After my test drive of the sizzling 2010 Camaro 2SS, I couldn't suppress a fantasy.
"I'll take one in red, one in silver and one in black," I told Mike Ellis, Mountain View Chevrolet sales manager. Mr. Ellis smiled and assured me that plenty of the super coupes are in the pipeline for anyone who requires an assortment of colors.
The new Camaro, in top-of-theline SS trim, is the best example yet of the new American muscle movement. Our 2SS tester was powered by a snarling, 6.2-liter V-8 engine. The vast displacement churns out 400 horsepower, which glues you to the Camaro's perforated leather seats like a jetliner lifting off a runway.
STYLING: From its flared wheel wells to the power bulge on the hood, the Camaro 2SS looks fast standing still. The all new Camaro has a low roofline and high beltline that gives the car the appearance of a coiled muscle. Our 2SS tester had optional 20-inch, chrome wheels. An SS tail badge gives you bragging rights. Inside the Camaro's comfortable cockpit, black leather seating surfaces and a black-out dash give the car an unmistakably masculine feel. And, indeed, most of the early purchasers of these SS Camaros are middle-age men trying to recapture the muscle magic of the 1960s-era pony cars.
DRIVING IMPRESSIONS: The Camaro is a much more comfortable car than you might imagine. The front buckets are built for ample frames, and the driving position is terrific. The big V-8 has a bottomless well of power. About half the SS's sold are equipped with manual transmissions, Mr. Ellis said, for people who want the full, muscle-car experience.
BOTTOM LINE: With a base price of $33,945 (our tester came in at $38,255), the Camaro SS is the least expensive time machine on the market. Wives, if your husbands are showing any signs of a mid-life angst, send them to Mountain View Chevrolet for instant relief. (Honey, did you hear that?)
MODEL TESTED: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS.
ENGINE: 6.2 liter, V-8, 400 horsepower.
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic.
FUEL ECONOMY: 16 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.
BASE PRICE: $33,945.
PRICE AS TESTED: $38,255.