Camaro- bringing a new meaning to power


Nick Feldman, and John Merk besides the new Chevrolet Camaro at Joseph Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Camaro has brought a new meaning for the phrase “bang for buck”, with the base price starting out at $ 23,000. Though the price starts low, spending a little more adds a whole lot of excitement. The base model Camaro coupe has a 3.6L V-6 producing 323-horse power and 350 lb-ft of torque propelling you from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, not bad for a $23,000 car. You also get an impressive 30 MPG on the highway.

If you’re a guy who just can’t stop there, you can take home the Camaro SS for $34,050 and get an upgraded 6.2L V8 with 426 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque and the manual transmission.   This option can put the power to the pavement or create some serious smoke with the touch of the launch control switch.  You can also get the greatest stopping power in the world with Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero high-performance summer-only tires.

And now for the model every car enthusiast was waiting for the Camaro ZL1. The ZL1’s title comes from 1969, but the engineering comes from the 21 century. The first supercharged engine ever tucked under the hood of the Camaro is a 6.2L supercharged V-8 unleashing 580 horses and putting 556 lb.-ft. of torque on the blacktop. One of the cool features it offers is its “butterfly” dual-mode exhaust. When the motor revs up to 3,500 RPM’s the exhaust will pour out the sweet sound of V-8 on steroids by reducing muffler backpressure.

I went to Joseph Chevrolet on Colerain Avenue to take a look at some of their hot rides, they were more than happy to help, especially John Merk, an over the top gearhead. John showed me around the ZL1 and reviewed all the available options and features including, magnetic ride control. The magnetic ride control uses computers which analyze the data 1,000 times per second, and adjusts the ride so you can hit the turns harder and faster. It also comes with adjustable ride controls which include Touring, Sport, and Track modes. The sport and track modes also have five modes which adjust for driver experience, skill level, and track conditions.

Chevrolet took the ZL1 to the Nurburgring  in Germany to test out how it did on a hardened track. “You have to have an extremely well-mannered confidence-inspiring car to take any corner at 160 mph without lifting off the throttle… and the ZL1 was just brilliant”, says Aaron Link, the Camaro’s suspension engineer. The Camaro has been governed or limited to a top speed of 184 mph, but is said to go considerably faster.

What about those of us who like the wind through our hair? Well then you are going to want the convertible version which includes all of the above features, except it will be limited to 154 mph for fear you might just blow away.

A special thanks to John Merk and Colrain Chevrolet who took the time to let this Panther Prowl around their lot, looking for that special ride.