The Camaro Matures Into a True Sports Car

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

There was a time I considered myself a muscle-car fan, but that’s also the time I started growing my first facial hair and noticing girls. My car of choice back then was the Ford Mustang. More specifically, I lusted after a 1965 Mustang with the V8 engine.

I never owned that car, but the 22-year-old me scratched the itch with a 1994 Mustang. Not the same, I know.

In my years of being a muscle-car fanboy, the Camaro was never my thing. I associated it with ramshackle neighborhoods and saw them sitting on concrete blocks more often than on tires.

In my mind, muscle cars never matured past the testosterone-filled teenage drag-racing stage. But that could change this year.

The muscle car may have taken a long time to grow up, but with the 2016 Camaro, I think it’s finally become a man.

Let’s face it: With the new Camaro, Chevrolet has matured its muscle-bound teenager into a refined adult athlete. It’s not a muscle car anymore, it’s an honest-to-goodness sports car that has every chance of slaughtering its Mustang competition. And probably a Porsche and BMW here and there.

The slimmed-down Camaro V8 has lost roughly 200 pounds, while the V6 shed almost 300. It’s about 2 inches shorter than before and 1 inch lower and narrower.

That svelte frame rides on the same chassis that underpins two other ultra-performance machines, the Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V. GM’s 8-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission antiquates Ford’s slower and less efficient 6-speed. And the Camaro’s Corvette-derived V8 overwhelms Ford’s famed 5.0.

In addition, the Camaro’s interior might be better suited to an Audi and makes Ford’s feel like the inside of a Little Tikes ride-along truck.

2016_Camaro_interior

Chevy’s newest sports car will arrive at dealerships in a couple of weeks. The first cars will be the 3.6-liter V6 LT and the 455-hp 6.2-liter V8 SS. There will be a total of six all-new powertrain combinations, including the standard 275-hp, 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder and a choice between a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing for the 1LT trim starts at $26,695, and the 1SS starts at $37,295. This seems expensive when compared to the Mustang, but compare the Camaro to a BMW M3 or the ATS-V, where it belongs, and it becomes a steal.

Our own Keith Griffin is taking part in Chevy’s Find New Roads event and will drive the 2016 Camaro on one leg across the country. Stay tuned for more!

Is there a 2016 Camaro in your future? If so, which engine? If not, what sports or muscle car would you choose instead?

-tgriffith

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