THE AMERICAN OPEN — Crawley Observer

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Bike American Classic Motors Road


Published on 19 March 2014 20:10

Ten Review

Think of an American car and it’s hard not to think of Camaro. Since the Sixties, captured hearts, imaginations and wall space around the especially in Convertible form. though has tended to be a uniquely pleasure — until the of this fifth generation Here at last is a Camaro a buyer could also Or is it?

At the wheel of this desirable we’re going to find


The Chevy Camaro. me, it dates back to 1966, but if honest, I’ve never a fan. This has always America’s idea of what a affordable sportscar should be, a that, over five has seemed to owe more to bulk and than to dynamic drive.

says that this has been ‘designed for Europe’, a statement to make about a hand drive-only 6.2-litre V8 sports coupe that hardly be more out of step our continent’s recession-ravaged eco-conscious Still, at least those buyers prepared to ignore convention can these days buy one: in fact, we can even get convertible version. But would you to?

Well, the looks are still even though this generation version has been since 2009, and under the lies a Chevy Corvette engine with over matched to ride and handling designed precisely for roads side of the Atlantic. And all for no more the cost of the kind of mid-range, executive convertible that by will feel very indeed.

If, like me, you’re beginning to to the idea of Camaro ownership, be itching to get behind the wheel. do just that.


This car gets an appropriately 6.2-litre V8 powerplant, with a history that goes all the way to what’s known as the ‘Chevy block’, the most famous V8 the world has ever known. And it in two forms here. Opt for the six-speed variant and you get the ‘full-fat’ 432PS unit straight from the supercar.

Select instead the automatic I tried though and treated to a slightly more ‘L99′ 405PS unit.

on the move, the sheer charisma of powerplant is easy to like as the V8 to clear its throat above and make all the right noises. importantly, it offers enough power to haul a steam this six-speed automatic putting out a 556Nm torque so mighty that once you get and fourth gear is reached at as low as 20mph, use of the standard steering paddle shifters is pretty almost all the way up to the 155mph maximum. But fun playing with them

The left hand drive-only is a bit of an issue, exacerbated by the woeful visibility you get from behind the As you might expect, that quite so much of an irritation in the version when you’re al fresco, but if you slow right to walking pace to put the top up — as is with the old-fashioned roof — then you really do end up a selection of letter box-sized slots through which to the astonished stares of passers-by.

and Build

If your heart beat a little faster at the of getting into something looks like this, stop right here. The experience won’t be for you. one will see you stared at with envy or astonishment, maybe … — or more a mixture of all three.

Of course, the left hand drive-only to adjust to but once you have, are plenty of classic design in the cabin to compensate, though not room either in the rear or in the despite the huge 4.8m length.

Go for the Convertible version and you get a Z-fold roof that goes up or in 20s, adds just to the weight and fits snugly but lacks the refinements of more rag tops. So, unlike rivals, you to virtually stop before you can the thing and even when you do, to manually twist a heavy handle before the electrics work. There’s no one-shot to operate all the power windows.

And the also lacks the kind of tonneau cover that in times we’ve come to on tops of this kind, so you to add a fiddly pop-on thing takes so long to fit on that me, you’ll probably end up leaving it in the All irritations in the showroom that to melt away out on the open with the sun shining and the wind in hair.

Market and Model

Is America’s most popular a performance bargain for British You could certainly argue In Convertible form, one of these set you back around £40,000, a premium over the Coupe

Plus, there’s a £1,500 if, like most customers, you the six-speed automatic gearbox. In words, for around £15,000 than Chevrolet’s Corvette, you can get a Camaro with almost the same 6.2-litre V8 engine and way 400PS, an output that set you back getting on for double car’s asking price in a BMW M3 or C63 AMG.

Standard kit runs to 20-inch wheels shod with P-Zero rubber, high-intensity xenon headlamps, six-way adjustable sports seats accent stitching, air conditioning, control, a rear parking Bluetooth compatibility for your and a Driver Information Centre covers fuel consumption, information and tyre pressure. also a standard Head-Up that projects information as speed and stereo selection the windscreen.

Bike American Classic Motors Road

Audiophiles will to upgrade the standard eight-speaker CD with its USB connectivity to the full-house premium nine-speaker Boston system fitted to our test Safety stuff includes six and the usual electronic assistance for traction and stability.

Cost of

That V8 isn’t as thirsty as you imagine. The manual models a combined consumption figure of while the automatics return Emissions meanwhile, make more painful reading, at 329g/km for the manual and 304g/km for the

If, like I was, you’re why the auto’s cleaner and more than the manual, well are a couple of factors. Firstly, models have a slightly 405PS ‘L99′ version of big V8 rather than the 432PS unit fitted in the manual The other reason is that the L99 engine gets an Active Management system which shuts down four of the cylinders when you’re on the throttle, improving fuel by as much as 7.5 per cent.

What else? There’s a five year warranty free roadside assistance for the year. Residuals? Well expect them to match rivals but rarity value certainly help here.

only leaves insurance, pricey item rated at 48 for the Coupe and group 50 for this


Justifying the purchase of any is always a difficult thing to do. it’s just about Even if you ignore the fact the steering wheel’s on the wrong and the running costs are crippling, are any number of more familiar convertible alternatives that make more sense to to own or to drive.

But none of them make you feel alive, and excited every time you the key in the way that this Camaro

Chevy buyers don’t how this car stacks up on paper as as it looks right and drives a muscle car should. Both of boxes are ticked here but then in Camaros, they were. What makes fifth generation version is the way the Euro-spec suspension set-up it to work on a British backroad as well as it does along Drive.

You really could now keep a European sportscar honest in one of — and probably enjoy a heck of a lot more while it.

All of which means that if looking for an open-topped sportscar you need to use every day and which require a lottery win to buy, an driving machine that something different, brimming rarity value and charisma, you could just be amongst the of British buyers who’d enjoy one of these. Sensible? No.

You might just think so.

Bike American Classic Motors Road
Bike American Classic Motors Road


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