Northwest NEWS

January 22,2001



* For me the Chevrolet Camaro is special. It is one of few cars that I remember from the past that is still in production. First introduced 34 years ago, it just gets better while retaining its traditional rear-wheel drive and powerful V8 engine. When I first drove my test model 2001 Camaro Z28 convertible, the memories flooded back. I owned a Camaro for a short time in the early 1990s. There is a distinctive feel to this car that just doesn't go away.
   In a Camaro, the muscle power is obvious from the minute you turn on the key. For 2001 horsepower has been increased and the shocks have been retuned to improve ride and handling and cut down on road noise and vibration.
   A powerful sports car, the 2001 exceeds expectations as you put your foot the pedal and go from 0 to the speed limit in seconds, all with the rumble and roar of a true sports car. It is just plain fun.
   The extreme aerodynamic look with the low slung front and all-around styling attracts immediate attention. I found people looking in the windows and around my pewter metallic Camaro every day it was parked in front of my office.
   The Z28 3800 5.7 V8 LS1 engine has 310 hp at 5200 rpm and 340 lb. ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.
   My test model came with a 4-speed automatic with overdrive. A 6-speed manual is available. Both are considered standard equipment.
   There are many standard features on the Camaro including power windows, power locks, fog lamps, cruise control, dual front air bags, battery run-down protection, passive theft-deterrent system, engine oil life monitoring and daytime running lights.
   The leather-covered tilt steering wheel has radio controls at your fingertips. The dash is wide with easy-to-read controls.
   My test model came with the SS Performance/Appearance package which included 17-inch aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler, leather bucket seats and acceleration slip regulation, as well as some other features.
   The convertible top is easy to put up and down. The molded plastic covers are stored in the truck. The trunk is vertical and limited. You can put down the back seats to get more room but there isn't a great deal of storage room.
   My grandson rode in the back in his carseat in style.
   A Monsoon sound system at 500-watt peak is standard on all but the base coupe model and provides good, clear sound through eight-speakers with its AM/FM stereo with cassette player.
   The Camaro comes in four models: coupe, convertible and Z28 coupe and convertible. You can order it with a V6 engine also. There is also a SS Performance and Appearance option.
   The Camaro convertible is built in Quebec.