Is a Camaro a sports car

Chevrolet Camaro: budget sports car with potential for addiction

By Patrick Broich / SP-X

It's great that brands like Chevrolet and Ford are now also offering their coupé legends Camaro and Mustang as official European versions. Sure, there is also a portion of self-interest involved, as the corporations know about the good business of private importers, which they are happy to take over themselves. But no matter: The new Camaro is now available directly from the manufacturer from 39,900 euros.

Many a customer buys an upgraded VolkswagenGolf for this. It may get more practical with it, but then of course it is far removed from the charm of the US coupé. For the base price, a two-liter turbo from the corporate shelf is now doing its job. That may not be the machine you absolutely want to see in a Camaro, but the car is already really fast with the 202 kW / 275 PS four-cylinder and keeps the budget grief within limits. The eight-cylinder with 452 hp costs 6,000 euros extra and then rolls to the start with a six-speed manual transmission, while the version with eight-speed automatic converter devours another 2,000 euros.

Around 100 kilos lighter

So far so good. Anyone who looks at the brand new Camaro for the first time might think that it is a modified model. Especially since the Americans like to do in-depth retouching to push the new model year. But no, this Camaro is based on the GM Alpha platform used for the first time in 2012, on which the compact CadillacATS is also based. As a result, it loses around six centimeters in external length and around four centimeters in wheelbase - but it is around 100 kilos lighter.

But Chevrolet has also turned completely different screws to make the rear-wheel drive two-door seductive. For example, the engine characteristics have been sharpened. If the predecessor with its up to 432 horses was by no means a weakling, the 333 kW / 453 PS strong newcomer looks more biting in all situations than the difference in performance leads to believe. The rear wheels have to struggle for traction as soon as you tap the accelerator pedal at low speeds. During the kickdown, the eight-cylinder pulls its passengers with vehemence towards the horizon. The 6.2-liter is as bad as possible, pushes tremendously and should learn to fear 911 drivers. It's the Corvette for the small budget. The direct injection roars wonderfully unfiltered and makes no secret of its number of cylinders. A flap exhaust and variable dampers are available for an additional price of 2,000 euros.

But now please don't think that the two-liter was disqualified. It's just the budget solution. Here the technicians helped a little electronically to make it acoustically attractive. Four-cylinder remains just four-cylinder, even if he snorts energetically towards the end of the revs. In terms of power transmission, the customer is left with no choice in this case, the in-house eight-speed automatic converter takes over, but is also preferable for the V8. It's nice that fans of manual transmissions don't have to be sent home, but the smoothly acting eight-passenger simply makes the car run more smoothly.

Agile cruiser

Speaking of harmony: The Camaro is not an uncompromising athlete who rumbles over faults, but an agile, albeit not nervous, cruiser. The unmistakable sports car features include the tight legroom in the rear and the tight power steering. There are also dresser seats. Long distances are no problem with the Ami, and at the front it gives its passengers enough space to linger comfortably.

The most beautiful place is, of course, behind the steering wheel, where the gaze falls on the four small round instruments that are displayed using TFT technology. There you can still get information like oil pressure - an almost extinct discipline in the age of bits and bytes. But the Camaro can also be modern, the large multifunctional screen of which is a tad too slanted - which restricts readability - has been implemented in the wonderfully brand-typical plastic architecture. As there are Apple Carplay or Android Auto plus WiFi hotspot, head-up display, cross traffic detection and blind spot warning. The Camaro does not allow more outside interference, and that's okay too. If you want to enjoy the experience openly, you have to spend 5,000 euros more and get a fully electric hood, but the 250 km / h limit in the case of the V8 version. The coupe, on the other hand, runs 290 things. Some decisions are really difficult.