Chevy Camaro

New Chevy Camaro
Rebel Rouser
Today, we set our speed-craving gaze on a legend in muscle car design, the Chevrolet Camaro. First appearing in 1966 for the 1967 model year, it was built to take on the prancing pony known as the Ford Mustang. It is a long rivalry that continues to this day. The Camaro shared its platform with another GM car, the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced in 1967.

"Camaraderie of Good Friends"

The two-door, four-seater was in continuous production from 1966 to 2002, going through four very distinct generations. It took a short break before reappearing as it is today in 2010. Over five million of the devilish little pavement pounders have been sold to happy speed merchants. When the automotive press originally asked Chevrolet production managers what a 'Camaro' was, they replied, "it is a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs." In truth, the word is French slang for 'the camaraderie of good friends.'
 
In its long history, the Camaro has been through six generations, and beginning in 2016, the muscular Mustang eater took on its current look offering variants from mild to very wild. This included the 2.0-liter turbo-charged inline four producing 275 horsepower, a 3.6-liter V6 making 335 hp, an SS model with the mighty 6.2-liter LT1 V8 pushing 455 hp, and the face-melting ZL1 model with its high performance supercharged 650 hp motor based on the Corvette Z06.

Photo: Roy Ritchie
Camaro's Menacing Grimace
All that history brings us to right now, where the Camaro continues its reign as a pony killer, offering incredible performance value for the dollar. Throughout its long lifespan, the little Chevy has never been known for ample room. In fact, the backseat is fairly useless. You can fit a briefcase back there or very small children. Perhaps a hedgehog.
 
The first thing you'll notice is the Camaro's menacing grimace. It is made to look mean. "Stay away, you Mustangs!" it bellows through its throbbing exhaust. This car makes muscle car sounds enough to thrill any sixteen-year-old boy right out of his zits. It is light on its feet, the steering is excellent on twisty roads and the tires grip supremely well.
 
This is a car that was created so that you can customize it and make it your own. It is available in a coupe or as a convertible and many amazing options are available. The base model comes with the four-cylinder engine but there is also a V6 or V8 engine to help you rattle the neighbor's windows. All trim levels can be modified for track days with the addition of the 1LE package which now comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission on the V8 powered SS models.

How does it feel to drive?

First of all, behind the wheel, even the base model 275 horsepower four-cylinder version is quick. However, upgrading to the 335 horsepower V6 makes this an entirely different animal. The V6 offers awesome lower end torque. But those with a true need for speed will be looking at the V8 upgrade with 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque that is available in the SS and LT1 variants. Those come with that standard six-speed manual transmission for true driver thrills.
 
The chassis is a thing of joy, bringing you a direct connection to the car, the ground beneath you, and telegraphs what is happening up through your legs and into your brain. The ride is firm and supportive, feeling like a go-kart on rails in canyon carving corners or in the twisties. The brakes are excellent, an equal partner to all that power. The 1LE package even brings you track-ready Brembo brakes. For 2021 the LT1 is priced below the V8-powered Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, with an MSRP of $34,995.
 
The bad boy Chevy Camaro continues to bring drivers a great performance package for the price, out-shining many rivals on the track. It is purely fun to drive. Sure, it has no useable backseat, is hard to look out of and has a laughable trunk. But that's not what drew you to this beast, is it?

Pricing

The base model Camaro MSRP pricing will start at around $26,000 for the standard coupe with its turbo 4-cylinder engine and manual tranny. A 2022 SS model with its 6.2-liter V8 will start at $42,000. What about the mighty 650 horsepower ZL1, you ask in a raspy voice filled with awe and wonder? The ZL1 will set you back a bit over $60,000

As the old saying goes, "Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"
Lithia has your Camaro
No matter which of these go-fast machines floats your boat, Lithia Motors has the right Camaro for you. You'll find your local dealer here. You could be hunting Mustangs in nothing flat!