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2010 Chevy Camero

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Chevrolet Camaro Review: After debuting in 1967 to compete with the Mustang, the GM pony car went through several generations before being retired in 2002. After what seems like forever, the Camaro is back in 2010, and well worth waiting for.

The new car certainly has the right look, of the last of the first-generation cars, the í69, with voluptuous rear fender curves, pointed grille, and that hunkered-down look. So retro, yet with a modern sensibility, it attracted interest wherever I drove it. My sonís high-school pals had their tongues hanging out when I arrived, and the gray-haired owner of a classic í69 gave it the thumbs up too.

As always, Camaros come in plain and potent versions. The LS and LT models represent the former and the SS, the latter. The thing is, even the LS and LT provide 304 horsepower from a direct-injection 3.6-liter V6. Isnít that Corvette territory? And the car goes from 0-60 in just 6.1 seconds.

The sound of this advanced engine is hearty, and through a manual or automatic six-speed, you get EPA mileage of 18 City / 29 Highway (auto) or 17 / 29 (manual) using regular fuel. I averaged 18.6 mpg.

The SS drops in a 6.2-liter V8, for 426 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, so you can surely expect a rousing performance every time you place your foot on the gas pedal. At just under two tons, the Camaro runs great with either powerplant. You only need the SS if you must have a 0 to 60 time of 4.7 seconds.

My Imperial Blue Metallic LT test car had the six-speed automatic with TAPshift, so I was able to manually select gears, minus the clutch, if I felt like it. As usual, I let the car take care of itself most of the time. I would have enjoyed sampling the Aisin Warner 6 speed manual too.

I enjoyed my time inside the car. Itís obvious that GM is learning how to produce quality looking and feeling plastics, and Chevyís current design language is exuberant, from Malibu to Traverse to Equinox to Camaro. Itís got to be their best look since the 1960ís.

A sweep from door to dash to door distinguishes these new cars; satin-finish trim on the gauges, steering wheel spokes and console keeps the car in league with the newly upgraded Mustang. Soft tan cloth surfaces in my test car felt welcoming and sporty too. The steering wheel rim, in cross-section, is an oval, not a circle, so when you lay your hands on the wheel, you get a nostalgic sense of a skinny 1960ís rim, but when you grip, thereís plenty to grab on to.

Driving the car, you can feel how substantial it is. Todayís cars are structurally sound in a way a Ď60s car could only dream of, but you pay with fat windshield pillars. By concentrating on the road, the gratifying engine sounds and comfortable accommodations, I was able to avoid a sense of claustrophobia from the high window line.

For $22,995, including destination charges, the LS delivers a nice helping of goods, including an audio system with XM Radio, Driver Information Center, a yearís worth of basic OnStar service for security, remote keyless entry, and Stabilitrak with traction control to keep you safe on the road.

Step up to the LT model for $24,63, and at the 2LT level you get better sound, a Boston Acoustics 245-watt system with nine speakers, and handy things like Bluetooth for your phone and a USB port for your iPod. Heated front seats are nice on frosty mornings and their leather adds ambiance and aroma.

For $30,995, the SS delivers all the LT upgrades plus the aforementioned V8. You also get four-piston Brembo brakes for efficient stopping, and big 20-inch wheels and tires. Unique front and rear fascias, a tougher grille, and all the scoops and spoilers you can use distinguish the SS. The instrument panel flaunts an SS logo for when youíre inside and canít see them.

Not much really to nitpick about. I accidentally called OnStar one night when I went to adjust the mirror, as I pressed the button unintentionally. The man who answered picked up in a few seconds, and thatís reassuring. The long coupe doors require careful handling in parking lots, and the slim sunvisors were sometimes ineffective. All in all, itís a great new Camaro.

The EPA Green Vehicle Guide gives the V6 Camaro surprisingly good numbers: 7 for Air Pollution and, with the automatic, a 6 for Greenhouse Gas. That earns it the coveted SmartWay label, and who would have thought a Camaro would be green?

By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

The Bottom Line: The concept version Camaro thrilled past auto show attendees. It took a long time to get the car into the showrooms, and onto the road, but it was worth it. Go celebrate with a test drive, and then buy one, now that the 2010 Camaro is back and ready to rumble.

Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net

ďTony the Car GuyĒ is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net

And remember: ď You Are what you Drive Ē

 

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Column Name: The Camaro is back!

Topic: The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

Word Count: 935

Photo Caption:  The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

Photo Credits: Chevrolet Camaro Internet Media

Series #:  2010 - 03

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