Bumblebee is still in the game The Camaro attracts a lot of attention as it is, especially when you’re driving a Rally Yellow tester that gets every Transformers fan within eye view excited.
As I landed at Los Angeles International Airport, the last thing on my mind was getting my suitcase from baggage claim. Instead, I was more interested in finding out what I would be driving for the week I would be staying here. I waited impatiently for my luggage to show up and then headed for the building which housed my new ride.
And there it was – a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe, painted Rally Yellow (very reminiscent of Bumblebee from “Transformers” without the stripes and emblems). I couldn’t wait to get the paperwork filled out and grab the keys to my dream muscle car. Hitting the Pacific Coast Highway in a high-horsepower car has always been an aspiration of mine.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a little over 7 years since we saw the debut of this car as a concept car at the NAIAS in Detroit. When I saw it, I instantly fell in love and the feeling remains to this day.
Having been on display in Chevrolet dealership showrooms since 2009, the Camaro still sports the fifth generation body style which, in my opinion, is the best one to date (though the 67-69 Camaros are sexy too). While I own a 4th generation (1996) Camaro, the new ones are my kryptonite. With its unique lines and unforgettable exhaust note, this car is well-known on the Detroit muscle scene.
For this 2013 model, the Camaro SS uses better-looking 20” rims paired with Pirelli PZero ultra-high performance tires which is standard on the SS models (and optional on the LT variant). This is great combination simply because of the sheer excitement offered by the L99 6.2L 400-horsepower engine with Active Fuel Management and its automatic transmission. Purists like me would typically prefer the 6-speed manual, but I made do with the slushbox. Fuel mileage, naturally, is less than desirable. I achieved 15L/100km in combined driving throughout the course of 8 days.
While the audio system has never been the main focus of this beast’s capabilities, the quality is surprisingly quite good. Audio notes were produced very well and while it may not be an award-winning system, I’d be more than happy to listen to it without any further modifications. The audio components include the Boston Acoustics premium 9-speaker stereo system with USB connectivity and a rear-view camera that displays on the 7” touch screen radio. New for the 2013 model is the Chevrolet MyLink system, which connects to your smartphone and works pretty seamlessly. Apple iPod control through the USB is pretty quick and the car’s Bluetooth capabilities are decent. Navigating through the menus is an absolute breeze. I liked this system in other GM applications I’ve tested and I’m pleased to see that it’s made its way to the Camaro.
The independent rear suspension and variable-ratio power steering are only a fraction of the things that should be mentioned about this car in terms of corners – it’s actually something I did not expect from a muscle car. In terms of spirited driving, this car is every teenage boy’s absolute dream. When hitting the peak of a driving jaunt I took on the Mulholland Highway, I found myself more worried about police presence than actually losing control of the car because it felt so stable. It’s no Nissan GT-R, but it excels in so many other ways that the only real problem you’ll have is running out of road too fast.
The Camaro attracts a lot of attention as it is, especially when you’re driving a Rally Yellow tester that gets every Transformers fan within eye view excited. Driving through Malibu on a Tuesday evening commanded nothing but respect for the beast. “Nice car!” was yelled out by a beautiful blonde woman with a figure as epic as my car itself, while her child stood there yelling “Look Mommy! It’s Bumblebee!”
Do I see myself trading up the 4th generation Z28 for a 5th generation SS? I have no problem admitting I love the new Camaro and all the fun it brings. The 4th generation is a completely different ball game compared to this model. The 5th generation’s ability to actually turn a corner along with the straight-line power leaves no room for comparison. After this past week, I realized that the time has come for me to purchase my next sports car, and I think I’ve found my new match.
2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS Gallery