I admit I am old school and I apologize … for nothing.
I learned to type (originally) on a manual typewriter and perfected that craft on an IBM Selectric. I learned to drive in the family station wagon, before I had to wear a seatbelt. I still look forward to receiving the National Geographic magazine in the mail each month (although for slightly different reasons than when I was a young lad), and I get my hair cut by a barber.
And I still LOVE Camaros.
Sure, I have adopted modern technology into my current lifestyle and life stage, and Camaro has “matured” as well.
Deep down inside, though, resides a beating heart yearning for excitement and the ever-fleeting adrenaline rush. If you are asking am I describing myself here or the automobile, the answer is “Yes.”
Since its comeback this past year, the new-generation Chevrolet Camaro has graced my driveway in several forms. I drove a slick black SS model with automatic gearbox and V-8 engine in the July 4th parade last summer, I zipped around town in the 426hp manual transmission hotrod this past fall and most recently enjoyed time with a V-6 powered RS model in blazing Inferno Orange.
I was unsure how I would receive the smaller powertrain after already being spoiled with the V-8 experience but I quickly discovered I would not be disappointed. Chevy has proven it can deliver fun and fuel economy in an extremely handsome package.
GM began using direct injection technology on a V-6 engine a couple of years back with their newest Cadillac CTS offering, providing enhanced performance without the need for engine add-ons such as supercharging. These new six-cylinder engines produce as much power as the last generation V-8s were delivering to driving enthusiasts – 304hp in the case of the new Camaro.
And the perfect partner for this V-6 is the six-speed manual gearbox Chevy offers.
While I was not completely blown away with the six-speed manual behind the V-8 Camaro I drove last fall, I was very content during my week behind the wheel of the “six-with-a-six” combo.
Most of my driving was concentrated near the 17 mpg city end of the fuel economy rating scale, but the V-6 Camaro is capable of up to 29 mpg on the highway.
The RS package with interior colors to match the loud exterior paint scheme was added on top of the 2LT trim level our tester began with so this was no bargain basement ride. In addition to dual exhaust tips, sport suspension, front, side and head curtain airbags, ultrasonic park assist, four wheel disc brakes with ABS, Stabilitrak stability and traction control and a great Boston Acoustics sound system with Sirius/XM satellite radio, Chevy adds 20-inch sport wheels, rear spoiler, rally striping, RS unique tail lamps, HID headlamps with cool halo ring, inferno orange accents on the front and rear leather seats along with accent stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob armrest, center console and seats.
And the ambient lighting at night is sweet. The body paint trim panel inserts in the doors glow along the length of the top of the panel. Gorgeous. I just wish I could dim the dash panel lighting separately from the ambient lighting.
A 2010 Chevrolet Camaro begins at $22,995 in pure base form. Our loaded RS tester comes rolling in at just over 30 grand but if you want to retain luxury without loud, the 2LT V-6 Camaro will run you in the mid-20s and you have a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Do yourself a favor and opt for the manual gearbox, you won’t be disappointed.