The Camaro is Chevrolet's affordable rear-wheel-drive performance car. Offered in coupe and convertible body styles, the Camaro is available with V-6 or V-8 power. A high-performance ZL1 edition powered by a 580-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 is also available in either body style. The Camaro competes with other retro-inspired muscle cars, including the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang.
New for 2013
The V-8-powered Camaro SS now gets electric power steering and and an available dual-mode exhaust. Camaros equipped with a manual transmission, regardless of the engine or trim, now get hill start assist and a ZL1-style shift knob.
Apart from new interior leather trim and a new exterior paint color, buyers can choose from newly styled 18- or 20-inch wheels. Remote start now comes on 1LT and 1SS trim levels with an automatic transmission. Chevrolet's new MyLink entertainment system with a touch-screen and navigation is optional.
There is a new 1LE Performance Package for Camaro SS coupes with a manual transmission. Included in the package is an exclusive Tremec-brand six-speed manual and a high-performance suspension and tire setup. Distinguishing exterior details include a matte black hood, front splitter, rear spoiler and 10-spoke wheels similar to those on the ZL1 Camaro. Inside, there's a flat-bottomed steering wheel and short-throw shifter.
The Camaro has a retro theme that borrows from previous models, including a long hood and short rear deck. The front end features a honeycomb grille, and the rear has aggressively styled fenders with slits shaped like gills. The back has four rounded taillamps that are similar to the ones found on the Corvette.
Muscle cars have traditionally had bland interiors, but the Camaro laudably mixes retro touches like square gauge hoods and the available four-pack of auxiliary gauges with a modern dash design. The execution has proven to be a little too perfectly retro thanks to hard, cheap plastic, but this year there are soft-touch inserts for the dash. More important, the 2012 Camaro has a new steering wheel that's much more ergonomic and comfortable to grip than last year's.
An available RS Appearance Package includes high-intensity-discharge headlamps with integrated halo rings, a rear spoiler, unique taillamps and 20-inch wheels. Exterior features include:
- Available 18-, 19-, or 21-inch wheels
- Standard power mirrors
- Standard rear spoiler
- Optional power heated mirrors
- Optional fog lamps
Under the Hood
Camaro LS and LT models have a V-6 engine, while the V-8 is exclusively found on SS models. When paired with an automatic transmission the V-8 features GM's Active Fuel Management system, which turns off four cylinders under light loads. Camaro SS models can have a dual-mode exhaust that alters the exhaust sound.
The Camaro has multiple suspension setups depending on which model is chosen. Mechanical features include:
- 323-hp, 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 with 278 pounds-feet of torque
- 400-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with 410 pounds-feet of torque (automatic SS)
- 426-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 pounds-feet of torque (manual SS)
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional six-speed automatic
All Camaros come with OnStar, with one free year of GM's Safe and Sound Plan, whose features include monthly email alerts, automatic crash response and roadside assistance. They also get six months free of the Directions and Connections plan. Standard safety features include:
- Side curtain airbags (coupe)
- Front side-impact airbags
- Daytime running lamps
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
- Traction control
- Hill start assist (manual-transmission models)