Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE Manual-SportsCar

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Gutsy engines, aggressive sheetmetal, and rear-wheel drive are essential for any muscle car, but the Camaro stirs in excellent handling and great steering, too. Available as a coupe or convertible, the base engine is a 275-hp 2.0-liter turbo four; a 335-hp 3.6-liter V-6 and a 455-hp 6.2-liter V-8 are optional. All offer either a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic. The interior, though, is tight and offers limited visibility. The V-6 and V-8 Camaros are 10Best winners for 2017.Regular readers may recall that, over some 15,000 miles, our long-term 2016 Camaro SS has proved itself to be a comfortable cruiser as well as an extroverted destroyer of tires. Although it’s otherwise similar, the 2017 Camaro SS tested here is further equipped with the vaunted 1LE package, a collection of performance and cosmetic upgrades aimed at putting a sharper edge on all the attributes that make our long-term SS such a blast to drive. (For 2017, the 1LE package is also available on 1LT and 2LT V-6 models, but this review focuses on the V-8–powered SS.)

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In both 1LE models, the engine is left pretty much stock—hardly a problem with the SS’s 6.2-liter V-8, given its prodigious 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque. But as we noted at Lightning Lap, the V-6 model’s weak spot is the V-6 itself. With 335 horsepower at 6800 rpm and 284 lb-ft of torque at 5300 rpm, the 3.6-liter six is the same smooth and revvy mill we’ve praised in other Camaros, but we’re not so smitten with it in the 1LE. Why? Because it’s a 1LE. The quickest manual-equipped 2016 Camaro V-6 we’ve tested hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, with a quarter-mile pass of 13.7 seconds at 103 mph, which is hardly slow but is merely adequate by modern pony-car standards. Even with the 1LE’s ability to hook up during launch and its wonderful short-throw, six-speed manual shifter doing its part to facilitate faster gearchanges, we’d be surprised to see the 1LE’s acceleration times dip below those of the base Camaro.

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VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

ENGINE TYPE: pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 376 cu in, 6162 cc
Power: 455 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 455 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 110.7 in
Length: 188.3 in
Width: 74.7 in Height: 53.1 in
Passenger volume: 85 cu ft
Cargo volume: 9 cu ft
Curb weight: 3747 lb

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