Tired of every media outlet spouting the same public relations stuff about the greatest car to come out of Detroit since the Model A? Car manufacturers make it too easy these days. They hand out USB thumb drives with all the standard information, and the newspapers, websites, and magazines regurgitate on command. As well they should because it's important to get out the news about all the technological breakthroughs in this much-anticipated muscle car. But we decided to dig a little deeper to ferret out some details that might make your decision to buy a little easier. Nevertheless, should you still want all the specs and PR boilerplate, we've got it for you in its entirety on www.popularhotrodding.com (search keyword: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro).
When we got invited by Chevrolet to drive the 2010 Camaro back in mid March, we crawled over it with our cameras and notebooks and asked Camaro engineers about the stuff that jumped out at us that wasn't in the media kit. Here are 20 cool things--some good, some bad, and some just plain unusual. As hot rodding moves decidedly into the 21st century, it's clear to us that the 2010 Camaro is leading the pack.
As for driving impressions, we'll leave that to the string-back glove dudes. We'll just say that the Camaro SS has great handling, braking, and power to spare. The price is right, the gearboxes all work beautifully, and it's hands-down the most well-appointed and most comfortable muscle car ever built. But then you already knew that.
All The Specs
For complete specs on the 2010 Camaro and Camaro SS, log on to www.popularhotrodding.com Keyword search: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
Four-Bomb Gauge Cluster
Some 2010 Camaros include a gauge cluster with oil pressure (0-70 psi), voltage (0-19 volts), oil temperature (100-300 degrees F), and trans temperature (130-320 degrees F) in the center console. But what if you don't want to pay the extra $2,700 (to upgrade from the 1LT to the 2LT package in the V-6), or $4,200 extra (to upgrade from the 1SS to the 2SS package in the V-8) to get them? It turns out that the gauge cluster will be available from the Chevy dealership as an aftermarket add-on. All the sensors are already installed in the car, and the harness is even pre-terminated in the console. The only other thing you'll need beside the gauges is the jumper wire harness.
All you guys and gals in cold-weather states will be able to order your Camaro with the remote start option. That's not new. What is new is that the remote start receiver is located behind the rearview mirror, and not in the instrument panel where engineers wanted to put it initially. This actually adds to the cost and complexity of the build-out. The reason? Mounting it higher (and disguising it behind a dark tinted area of the windshield) gives it a super-long 300-foot transmission radius. Try that with your fancy Lexus!
We poked around the front fascia of the new Camaro looking for a way to make this cool-looking scoop functional, but it deadheads into the radiator and core support, and cannot be made functional for any reasonable amount of money. The stillborn Z/28 with the Cadillac version of the LS9 (with 556 hp) would've had a hood-mounted scoop with functional ram air.
Planning on bulking up the horsepower under the hood of your Camaro SS, say with a blower, or an LSX454 crate motor? You'll need a stronger rearend and axles to go with that. You might be tempted to swap in the rear from the Cadillac CTS-V, which has the de-tuned LS9 (556 hp) from the ZL-1 Corvette. Unfortunately, the Camaro's rearend is made by American Axle, not ZF (like the Caddy's), and is not interchangeable. Those of you planning on big horsepower upgrades will need to go with custom axles and control arms. Had GM pulled the trigger on the more powerful Z/28, it would simply be a matter of bolting in the extra Z/28 beefcake with factory part numbers.
There is no exterior lock cylinder for the trunk, not even hidden under the Chevy Bowtie emblem, so don't accidentally run your battery down. Your keyfob is the only way to enter the trunk from the outside. If you do run your battery down, you'll need to unlock the door manually, crawl in the back seat, flip down the seat back, reach into the trunk, and pull the emergency trunk release ripcord. You know, the glow-in-the-dark thing your kid gets to use when he misbehaves and you gotta stuff him in the trunk.
The Camaro has no spare tire, but it does have this nice electric air compressor mounted in a Styrofoam form fitted inside the spare tire well in the trunk. The compressor actually has two nozzles; one hose feeds pressurized tire-repair goo through a clear tube, the other pumps regular air. Make sure you don't get the two mixed up and accidentally fill your kid's floaty toys with sealing goo!