New for 2017
Although the sixth-generation pony car debuted in 2016, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro isn’t resting on its laurels. For 2017, the available 1LE handling package is back and, this time, it’s offered on V-8 and V-6 models with the manual transmission. 1LE upgrades focus on handling with revised suspension tuning, cooling, and aerodynamics. Also returning for 2017 is the muscle-bound Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 and available 10-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet is also celebrating the Camaro’s 50th Anniversary with a special-edition package featuring unique colors, interior details, and badging.
With the exception of the 2003-2009 model years, the Camaro has been the Bow-Tie brand’s answer to the Ford Mustang since 1967. The rear-drive coupe and convertible is available with several engine options from mild to wild, and with choice of manual or automatic transmissions. The Camaro sits just below the Corvette in Chevrolet’s sports car hierarchy.
New for the sixth-gen Camaro is the base turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine making 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is EPA-rated at 20-22/30-31/23-25 mpg city/highway/combined. Next up the performance latter is a 3.6-liter V-6 rated 335 hp and 284 lb-ft. The V-6 is EPA-rated at 16-19/26-28/20-22 mpg. The Camaro SS features a 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 making 455 hp and 455 lb-ft. The big naturally aspirated V-8 is EPA-rated at 16-17/25-27/19-20 mpg. All three engines are backed by either a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic transmission.
The big news is the return of the high-powered Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Power comes from a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 rated 640 hp and 640 lb-ft. In addition to the standard six-speed manual, an all-new optional 10-speed automatic debuts on the ZL1.
When it arrived for the 2016 model year, the new sixth-gen Camaro earned a “Good” rating by the IIHS for the small front overlap, moderate front overlap, and side impact tests as well as a “Good” rating for its head restraints and seats. An “Acceptable” rating for the roof strength test prevented the Camaro from earning a Top Safety Pick, while the absence of an optional front crash prevention system kept it from earning a Top Safety Pick+. The current Chevrolet Camaro hasn’t yet been evaluated by the NHTSA.
In addition to eight standard airbags (including driver and front passenger knee airbags), the Chevrolet Camaro features a rearview camera with available Rear Park Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
What We Think
The redesigned Chevrolet Camaro impressed us so much, it became the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Compared to the fifth-gen car, the new Chevrolet Camaro is small, lighter, and more powerful with the V-6 and V-8 variants. Additionally, the new chassis and suspension setup easily out handled the previous model, though we’d like to see a high-performance summer tire option on the four-cylinder entry-level model.
GM claims the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s optional 10-speed automatic (co-developed with Ford), shifts faster than the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission.