The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro is a muscle car in the finest, most unapologetic tradition.
It is in this specification, anyway. The Camaro is also offered with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, but it’s this 6.2-litre V8 version that best pays tribute to the 1966 original.
Getting under the Camaro’s muscle car body
It may be faithful to the time-honoured muscle-car blueprint, but this is undoubtedly the most technologically advanced Camaro yet. The car’s body is both 91kg lighter and 28% stiffer than that of the previous version, making for a much better basis for a high-performance car.
The suspension, meanwhile, uses aluminium components to reduce unsprung weight, and although the underlying platform is shared with Cadillac's ATS and CTS saloons, Chevrolet says 70% of components in the Camaro are bespoke.
The rear suspension uses a multi-link arrangement, rather than a crude live rear axle, while Magnetic Ride Control continuously adaptive dampers are available (and fitted to this test car). There are switchable drive modes and a brake-based torque vectoring system that helps pivot the car into a bend.
So the Camaro is laden with very up-to-date performance-car tech; but, up front, the power unit is perfectly old-school. It’s a 6162cc normally aspirated V8 that develops 447bhp and 455lb ft of torque.
But while the Camaro does eschew the very modern, mostly European trend for downsizing and turbocharging, and it cares not for any sort of hybridisation, its huge V8 does feature such refinements as variable valve timing and direct fuel injection.
It isn’t quite the archaic hulk you might imagine it to be. And if you specify the eight-speed automatic rather than six-speed manual gearbox - which has a rev-match function - the engine can shut off four cylinders in normal driving to save fuel.
The Camaro, then, is a muscle car through and through – but a muscle car for the 21st century. At £39,040, its domestic competition comes from the likes of the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, while for a little more money BMW will sell you the smaller, lighter and less powerful M2.
As for standard equipment, the 2.0-litre turbo gets 20in alloys, xenon headlights, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, ventilated front sport bucket seats, dual-zone climate control and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system complete with an 8.0in touchscreen display, DAB radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, Bose audio system and smartphone integration.