Chevy pulls cover on the final cut for the reborn Camaro.
07-18-08: Whether or not the new 2010 Chevy Camaro will replace the old one as the favorite car for small time drug dealers, wife beaters, and robbers of convenience stores will remain to be seen. Regardless, GM has taken the wraps off the production version of the new 2010 Chevy Camaro.
It ought to look familiar, since we have been looking at it for almost three years. To GM’s credit, the production version shown here is as close as an automaker gets to a concept car. The new Camaro is virtually identical in form and in detail. The major differences of course come in the form of the requisite weather-striping at side doors and windows, larger side mirrors and small tweaks to the tail-lights, exhaust tips, and fascias.
Inside, the interior follows the a retro theme very true in spirit to the 1969 Camaro. Large dual gauge pods sit before the driver while secondary gauges sit low on the center console. It is a great layout for the retro tradition but honestly sucks for ergonomics. It is a gaffe, but most Camaro buyers aren’t gonna care. The small indentations in front of them will be a great place for empty cigarette boxes, lighers, and bottle openers. Other details like the steering wheel's grotesquely off center airbag pod bring back memories of the ill-conceived GM design details of the 1980’s. Again the average buyer will not notice or care.
How an optional NAV system might fit in the center pod will be interesting. While the concept cars showed off the ability for bright contrasting colors inside, the production car photos GM has provided just show a dark charcoal cave much like that of the Dodge Challenger. There are plenty of comforts however. Top end models will get LED gauges, leather and premium trim accents.
Under the hood is of course where the action is. This is one area where the 2010 Camaro will not disappoint. The initial engines will include GM’s high feature DOHC 3.6 liter direct injected V6 engine which cranks out a healthy 300hp. That's the same as the Mustang GT’s 4.6 liter V8!
As if that was not enough, the V8 option will be a healthy 6.2-liter power plant offering up 422 hp. Standard V8 is 400hp, with the SS model offering a few more horses. Like most of GM’s modern V8’s the Camaro’s top engine will feature cylinder deactivation to boost fuel economy. The seamless system shuts down up to 4 cylinders while in coast or cruise modes to save gas. It has been very well received in trucks and SUV’s - a technology Ford really should be after.
The 2010 Camaro rides on essentially the same new rear-wheel drive chassis as the recently introduced Pontiac G8 sport sedan. What this means is a fully independent suspension and top drawer handling. The Pontiac G8 has been heralded by the automotive press for its sharp corner carving abilities as well as refinement. This will likely be a major advantage over the Mustang which still has a live axle, technology dating back to Henry Ford’s cars over 100 years ago.
Other chassis details on the top end models includes GM’s StabiliTrak traction control system. Like the Shelby GT-500, the SS will have big Brembo brakes, 18” wheels, and an aggressive suspension tune. While full specs have not been released, the V8 Camaro is said to come in at about 3,750-3,850 lbs which makes it a bit heavier than the Mustang but not as porky as the Dodge Challenger.
Overall, we have to say that GM has done a much better job on the new 2010 Camaro than Dodge with the new Challenger. Not only is it more svelte, but is far lighter and has a more athletic chassis. As for how it will compare to Mustang, we must admit that it trumps the Ford in raw power with both the current V6 and V8 engines. Even what we have heard the 2010 Mustang will have is still less. It trumps the Mustang in chassis dynamics by virtue of its independent rear suspension.
Yes, we had a little fun at Camaro's expense with our photo renderings based on the production car. It appears that the new Chevy will indeed provide a healthy competitor to the Mustang in the showrooms. Whether or not the Camaro will be available in an special edition with mismatched wheels, panels and random primer spots for its loyal fan base has not yet been announced. But we can dream cant we?