2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe evaluate notes: Robust mechanicals, weak inside

Growing old athlete takes a closing bow

ROAD TEST EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: So low cost! I’ve been driving numerous costly equipment currently, main me to debate the deserves of $a hundred,000-$200,000 tremendous- and sports cars, however getting again on this Camaro for a fourth or fifth time? It jogs my memory why I really like America. Simply lower than 600 hp for simply lower than $60K — are you kidding me?

It may be pushed all day lengthy, too. In consolation mode, it simply bumbles alongside, absorbing all however the greatest of potholes. I drove one in every of our racing guys house and even he remarked on how comfy it’s over our crumbling roads. Even in sport mode, it’s nonetheless fully livable for an fanatic.

It steps on the scales with greater than four,000 kilos, which is clearly rather a lot. Gasoline mileage isn’t nice, however that mass is what helps it really feel so clean and planted on the highway.

After all, if you wish to lighten issues up a bit, simply smash the throttle and this automotive will slip-n-slide up into third gear. Steering on the throttle is straightforward, and a fast retraction brings the whole lot again in line. The brakes really feel nice for normal steelies.

So the Camaro comes with some inherent issues, most notably the visibility, which is nil. And being this low-cost will get you stuff like peeling door sill stickers and panels that aren’t fairly simpatico. Nevertheless it’s the engine that everybody actually cares about, the remainder is simply window (sill) dressing. Pardon the pun. This automotive particularly has been thrashed by journalists for just a few thousand miles, so we’ll give it a little bit break.

The 6.2-liter V8 sounds superior with a deep rumble within the low revs and a backfiring scream larger within the vary. Energy with the supercharger is overwhelming from upshift to upshift. The nostril does get off the bottom a bit, till your acceleration slows and the entire automobile planes out. The clutch pedal and shifter are nearly excellent in weight and throw. I personally nonetheless just like the Mustang’s “really feel” extra, however that’s me. Steering is straightforward at gradual speeds, however appears to tighten up in sportier modes or at larger speeds. I at all times love suede/alcantara trim.

Folks nonetheless gawk at this factor, regardless that it’s just a few years previous. I really like the black rim/black trim version, regardless of the outside colour.

It appears Camaro has one thing for everybody, in case you embody this ZL1. We haven’t heard about upgraded trims for the 2016 mannequin, however they’re certainly on their approach. I’ll be excited to see if Chevy can do higher than this, at this value, or if anybody can, for that matter.

Photo: 2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe Photo 3

The ZL1 has a : 6.2-liter supercharged OHV V8 engine. Picture by Chevrolet

 

ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: With the Gen 6 Camaro on the best way, that is doubtless one of many final occasions the fifth-gen ZL1 will rotate by our check fleet. I’m not the world’s greatest Camaro fanboy, however I’m all the time pleasantly stunned at how a lot I find yourself having fun with this GM pony automobile’s most muscular incarnation and the way irritating its shortcomings are.

Definitely, what it does nicely, it actually nails. Yep, magnetic experience suspension continues to be good, softening the blow of street imperfections in “tour” and firming up noticeably — however by no means to the purpose of harshness — in “sport.” Yep, the multimode traction administration system remains to be there to get your again when the pavement is slick; with no electrical nannies and on cool tires, even a coating of early-morning dew supplies sufficient lubrication to interrupt these broad rear tires unfastened.

And yep, the highlight continues to be on the 6.2-liter supercharged V8. I’d put it in a ship, which, oddly sufficient, is simply concerning the highest reward I can consider giving any motor. It sounds nice at its barely cammy idle, and it’s immensely pleasurable to cost down an on-ramp in second gear and simply wind it as much as close to redline earlier than leisurely grabbing the following gear. Then again, giving it somewhat throttle, dropping into gear and letting the LSA’s on the spot and ample torque rip you ahead from a useless cease merely doesn’t get outdated.

If solely I might say that about the remainder of the automotive.

It’s not a lot the outside. Time and time once more, I’ll inform myself I’m not an enormous fan of the look of the fifth-gen Camaro … however quickly sufficient, I’ll catch myself gazing at it parked throughout the road and considering, rattling, that factor does look fairly imply. That’s a great factor, as a result of the brand new one isn’t an enormous departure stylistically. I want it had been slightly smaller and fewer large — and lo! It appears like 2016 will shed some bulk as properly.

No, what will get me is the inside high quality. It’s by no means been terribly spectacular, and it’s wanting an increasing number of dated and low cost as time goes on. Even Fiat-Chrysler has been capable of maintain their getting older fleet of muscle feeling kind of contemporary because of some rigorously chosen inside upgrades; alcantara shift knob apart, this feels just like the unhealthy previous days of ’09.

There’s a number of grey plastic in all places you look. ZL1-particular doorsill plates are metallic stickers, as Jake identified, and so they’re beginning to peel a bit on the edges — that is on a model-new automobile, and one which appears to be positioned as a future collectable, no much less. Granted, none of this has harm Chevy an excessive amount of prior to now (have a look at what the Corvette devoted put up with earlier than the arrival of the C7). But it surely’s an enormous knock in opposition to what’s a very spectacular piece of engineering, and an enormous purpose import followers have been capable of justifiably ding American efficiency choices for years now.

I do know the Normal can do higher; the GMC Canyon, for instance has some genuinely good metallic trim bits scattered right here and there — and that’s a pickup truck, which shouldn’t really feel nicer than an costly flagship efficiency providing. Maybe it simply didn’t make any sense to offer this automotive an replace with a brand new mannequin on the best way.

True followers will have the ability to look previous these flaws, and so they’ll take pleasure in a very invigorating motor and a refined trip for his or her efforts. However I can’t see anybody else climbing onboard the SS Camaro with the promise of one thing newer and, hopefully, higher simply over the horizon.

Photo: 2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe Photo 10

Extra inside options embody a thick, flat-backside steering wheel, alloy pedals and a head-up show with distinctive efficiency readouts. Photograph by Chevrolet

 

Choices: Gasoline guzzler tax ($1,300); energy sunroof ($900); uncovered carbon fiber weave hood insert ($600); inside suede microfiber bundle together with suede shift knob and suede steering wheel ($500); navigation system ($495); cargo mat ($a hundred and forty); cargo web ($60)

 

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