From £33,940
You’ll probably need to be nursing a weakness for American iron if you’re going to consider this car

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Camaro muscle car
The Camaro is a brawny muscle car in the truest sense; a two-door coupe that's equipped with a 6.2-litre V8

It’s now on sale officially in the UK, so would you want to buy one?

What is it?

It was a legend in the ‘60s and ‘70s and today’s Camaro is pretty much a legend all over again in its home territory, where it’s America’s best-selling muscle car and doing a good job of recalling the glory days of Chevy’s Mustang-basher.

From early 2012 we Brits will be able to get a piece of that legend, the Camaro going on sale here through Chevrolet dealers who decide to apply for the Camaro franchise. Both coupe and convertible versions will be offered, and in European homologation trim but only with left-hand drive. What you’re getting is the classic American muscle car format, a muscularly shapely and sizeable body clothing an unnecessarily large 6.2 litre V8 (excellent…) that drives the rear wheels either through a six-speed stick-shift, or an optional £1500 six-speed torque converter auto with paddle shifts.

What’s it like?

It’s the power drop-top version we sample here, at Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show. Which hardly qualifies as an extensive test, but it’s enough to provide an impression. And in theory quite a forceful one if you floor the throttle on the hill’s start line with the traction control turned off, not least because first gear is short to aid tyre-smoking departures.

In theory, because the 426 horses that the 6.2 litre V8 is supposed to muster certainly didn’t feel like Ascot runners, the Chevy launching off the line with a rather disappointing lack of thrust given its supposed muscle. Neither tyres nor exhaust mustered much aural US cop show-style excitement either. Perhaps it was down to operator error or an engine with few miles behind it, but muscular it was not.

The Chevy’s suspension didn’t feel especially sporting either, its softness producing more initial roll than you’d expect, although it firms up once the car has settled and certainly feels decently planted, as you’d hope of a multi-link rear axle. Another surprise is the braking – there might be Brembo callipers clenching its discs, but the Camaro’s pedal needs some firm treading to get this beast to slow convincingly. All of which adds up to a somewhat disappointing dynamic experience, on the basis of this short blast at least, although it’s hard not to be beguiled by the car itself.

This is a big beast, and will probably feel the more so at times with left-hand drive, but it’s an effortless cruiser and a very pleasant one with its fabric lid folded away, especially as the body structure feels pretty rigid. It’s vastly better made than muscle cars of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and if the cabin plastics are hardly in Ingolstadt’s league, it’s well put together and provides some pleasing details such as the nostalgic quartet of minor gauges clustered around the centre console, and their contrast with a modern head-up display. Above all, however, it looks like your quintessential American muscle car, and comes without the crudities of manufacture and functionality that the originals imposed.

Should I buy one?

You’ll probably need to be nursing a weakness for American iron if you’re going to consider this car, even though it’s hugely more sanitary than machines from the era that it so effectively evokes. Other sporting convertibles of this size are far more capable but, this drop-roof Camaro is good value for its size, power and equipment with its starting price of £39,995.

Hopefully that will be enough to induce a few star-spangled romantics into signing up for a car that makes a fine sight and is hard not to like despite its shortfalls. And a longer UK drive in a car more fully run-in might uncover a sharper tool than this Goodwood demonstrator made.

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible automatic

Price: £39,995; Top speed: 155mph limited; 0-60mph 5.5sec; Economy: NA; Co2: NA; Kerb weight: NA; Engine: V8, 6162cc; Power: 426bhp at 5900rpm; Torque: 410lb ft at 1600rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd automatic

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Comments
9

8 July 2011

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


It was a legend in the ‘60s and ‘70s and today’s Camaro is pretty much a legend all over again in its home territory, where it’s America’s best-selling muscle car and doing a good job of recalling the glory days of Chevy’s Mustang-basher.


From early 2012 we Brits will be able to get a piece of that legend, the Camaro going on sale here through Chevrolet dealers who decide to apply for the Camaro franchise. Both coupe and convertible versions will be offered, and ...Read the full article

[/quote] They can send man to the moon, but make good cars? Sadly this report reveals that the best home grown talent lags way behind European, and Asian offerings. Mind you I had two excellent American built cars a few years back. Both were Honda Streams!

8 July 2011

[quote Mr£4worth][quote Autocar]

What is it?


It was a legend in the ‘60s and ‘70s and today’s Camaro is pretty much a legend all over again in its home territory, where it’s America’s best-selling muscle car and doing a good job of recalling the glory days of Chevy’s Mustang-basher.


From early 2012 we Brits will be able to get a piece of that legend, the Camaro going on sale here through Chevrolet dealers who decide to apply for the Camaro franchise. Both coupe and convertible versions will be offered, and ...Read the full article

[/quote] They can send man to the moon, but make good cars? Sadly this report reveals that the best home grown talent lags way behind European, and Asian offerings. Mind you I had two excellent American built cars a few years back. Both were Honda Streams![/quote]

The Camaro is not a good representation of American engineering . It may be the best selling pony car in the US right now(not by much though), but it's FAR behind it's competition in every category.

8 July 2011

[quote Autocar] All of which adds up to a somewhat disappointing dynamic experience, on the basis of this short blast at least, although it’s hard not to be beguiled by the car itself. [/quote]

What they have done is re-create the whole American muscle car experience wrapped up in modern mechanicals, which is why it sells by the bucket load in the US. We already know the base materials can form to make a great car (HSV / VXR8) but it has been engineered this way deliberately.

If you enjoy this sort of thing, great. If not there is the aforementioned Vauxhall product.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

8 July 2011

I've seen a few here already, take it those must be private imports - look absolutely brilliant (maybe because you don't see many/any) - shame it's been set up as a typical American muscle car though.

Mind you if work was to take me to the states this would be on my list of company car demands I think!

8 July 2011

[quote Mr£4worth]They can send man to the moon, but make good cars? Sadly this report reveals that the best home grown talent lags way behind European, and Asian offerings.[/quote] Well, this is a fallacious statement.

1 - Your insinuation that Americans can't make good cars just shows your lack of knowledge, generalisation, ignorance and racism. Recently we've had Corvette ZR-1, Ford GT, Cadillac CTS-V

2- This car was never claimed to be "the best home grown talent", you've used that phrase just to fit your own view, but it's a false view.

3- What's happened to the "great" British car industry? Companies are either gone under or owned by foreigners who show the Brits how it should be done.

[quote Mr£4worth]the best home grown talent lags way behind European, and Asian offerings.[/quote] Maybe you are talking about Britain here, not America. Freudian slip no doubt.

Toodles.

8 July 2011

Think you are right, your example was not typical. 0-60 in sub 5 is, with 100 in a little over 11. However, every comparison test I've read gives the thumbs up to the Mustang, whether it's V8, V6, hard or soft top, cooking or top-spec engine. The Ford's hundreds of pounds lighter and doesn't make you feel you are peering through gun slits to see out, which would be awful in UK.

8 July 2011

I'm an ex-pat living in California so the Camaro is a familiar sight. They are the current doyennes of various rental fleets so please don't be fooled that this is a premium car. I agree with everything you state about the V8.

The engine is an old tech lump compared to the multi-valve V6 with VVT and whilst it is over 100 horses shy of the bigger mill, it feels more responsive and modern in its character.

I think that the V6 Camaro with a manual transmission and Euro-tuned suspension would be the way forward. The car shares a chassis with the VXR8 so it is certainly capable of handling well.

8 July 2011

If I ever won a million pounds I would buy one of these in yellow , as it just reminds me of bumbble B from Transformers !

I love the new Camaro I am sure it would be a great joy to own

9 July 2011

Built in Oshawa Canada and based on the rear drive Holden chassis.

A brief drive to try a produce smoke and noise then stomp on the brakes is not what this car is about.

This is a great cruiser able to cover many miles day after on smooth interstate highways e.g from BC to Texas a 2500 mile trip which I have done a few times in both four days, and being able to enjoy the local byways with the top down.

a couple of coupe versions I photographed in BC and then Texas recently

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/5898492551/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/5643809608/

A recent gathering of Camaro owners in Canada

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/06/16/ontario-camaro-club-gms-camaro-h...

C2100

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