I called my next door neighbor, Sheri, and asked her if she wanted to go to the store for groceries. "I just got an Imperial blue metallic Camaro to review, and I want to know what you think of it."
Sheri said sure. She had to pick up some groceries for a birthday party that night for her grandson, Joey, who was turning 21 years old the next week.
Sheri had been out riding her horse through the thicket, so the first thing she did when she got in the car was pull the visor down and check for ticks. Sheri, I said, put your seat belt on. "Where is it?" she said as she turned her entire body around to look for it. The belt is further back then most belts, but Chevy has put lapels on the front seats, so that one can attach them to the seat instead of grabbing all the way back.
Sheri's father was a pilot, so she likes the feel of a nicely tuned rear-wheel drive, through some G-force at me baby feel. The Camaro LS and LT hosts a 3.6L direct-injected V-6 with variable valve timing, producing 304 horsepower (227 kW) and 273 lb.-ft. of torque rear-wheel drive is a far cry from the Dodge pickup that Sheri is used to pulling her horses.
Apparently, at the same time Sheri and I were heading off to the grocery store her son, Tom, and grandson, Joey, were heading over to her house.
Later that evening my husband and I were sitting in the living room and our dogbell started barking. We look out the window and sure enough someone was coming on our property. As our lab kept barking we opened the door to quiet him and see Tom and Joey coming up the driveway. Hey Joey, I say, Happy Birthday to ya.
Hey Lou Ann, you want to make it a Happy Birthday you can let me have this Camaro. I smile. Can't do that, but let me get the key and I'll take you for a hop.
Joey is the person Chevy is marketing to as the Camaro buyer. He's (almost) twenty-one years old, male, going to college in Santa Barbara. Joey owns a BMW 3-series, but knows almost everything about the Camaro he's about to get a ride in.
The Camaro I took Joey for a ride in was a 2010 Camaro 2LT coupe with an RS package. The MSRP on this vehicle was $26,875, but with the RS package, the 6-speed automatic with remote start and the 20 inch wheels the total vehicle price came out to $30,830.
The 2010 Camaro LT has a 6 cylinder displacement engine. Both the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang have 6 cylinder vehicles as well.
Power-to-weight ratio is a measurement of performance. You take the curb weight of the vehicle and divide it by the engine's power output (known as horsepower). The heavier the vehicle, the more horsepower it will need to have a good power-to-weight-ratio.
You want the smaller power-to-weight-ratio if you want a scrappy, sporty feel to your vehicle. You can get a great power-to-weight-ratio by putting a V-8 in your car, but as miles per gallon become more important the displacement of an engine will become more important. That is one reason you are seeing so many manufacturers switching from a V-6 to a 4-cylinder gasoline direct injection engine.
The Power-to-weight-ratio varies greatly on each of these competitive cars. The 2010 Ford Mustang PWTR is 16.2, the 2010 Challenger is 14.9 and the Camaro is 12.23.
Fuel economy may not be as big a concern on these vehicles as some others, but Joey was amazed that the Camaro got 29 miles per gallon on the highway. The Mustang gets 18 city/ 26 highway mpg, while the Challenger gets 17 city/25 highway miles per gallon.
Turning radius for the Camaro and Mustang both come in at 37.7 feet, a respectable number. The Dodge Challenger needs some tweaking with their turning radius at 38.9.
Design and driveability is huge when deciding which car to purchase in this segment. So, what did Joey think?
Joey told me, "I've ridden in both the Camaro and the mustang and from the ride alone I would have to pick the Camaro."
"The challenger is almost too retro... I don't like the challengers back end and light arrangement. I think the Camaro has the best looking or "meanest" design."
"I love how the Camaro wraps around you and combines the perfect balance of modern and old school. And I love the combination of gas mileage and outright performance from the V-6."
From the mouth of babes, I mean buyers.