Fourth gear tells you most of what you need to know about the Camaro’s performance. At MIRA proving ground, the Chevrolet was happy to be slotted into fourth gear at 20mph; so flexible is it that you can accelerate with foot buried in carpet. Just 33.7sec later, it passed 140mph.
By comparison, the Nissan 370Z – the closest thing to a brawny coupé that Europe or the Far East has to offer at the Camaro’s price – won’t take fourth gear until you’re into the 20s and, over a one-mile straight, runs out of puff before it reaches 130mph.
A long-sling gearshift and no electronic launch trickery meant that the Camaro needed a relatively unremarkable 5.6sec to reach 60mph in our hands, but we’re confident that it could have dipped to or under its claimed 5.2sec had we not been under instruction to be particularly mechanically sympathetic to what is one of the first official Camaros in the UK. Suffice to say that in any gear, at any speed, you’re unlikely to be disappointed by the available poke.
Surprisingly, the cabriolet doesn't suffer too greatly for its increased weight, at least according to Chevrolet's figures. It claims identical 0-62mph times for both coupe and cabriolet.
So the LS3 motor is a brawny, lusty performer, but don’t necessarily assume that a huge amount of noise and drama come with it. Modern emissions and noise regulations mean that the Camaro emits merely a muted burble – a Subaru Impreza of a decade ago would out-threaten it at idle. Things improve markedly through the lower mid-range, where the promising woofle you expect becomes present again at up to and around 3000rpm, but you’ll still have to listen harder than you might expect to get the full benefit. Only above 4000rpm and on big throttle openings does the Camaro make full noise. In truth, although we’d sometimes have appreciated more vocality, its natural audio is in keeping with the natural response of this big, honest motor.
Good pedal feel is central to the brakes’ fine performance. A sub-2.7sec 60-0mph time is a fine result, particularly in a car of this size.