General Motors is on a steady roll and back to its winning ways. Well, North America certainly didn’t do much in reviving the General’s fortunes and most of the revival was done by GM’s Asian subsidiaries. But there was and still is one car here that made all the difference for the General in the American market and it is the Chevrolet Camaro or lovingly called as the Chevy Camaro. Today, I have got a 2011 Chevy Camaro with me for a test drive and this was the reason for all that trivia earlier on. The muscle car as it is called has been around since a long time and GM have no plans of phasing it out. Like its foe, the Ford Mustang, this car epitomizes the “muscle car” theory in the US.
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro cannot be distinguished from its predecessor much as almost all the generations of Camaros have very much looked the same. The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro is also now available in drop top or convertible form. The radiator grille with its widely spaced angles stretches right upto the head lamps section. The air dams in the meanwhile look slightly subtler. The dinner plate sized fog lamps actually seem at par with the head lamps. There is a kink near the place where the bonnet meets the radiator grille and it somehow appears as if there is a split air intake or bonnet scoop. There are 20 inch alloy wheels on the top variant and 18 inch wheels on the lower ones. The side profile doesn’t reveal much or any of the design elements except for the fact that vehicle has gained much in length. Circa to the back and the twin tail lamps housed in their own pods and flanking the Chevy bowtie do seem like someone is pointing a gun straight to the temple. For the lower portion covering the bumper, there is a black plastic cladding used and housed in it are the twin bazooka tail pipes.
The interiors in the meanwhile, over the years have undergone many changes. It is said that muscle cars should have the all traditional bland interiors but then the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro begs to differ in the aspect that a 4 pack auxiliary gauge gels well with the now more modern dash design. Woh! Wait, is that a steering wheel? How do I hold it? The Camaro’s steering wheel feels bigger than even, say a truck’s. Moreover the vertically hooded meter dials also feel proportionate to the steering wheel design. Sparse equipment levels inside the cabin combine with “I have nothing on my side” feel to the front passenger. Moreover, the rear seats in the coupe form are very small even by coupe standards. One gets a Boston Acoustics stereo which has 9 speakers for company, heads up display, leather upholstery and also the heated front seats. Boot space in the coupe format stands at 11.3 cubic feet whereas its convertible version has an understandably lesser space of 10.2 cubic feet. However the boot opening is almost miniscule and doesn’t support long bags (golfers beware).
For the ride and handling package, the first thing that comes to mind is the visibility in this muscle car. Almost nill. I perceived the convertible to have better visibility but then it was the same there as well. Thank god for the standard rear parking sensors now on the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. The car displays an athleticism far belying its size. It is ready to attack corners with gusto but then not so eagerly as the Porsche Boxster. The heavy steering wheel did take some time getting used to. The ride on the other hand was typical muscle car with lots of stiffness dialed into the chassis. NVH meanwhile was tad lower in the coupe as compared to the convertible. Even though it had a canvass top which opens up in 23 seconds flat, NVH is very much acceptable. There is always a stiffness to the chassis as is evident when you turn the car fast on a twisty.
2011 Chevrolet Camaro Photo Gallery
The engine options in the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro are basically down to two options. One is the 3.6 liter V6 one and the other is the 6.2 liter V8. The former produces 312 Hp of power and 278 pound feet of torque. Transmission choices are a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic whereas for the V8 engine, the power figure is 426 Hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Here as well, one get a 6 speed manual or automatic version. I had the manual V6 variant with me and this one galloped from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The automatic would add .2 seconds for the same stretch. The V8 on the other hand in manual guise would cover the same distance in just under 5 seconds whereas the auto would do it in 5.2 seconds. All wheel discs brakes coupled with stability control and ABS makes light of stopping this muscle car. OnStar coupled with 4 air bags, collapsible steering column and side intrusion beams round off the safety package. EPA estimates peg the V6 engine at 17 mpg in city and 28 mpg on the highway. Auto transmission brings down 1 mpg from both the figures. The V8 on the other hand delivers around 16 mpg in city and 24 mpg on the highway with manual transmission and this figure drops to 15 and 13 mpg on the city/highway cycle.
Finally off the test drive, I have the details for you. This car, the fortune turner for GM is been sold in 6 trims out of which 4 are for the coupes and two for the convertibles. This is one muscle car which would compete with all the sports cars and even defeat two or three of them in a straight line. The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro price starts from $22,680 and shoots to $ 34,287.