone by, and it was a very recognizable and much appreciated theme. In fact, it was received so well that Chevrolet decided to plant variations of it also on their bread and butter sedans of all sizes. So to now see that strong theme element thrown overboard, and replaced with a very nondescript rectangular cluster was clearly disappointing. The logic behind that decision is not clear. If it was replaced with a unit that harked back to another Camaro from another time period, like a double stack for instance, than it would make sense, but this way it left everyone baffled.
The interior seemed to have been left mostly unchanged. I still question the logic of having those little instruments mounted low and forward in the center console, some hidden by the switches above it in the IP. That makes no sense, but it harks back to yonder years, which makes it acceptable to some.
I also think that the window sill is ridiculously high. If you want to drive with your elbow out of the window, which, admit it, most Camaro drivers tend to do a lot, that macho pose, you have to raise your arm so high that it is uncomfortable even for someone of my height, let alone the people of smaller statue that mostly tend to drive these type of vehicles to compensate for something.
For them getting into the car would not be an issue, but for people of 5’8″ and over, the door opening is just too low. It is almost to the point of ridiculous. I was under the impression that those sort of thick sections were of yesteryear, but I expect that engineers claim the airbags in there warrant that low an opening. I would hope that engineers would be more inventive, more creative, and that in this case they would have been overruled by the ergonomists.
Driving the car, always within the speed limit, since the car looks and sounds like it going way to fast, even when standing still, was a combination of experiences. Of course it is impressive, but the gear change is not smooth at all, not fast and slick, and when you put the throttle down, the noise is there, but it is not backed up by a whole lot of performance. In fact, you have to really put the pedal to the metal before you get a little of that push in you back. More show than actual performance. It would have been really nice if the looks would have been backed up by nimble handling and light and fast gear change, with a very sensitive throttle feedback that would shoot the car forward, make use of that 6.2 liter V8. Now that is something to shoot for.