OSHAWA, Ontario -- Acre upon acre of muscle cars -- 2014 iterations of Chevrolet's legendary Camaro sports coupe -- park on lots at the Oshawa Car Assembly Plant of General Motors in Canada's province of Ontario. These new vehicles, fresh off the assembly line and coated in wax to protect vivid body paint, await shipment to stateside dealers.
The 2014 editions of Camaro -- including LS, LT and SS trim versions -- are immediately recognized by fresh front-end styling that includes serious-looking new projector headlamps tucked into edges of a narrow front grille and the mouth-gaping air intake spreading across smooth new fascia. A vent-style hood patterned after the Camaro ZL1 supercar applies to Camaro SS.
At the tail, the 2014 models reveals a new fascia with diffuser styling and two dual exhaust outlets. Also, revised narrow and sleek taillights house new LED lamps.
The optional RS package for Camaro LT and SS models adds a unique front grille and individual foglamps plus HID headlamps and a tail spoiler.
Camaro's bulging hood stretches long and the body's beltline on flanks seems tall, with a roofline tapering down toward the rear and shaping window glass to triangles. Front and rear overhangs have been whittled away and the big wheels on front and back corners convey an impression of strength and swift performance.
Wheels range from 18 to 20 inches. Camaro SS (and Camaro LT with optional RS package) wear front 20x8-inch and rear 20x9-inch flangeless aluminum wheels capped by front 245/45ZR20 and rear 275/40ZR20 summer tires.
Despite Camaro's muscular posture, the coupe carves out a passenger compartment of reasonable scale. Layout of the cabin plants two big sport buckets in front and a wee backseat for two. Front seats adjust six ways, with power controls to recline front seats added to LT and SS trims. Also, heated seats and leather upholstery come with the trim packages of 2LT and 2SS, while Recaro sport seats appear on the option sheet for SS.
Camaro 2014 cabin content includes a new color display on the driver information center. Also, new color readouts go to the head-up windshield display that's part of the 2LT and 2SS trim packages.
Camaro LS and LT models tote a V6 engine.
The direct-injected 3.6-liter 6-pack with dual overhead cams (DOHC) and variable valve timing (VVT) delivers 323 hp at 6800 rpm with torque rising to 278 lb-ft at 4800 rpm.
Standard transmission with the V6 is a smooth-to-shift 6-speed manual gearbox by Aisin, the AY6. Also available is an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic, GM's Hydra-Matic 6L50, with TAPshift driver shift controls.
Camaro SS couples the Corvette LS3 6.2-liter V8 with a Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual, or GM's L99 version of the 6.2-liter V8 with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission with torque converter clutch.
The LS3 V8 generates 426 hp at 5900 rpm plus torque of 420 lb-ft at 4600 rpm, while the L99 V8 makes 400 hp at 5900 rpm and torque of 410 lb-ft at 4300 rpm.
Camaro's 2014 lineup expands to include the all-new track-capable Camaro Z/28 coupe. This limited-edition Camaro carries a LS7 7.0-liter aluminum V8 engine that's built by hand at GM's Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Ky. The massive plant delivers 505 hp at 6100 rpm with 481 lb-ft of torque at 4800 rpm, and it ties exclusively to the TR6060 6-speed manual transmission.
Camaro for 2014 rides on a long and broad platform with the wheelbase stretching to 112 inches and wheels set wide on a 63.7-inch track. The front suspension is multi-link, a dual-ball strut-type arrangement with direct-acting stabilizer bar and fully adjustable camber, caster and toe. The 4.5-link independent rear suspension shows a unique L-shaped upper control arm which attaches to the knuckle at one end and has a ride bushing in the rear. It mounts on a sub-frame with double isolation to minimize vehicle body motions and dampen road imperfections.
Optional suspension packages include FE2 sport tuning for Camaro LS and LT, and a firmer FE4 performance package for Camaro SS. Further, the special 1LE package for 1SS and 2SS coupe models equipped with the TR6060 6-speed manual is tuned for road-racing performance.
Chevrolet sets MSRP figures for 2014 Camaro models beginning at $23,555 for Camaro LS and $25,855 for LT. Camaro SS runs up from $33,355, but Z/28 soars to $75,000.