I love the modern muscle cars. For those who grew up in the muscle car era of the late 60’s and early 70’s or were touched by them years later, the 2015 model year tantalizes with great choices from Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet.
It’s interesting to look at the performance of the cars from the Muscle Car era. Many packed big engines, but actually put out a modest amount of horsepower and torque compared to today’s vehicles. With bias ply tires and crude suspension setups the muscle machines of the 1960’s and early 1070’s would be out handled by any standard family car of 2015. Recently on the test track a 7-passenger minivan was driven at over 130 mph. There are many legendary muscle cars of 50 years ago that could never reach that high-end speed.
Recently Chevrolet took the wraps off the all-new Camaro for the 2016 model year. I would describe the overall style and technology of this vehicle as evolutionary. 2015 is the last year of the current Camaro, which first rolled off the assembly line for the 2010 model year.
Historically the last model production run of the vehicle is quite often the best of that generation. All of the “bugs” have been tracked down and fixed so the last one is usually a good bet to be trouble free. Chevrolet in anticipation of high demand for the 2016s is offering some incredible incentives on the remaining 2015 models including 0% financing for up to 70 months.
My test vehicle this week is a tasty 2015 Camaro SS in 1LE trim. Painted in a striking yellow color with a flat black painted hood treatment and black painted 20-inch wheels, this vehicle looks fast standing still. Also got to love the ZL-1 inspired hood heat extractor and the LED taillight treatment.
My six-speed manual car was equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8, which produces for 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy is rated at 16-mpg city and 24-mpg highway. My test vehicle was also equipped with the $3,500 performance package, which includes goodies such as a complete suspension and the ride and handling upgrade. It also comes with a high performance rear axle ratio, unique rear spoiler, and 20-inch painted black aluminum wheels with track ready tires. Interior upgrades include a suede steering wheel and suede shift knob. My test Camaro included optional Recaro power, performance seats and a navigation system. The total vehicle price was in the mid 40’s, which is about the same as fully loaded Mustang GT or an SRT or Scat Pack 392 Challenger from Dodge.
On smooth roads the SS is a dream machine handling wise, however, potholes or speed bumps will upset the vehicle and provide a rough ride for its passengers.
Everywhere I drove the Camaro it drew lots of smiles and thumbs up. Tom Peter’s design has aged well and looks better today five model years into production than it did on its debut. This muscle brings lots of attitude to the street with performance that lives up to racy looks.
Chevrolet continues to refine its My Link infotainment system for the better. I love the power Recaro’s so much more than the manual model available in the Mustang GT and Shelby GT350. However, I look forward to the improvements across the board to the interior of the 2016 model.
It’s bargain time right now, Camaro fans can get a great deal on the 2015 model. If you want even higher performance and more refinement wait for the 2016. Either way you cannot lose.