2010 Chevrolet Camaro V-6

Sam Smith

Conclusion: Welcome to the future of pony cars

Things You'll Love:

The V-6 is no longer the engine of trailer-park mulletheads and those hosers who only buy pony cars for the looks. It's a real engine, one that produces real-world levels of power, and it's actually fun to spank.

The interior: It's retro without being overblown, fun without being goofy, and serious without taking itself too seriously. It's usable, intuitive, and practical. It's also just cool to look at.

The looks: Out among traffic, the Camaro stands out. It looks smaller on the highway than it does on the show stand, and while it's no microcar, it exhibits none of the largesse or long, fat flanks of its competition. It's modern and retro all at once, and because it's both a clean and unfettered design, it should age well. More important - and this thought is echoed by almost everyone, whether they're fans of the General or not - the Camaro simply looks awesome.

The rear suspension: Quite frankly, it's amazing. After decades of bump-wary, live-axle pony cars, we've finally arrived at the point where the base model of a production horse drives like a real, bang-up-to-date modern car. Bravo, GM, for having the balls to spend the money and take the chance.

The Camaro as high-revving back-road burner: It's not exactly a familiar concept, is it? Thankfully, that doesn't stop it from being true. The Camaro's engine, transmission, steering, and suspension work together in such a way that the entire car feels engineered, not simply bolted together from spare parts. There's actual, tangible feedback from the controls, the engine is more than up to its task, and the chassis exudes a level of polish rarely seen on cars from Detroit. And topping it all off, the Camaro essentially blows away its competition - the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger seem positively primitive in comparison, a couple of rough-edged, cost-cut, sedan-derived chunks of ordinary.

After forty years of compromises and letdowns, it's nice to see a pony car that behaves the way that we've always thought one should.

Things You'll Hate:

Knowing that you could've had a V-8 if only you weren't so damn poor.

The lack of back seat room: two seats, a cramped roofline, and very little exterior visibility. Kind of an accepted negative when you buy a small or mid-size coupe, but it's a negative nonetheless.

The enormous rear-three-quarter blind spot. At least until you realize that fixing it would make the car very, very ugly.

There's definitely more to the story, but we won't know the rest until we drive the production Camaro - both V-6 and V-8 versions - next year. Until then, rest assured in the knowledge that, even in prototype V-6 form, the new Camaro is something GM should be proud of.

5 of 5

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