2011 Camaro 2 SS - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

2011 Camaro 2 SS


I'll be honest; not having too many access points on the bypass for police cars to turn around saved me some money.   I may or may not have been exceeding the speed limit in a 2011 Rally Yellow Camaro 2 SS when a State Trooper passed by headed the other direction.

I got off at the next exit, playing the potential scenario in my mind. 

Officer: "I clocked you at XXX on the bypass".  

Me: "But officer, I'm not on the bypass that must have been another bright yellow Camaro."  But I made it home without incident and at a much more legal speed.

It's nice to have Detroit muscle back and the big three pulling out all the stops to keep the pony car wars waging.

The SS is a serious player.  With a 6.2 liter 426 hp V-8 offering up 420 lb/ft of pavement shredding torque, this car is a lot of fun to drive. Even at idle, there's enough cam lob to give the car a nice little back and forth rocking action.  It's a bit quieter at idle than I like for an engine of this magnitude, but that can be fixed with a simple exhaust upgrade which GM offers as an option. I think Chevy should have just made the upgrade standard, but I hear the car companies need to make some money.  The stock exhaust makes some very nice noises when you press your right foot to the floor.    

The new body style was unveiled in 2008 to rave reviews and massive pre-orders.  I too was among the people who loved the way it looks, and I still do.  It's just a splash of retro to make it a real head turner, especially in Rally Yellow (a $325 option).  The best look I got was from a 9 or 10 year old boy riding his bike that stopped, his jaw dropped open and said a long "wow" as I drove by.   It also had the ladies at my 3 year olds pre-school asking a ton of questions.  The most common answer I gave, "no, it's not mine."

The interior is just as nice.  Soft leather on comfortable seats.  Excellent fit and finish.  And a good looking choice of trim material and color.  Nothing inside looks cheap or partially finished.

A few other interior touches to keep the splash of retro going include the gauge cluster and optional rectangular floor gauges to monitor oil temp and pressure, along with coolant and transmission temp.

All the bells and whistles you want can be yours.  From heated seats, Bluetooth, iPod interface, 245 watt Boston Acoustic sound system and a very cool heads up display.  It allows you to monitor a number of different things.  From speed, tach, radio station, directions etc it's all projected on the windshield in a blue/green color.  You can adjust the position and brightness, even turning it off should you find it distracting.

I drove the automatic with paddle mounted shifters.  The automatic does drop the ponies down from 426 to 400 but you're also going to get 25 mpg on the highway, if you keep it at 65 mph and trust me, that is a hard thing to do. You can get it in a 312 hp V-6 if you want to go the better gas mileage route.

The Camaro delivers an excellent ride for a sports car.  The handling is tight and can take on some high speed corners.  With the automatic and TAPshift control, you'll get rev matched downshifts to make it look like you know how to drive.  A big ol' set of Brembos will help bring you to a stop. 

If you want to do some smoky burnouts or take it to the track, there are three different traction control settings.  You can keep it on; turn it completely off or press the little button a third time for a track mode.   In the 6 speed manual you get a launch control option.

As much as I love this car, there are a few things I have an issue with.  The first would be interior space.  I knew climbing in it would be tight. You get plenty of elbow room, and if you adjust the seat, all the legroom you want, it's the headroom that isn't there.  I stand an even 6 foot and with the moon roof option, my skull was firmly planted against the headliner. I'm not a moon roof guy anyway so I would delete this option on my order sheet.  If you like wind in your hair, you can opt for the convertible version.  I took a spin in the new drop top and it's just as good as the coupe in every way.  The car has been built up to keep the same structural rigidity.  Unless you're at the track being timed, you won't notice the difference in performance the extra weight makes.

The rear seats are good for small kids or a few bags of groceries. There's just not a lot of room back there.  Hauling your friends around will garner some complaints, but that's not what this car is about.  It's about the driver having fun behind the wheel. My two girls, strapped firmly in their boosters and almost out of leg space, did not complain at all.  They were laughing and shouting, "Go faster daddy."  What can I say; I want to keep my girls happy.

Yes, I would be very happy with an SS in the garage, (make mine black with a 6 speed) but I know the type of trouble I would get into. 

Build yours here…. http://www.chevrolet.com/camaro-coupe/build-your-own/

Next month: The New Ford Explorer


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