You know you're hot when teenage boys stare at you in awe. I had their attention several days ago, driving the 2012 2LT Camaro Convertible, white with an orange stripe down its torso. It also looks foxy in silver (see photo).
I had come from our auto writers big yearly event, which we call Test Days. The auto manufacturers bring their new cars, line them up along the road leading to the track, the keys in the ignitions. We auto writers are let us loose on them around the Monticello Race Track in New York. At dinner the night before track day, we celebrate a new model year with the automakers and the next morning we hit the track for a day of serious driving.
The folks at GM gave me a Camaro to drive away. I left the track and hit the highway. Almost immediately, I was stopped by two pimple-faced cops--they couldn't have been more than 19. They had a little blockade set up. Whatever they were looking for I couldn't have fit the profile even remotely. And, I was on the nose with the posted speed. But I got stopped anyway. "I knew you'd stop me," I said. I mean they were so young, they wouldn't have had the guts to arrest me. Seriously. "What's with this car?," the tall one said. I explained my job, as they looked at me quizzically. I showed them around the car and then the short one said, "I'd like this car for the weekend."
"Can't help you," I shrugged. But would my tune change if I were facing a $200 speeding ticket? Hmmmm, well, no. It's not my car, remember.
I did allow a car nut friend to take it out for a spin. A spin? We drove 100 miles. Top down, gray sky, cool breeze, September--there are moments when you just say, Hey, this convertible, horsepower, muscle thing? It's alright.
The thing about the Camaro? It's pure Detroit. No accents. Detroit steel--no question about it. Jerry and I were driving a muscle car once and, looking misty-eyed, he said, "It's like driving yesterday."
The rear drive Camaro come with a 3.6 liter, V6 engine paired with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The tame model puts out 312 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Anyone who is interested in this vehicle wants its 0-60 credentials. The Camaro, according to the guys who test for this, is 5.7 seconds. It gets faster with the ZL1 that delivers 550 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. Remember those 19-year-old cops?
GM calls the interior color Inferno Orange. I call it red. Anyway, its paired with the white exterior interrupted by the orange paint strip. You won't go unnoticed.
Gas mileage, at 18 city/29 highway, isn't bad for a muscle car . My vehicle as equipped including destination charge was $38,530. This was with the RS package that includes high intensity headlamps with an LED halo ring, 20" aluminum wheels, the 6-speed automatic transmission with tap shift and remote vehicle start and the orange stripe down the center of the vehicle. The rear view mirror had a back up camera in it--very cool to see it in the rear view mirror. And the car had head-up display. I wish more cars had it. It's so much easier to keep your eyes on the road. The Camaro was very well equipped--you want for nothing. Nice job, GM.
I would have a hard time deciding between this and the Mustang Boss, which I drove a few weeks ago out in Detroit. I guess I'd just have to have both of them.