2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Greg Wilson

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro

The bad boy of the Camaro line-up is the SS with the Rally Sport package. Equipped with the Corvette-sourced 426-horsepower 6.2-litre LS3 V8, Tremec six-speed manual transmission, FE3 performance suspension, four-piston Brembo disc brakes, 20-inch Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires and optional 20-inch “midnight silver” alloys, the Camaro SS RS packs in a bucket-load of performance for under $45,000.

Add the (non-functional) hood scoop, front air dam, rear lip spoiler, HID headlights, dual exhausts and rear diffuser – and in the case of our test car, bright “Rally Yellow” paint – and you have a real magnet for attention. The local police, in particular, find the Camaro SS to be irresistible. As you rumble past a police cruiser, you can see that look in their eyes: “Why would he buy a car like that unless he wants to do something illegal?”

Hm. They might have a point…

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Click image to enlarge

Introduced last year as a 2010 model, the new Camaro is a tribute to the iconic Camaro that began life in 1966 as a competitor to the popular Ford Mustang. Though it was discontinued in 2002, renewed interest in American muscle cars resulted in the second coming of the Camaro nameplate last year. But unlike the retro-styled 2010 Mustang and Dodge Challenger, the new Camaro took a fresh approach to styling while retaining the classic muscle car elements: long hood, short rear deck, raised hip, wide stance and rear-drive architecture.

Opinions are generally mixed on the new Camaro’s styling with some wishing it looked more like the original Camaro and others impressed by its modern interpretation of the muscle car concept. Personally, I’m in the first camp, but I’ll let you decide.

Though the Camaro is typically viewed as an “all-American” muscle car, it’s based on GM’s Australian, rear-drive Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8 chassis, was designed in the U.S., and is built in Oshawa, Ontario.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Click image to enlarge

Even its base V6 engine has more power than earlier V8s had: the 3.6-litre DOHC 24-valve V6, in the LS and LT, develops 304 hp at 6,400 rpm and 273 lb-ft torque at 5,300 rpm, while the optional 6.2-litre pushrod, two-valve per cylinder V8 in the SS develops either 400 or 420 horsepower depending on which transmission you choose. With the six-speed Hydra-Matic 6L80 automatic transmission, you get the L99 6.2-litre V8 that develops 400 hp at 5,900 rpm and 410 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm. This engine features “Active Fuel Management” which deactivates half of the cylinders when coasting or decelerating to save fuel. Published fuel economy numbers (L/100 km) are 13.2/7.9 city/hwy.

With the standard six-speed Tremec TR6060 manual transmission, the 6.2-litre V8 makes 426 hp at 5,900 rpm and 420 lb-ft torque at 4,600 rpm, but it doesn’t have Active Fuel Management. Still, its published fuel consumption numbers (L/100 km) aren’t much worse: 13.2/8.2 city/hwy. Premium fuel is recommended for both engines, but not required. Running it on Regular gas will result in a slight decrease in power.

Pricing and standard equipment
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Click image to enlarge

American-brand muscle cars continue to provide more bang for the buck than most sporty imports. The 2010 Camaro 1SS ($37,065 manual; $38,500 automatic) includes the 6.2-litre V8, 20-inch Pirelli tires and alloy wheels in a ‘Sterling silver’ finish, air conditioning, ABS, traction and stability control, unique front and rear fascias and grille, rear spoiler, SS badging, four-piston Brembo brakes, cloth bucket seats, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input, six airbags, XM satellite radio, OnStar, tire pressure monitoring system, power windows with express up/down, intermittent wipers, SS instrumentation, and outside temperature display.

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