My first drive of the all-new Chevy Camaro was about six months ago on a trip from Salt LakeCity up to Bozeman, Montana.
Unfortunately, it was in the fall … on all-season tires… during an ice storm. It took 150 percent of my concentration just to keep it out of the ditch during this harrowing trip. Since my first Camaro encounter, I’ve driven it on a couple other occasions, though curiously only V6-powered examples. Chevy’s eight-cylinder offering has eluded me, until now.
And it was worth the wait! SS models features GM’s potent 6.2-liter LT1, a modern-day descendant of the original small block that was introduced back in the 1950s.
While practically every other automaker has abandoned pushrods in favor of overhead camshafts, this venerable V8 still uses 16 of the buggers to operate its valves. This configuration is a total throwback, but it delivers heady numbers, in this case, 455 horsepower and an equal amount of torque. That’s 20 more thoroughbreds than the Mustang GT can supply, along with and extra 55 lb-ft of twist, and this is in spite of the Ford having a quartet of bump-sticks, 32 valves and phasers on each camshaft!
The Camaro’s prodigious power is a given, but against expectations, the efficiency figures it’s graced with are nothing to scoff at. Direct injection and variable valve timing help improve flexibility and fuel economy. When equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, like our test car had, the SS should return 16 miles per gallon in the city, 25 highway and 19 mpg combined, which is not bad at all.
Read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Review: Curbed with Craig Cole at AutoGuide.com.