2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Muscle car in a tuxedo

"We see a transformation of a rugged beast to a well-dressed macho"

"Road presence was immense"

"In terms of competition, there's nothing to worry until the new Ford Mustang arrives," said Ershad

"Handling Camaro SS was a joy!"

Who doesn't like a muscle car? Well, to my amusement, I actually have come across people who are quite candid and say, "It isn't my type." Now don't get upset – I am just kidding! I recall my weekend spent with a Camaro ZL1. Back then, I noticed a few people staring at me; the car, I mean. Every time I drove through the downtown, judging by the looks from spectators, there was always someone talking about it. The car is simply irresistible. Baring that in mind, when I took the all new Camaro SS out this year, I knew I had a busy week in town ahead of me.

Exterior
A quick look around and you will notice a couple of new changes, mainly the front fascia incorporated with a wide lower grille and a tapered upper grille. The new hood vents are not just a visual treat but also serve a key purpose. They are designed for engine cooling at high speeds and for an improved aerodynamic performance. Moving onto the rear side, a single block horizontal tail lamp replaces the old two block set. The SS features a new spoiler and exhaust pipes.

Interior
There weren't many new things inside the vehicle apart from the new color heads-up display (HUD) and a refreshed Chevrolet MyLink connected infotainment. The HUD is a very useful feature that keeps track of drive info without having to peek into the dial clusters, rather just keep your eyes straight to the glass windscreen. The rest remains the same: chunky arrangements all around with leather applied over seats, dash and door sides. To be honest, I like a muscle car to be dull inside but modern days seem to have a new direction for a focus on plush interiors and loads of tech features. That being said, I don't mind keeping some of that. Front seats have a low stance and once you step in, you can't complain about space. You might hear about the rear seats; they aren't spacious. But hey, aren't we talking about a coupe? We then have a set of standard features like remote keyless entry, a seven-inch high resolution full-color touchscreen for infotainment, automatic A/C and airbags.

Drivetrain
The Camaro SS is not as powerful as the ZL1, but do you rate a power of 426hp less? It's generated at a rate of 5,900 rpm and a torque of 569 Nm at 4,600 rpm. That comes out of a proven 6.2 liter V8 engine, and of course a rear-wheel-drive set-up mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission system. We are talking about 426hp and you could imagine the impact of a torque ticking 569Nm. With the ZL1, we noticed a lot of noise as it was a convertible with a massive engine. Who wouldn't desire that trouble!

Driving Impressions
Camaro SS isn't shy either. The grunt was pulsating and the initial punch equally hard-hitting. This time around, it has better dampers with excellent balance. Brakes were brilliant thanks to Brembo four-piston fixed aluminum front and rear calipers. Road presence was immense as it was well gripped on the move. But when playing around the slalom, we noticed a fraction of drift which is a good thing to show off. As Camaro has a long hood, starters might struggle to have a clear view upfront. But that's temporary. Handling Camaro SS was a joy. I possibly covered all of Dubai during my time with the car, starting from old Dubai, to Downtown, to some malls and the outskirts. I got every opportunity to find out about its handling.

Verdict
The all new refreshed Camaro SS is good value for money as the prices are quite attractive in Dubai for a 6.3L, V8 engine. In terms of competition, there's nothing to worry about until the new Ford Mustang arrives. As for the model with new chic appointments, we see a transformation from a rugged beast to a well dressed macho. Camaro SS can still live it up for another two years until we see the inevitable 6th generation.

Pros: Handling, stunning looks, loads of power, strong brakes
Cons: Poor front visibility, small rear seats
Rivals: Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger
Engine: 6.2L, V8, 426 hp, 569 Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, RWD
Performance: 0-100 kph: 5.5 sec, 13 L /100 km, Top speed: 250 kph
Curb Weight: 1775kg

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