February 22, 2009
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As recently posted on our message board, Scott Settlemire, Cheryl Pilcher and John Fitzpatrick all received their 2010 Camaros to drive, fresh from the Oshawa factory. Shortly after that, we received an invitation to take them for a spin. We couldn’t be more excited.
Michigan is known for many things, and among them is unpredictable weather and poor road conditions. On this day, both were not very optimal for doing a road test on two of Chevrolet’s highly anticipated 2010 Camaros. As it would turn out, thanks to tight engineering tolerances and extreme attention to quality and detail, it didn’t matter much.
We braved the bitter cold Michigan weather and met up at a quiet parking lot to look the cars over. One, a fiery Inferno Orange Metallic Camaro LT and the other a screaming Rally Yellow SS. The cars are exactly like what everyone has seen in the magazines and during the Chevrolet show circuit, a spitting image of the Camaro Concept that drew so much attention, fanfare, and awards. No need to spend much time on the outside now, we wanted to get behind the wheel.
As we took the cars out and mixed with local Detroit traffic, we realized that they drew amazing amounts of attention. Driving a 2010 Camaro is literally driving a celebrity around. At stoplights, people were honking and giving the thumbs up. In traffic, other cars were jockeying for position to get next to us, more thumbs up. Pedestrians would stop and point with one hand while using the other to swat at the person next to them, and you could literally see them say the words, “Look! A new Camaro!”. This happened everywhere we went, we couldn’t escape it. We didn’t want to, either.
It doesn’t take long to realize the 2010 Camaro interior is Cadillac-quiet, even at highway speeds. The suspension sucks up Detroit’s potholes and makes them feel like they were a fraction of the size they really are. Gone are the days of harsh ride or fighting the car for comfort and control, the new Camaros make is easy and enjoyable to drive. The seating is extremely comfortable and should be able to adjust to almost any driver. Ergonomics take a few moments to get used to but once you do, it feels like you were driving the car comfortably for months. Anyone can drive either one of these cars all day, every day. They really are that comfortable. While cruising in one, it almost becomes less apparent that you are driving a performance car and not a luxury car because of the incredible amount of refinement the car has. A honking car next to you snaps you out of it because someone is taking a cell phone picture of what you are driving. Putting the pedal down to give them a show easily brings back that good old “put you back in your seat” Camaro feel. As we always said, this car is what a Camaro should be.
Acceleration is no concern regardless of V8 or V6 as both had plenty of power. The six-speed gearbox is buttery smooth to match the clutch and steering and handling make the car very nimble and fun to drive, despite people’s concerns about vehicle weight. Traction control made it very easy to maintain control at all time by gracefully stepping in at the right times to keep things in line when conditions are less than optimal like they were during our roads tests. Unfortunately, poor weather and road conditions prohibited us from doing any accurate performance test but don’t think we didn’t try. We drove these cars enough to know there is a tremendous amount of potential in both. The aftermarket is going to love this car.
The bottom line is that any variation of the 2010 Camaro is exactly what was promised and then some. For the price, you cannot go wrong with either car from the standpoint of quality, performance, and what matters most…how fun they are to drive. The new Camaro is a blast in any situation, at any speed. The V6 continues to be a stunner with a high level of tossability and surprising power and the V8 is just itching to be hammered on…hard. All will agree, the new generation Camaro is a sure winner. Once everyone gets their hands on a 2010 Camaro they will realize that it brings back the prime of the Camaro and the performance and attitude that truly defines what a Camaro is. But this is a new generation, and nothing is the same as it was. To go along with that performance and attitude is a level of refinement and quality that this industry has never seen combined in a performance car. Until now.
These two cars were as close to full production as can be. A few more like these will roll off the assembly line and then the start of regular production begins. Those cars will be sent to your local Chevrolet dealership to wait to be driven home, by you. Get to your local Chevrolet dealership right away, the new 2010 Camaro will bring life back to the performance car world like never before. You’ll see.