Chevrolet has not yet put the 2010 Camaro in our regional test fleet, so we decided to get a little creative with our test drive. General Motors showed up to the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction with its own test fleet including a Camaro RS. Being press is a wonderful thing — we jumped the long line for the Camaro and ran laps on the test track until we were content...

More after the jump

First off, the car is more impressive in person. Sure the front end has that cool burrowed eyebrow look, but a keen eye will also notice that the whole car’s design is geared to give it a hunched forward feeling. While the best muscle car to do this is the Dodge Challenger, it still gives the 2010 Camaro some badass points.

First Drive: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
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Stepping inside, the interior is instantly recognizable as based on the first generation Camaro. Of course this is the ultimate ‘duh’ moment because the whole 2010 Camaro is a retro-job of 1967-69 Camaro, but the level of detail in this 60s update is impressive. The recessed gauge clusters (spedo/tach on the dash and the four cluster in the center console) have a very cool retro look while avoiding the recycled that have found their wan on some recent Lincolns. The steering wheel is a nice modern touch. It may somewhat resemble the original Camaro’s, but this is smaller and fatter, which provides a lot better control and grip.

Our ideal Camaro would be the 422 hp SS model with the six-speed manual transmission. Unfortunately the only car GM had was the RS model with the 306 hp 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic. Oh well beggars (and line cutters) can’t be choosers.

First Drive: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
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GM turned a parking lot into a test track with the help of orange cones. The track mandate was one lap and 25 mph maximum; we ignored both.

The Camaro is a blast to drive around a track. It probably has the best packaging of the new muscle cars. The Camaro has an independent rear suspension, unlike the Mustang; and its size and weight is much less than the Dodge Challenger. This translates into a muscle car that can almost be described as “nimble” while darting the cones.

The suspension and steering translated the road well, much better then on any other recent muscle car. We tried hard, but we could never get the tires to howl, even on the mini S-curve set up on the track. We were having to much fun to bother doing any touch shifting on the automatic or playing with the radio, but everything is well within reach.

In total, our dozen or so laps that GM provided us was just a little teaser that now has us bugging our GM rep for a full taste. We can’t say that this is a home run for GM yet, but there is definitely more though that went into the new Camaro than just a retro skin.

What do you think?
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1 comments:

  (78) posted on 04.14.2009

For 36 years GM continued producing the Camaro up until 2002. Now the fifth generation shows the worth of that long wait-with 2010 Camaro. It was based on the 2006 concept car that debuted in Detriot. With the GM Zeta platform this car really have that muscle to flex.

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