Having extensively driven a 5th generation 2015 Camaro in the past, I knew that this 6th generation 2017 2SS Camaro had a tough act to follow. The test car was equipped with Chevrolet’s legendary LS 6.2L V8, the proven Tremec TR-6060 6-speed manual transmission, a well-appointed interior with leather seats, heads up display, and all of the modern features expected in today’s cars. The 2017 is about 200 lbs lighter than the 5th generation Camaro and sits on a totally redesigned chassis called the Alpha platform. The new platform, combined with about 30 more horsepower, gives the Camaro a subtle but noticeable increase in acceleration over its predecessor.
Upon driving the Camaro, I was happy to learn that Chevrolet improved upon the already stellar handling of the 2015 model. The steering is more responsive and the car feels more confident in quick maneuvers and various types of corners. As expected, the car felt great in high speed corners even on some of New York’s typical rough roads. What surprised me though, was how light and nimble the roughly 3,600 lb car felt in sharp, slow speed corners. Despite its added power, reduced weight, and the 45 degree temperatures on the day of testing, the car still had very little issue maintaining traction. Only from a dead stop or shifting hard into second did the tires start to break free if I wasn’t careful. Despite its power, the car is extremely well behaved and easy to drive. It is a far cry from the solid rear axle equipped muscle cars from years past.
Although a worthy performance adversary, to cars like the BMW M4 and even the Corvette, in many ways the Camaro does not sacrifice its unique personality. The chiseled body design, iconic gauges, and sharply contoured dashboard constantly remind the driver of the Camaro’s 50 year history. Aiding in this personality is the Camaro’s active exhaust. Unlike the disappointingly quiet exhaust on 5th generation Camaros, the new setup transforms the driving experience. It makes the car smooth and quiet enough to take on any road trip, while also providing a satisfyingly loud exhaust note under acceleration. Simply put, there is no mistaking this car for a V6 model.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed driving the new Camaro. I remember going to the Camaro opening day back when they first came out seven years ago. To see how far they have come since then is incredible. As a whole, I think the new Camaro is about a 10-15% better car than the previous generation. I would definitely recommend buying a 2017 over a 5th generation model, I think it is well worth the extra money. That being said, if I had a 5th generation Camaro I wouldn’t necessarily trade it in on a new one because they are still great cars too!
Apex Automotive Magazine would like to thank Carbone Auto Group for allowing us to review this awe inspiring 2017 Camaro.
Words by Jacob Cetnar and photos by Chris Penree