Camaro Revives SS in Eye-Pleasing, Thrifty but Spunky V-6 Model

Article excerpt

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Camaro brings back the SS badge to move buyers up from the Z28. But don't overlook the solid V-6 for a thrifty ride with excellent performance.

In 1993 Chevrolet thrilled the public with the fourth version of the ever-popular Camaro. While the convertible was delayed, this body style was no afterthought. The car is pleasing to the eye or the air, top up or down. The body was designed with open-air driving in mind, and the structure is much more solid than before, eliminating most of the squeaks and rattles.

When Chevrolet and Pontiac revised their F-car models, they were instant hits. The stylists eliminated most of the old and outdated features, and made the car appear to be smaller and sleeker - quite a feat for a 3,400-lb. car.

The Camaro appeared on the racetrack as soon as it was in the showroom. The first cars to race in the TransAm series were little changed from showroom version, but the race cars today have steel tube frames and glass-fiber bodies. The series was won in a car that was hard to tell from the street version, while the competition's models had to have the name painted on the car to identify the manufacturer.

The major competition will come from the Mustang, Celica, Avenger/Sebring and Firebird. The Camaro drop-top is the hands-down styling leader. A feature of this generation F-car is the molded fenders, doors and roof panels that will reduce rusting and paint blemishes, but unfortunately there is no reduction in weight.

The body screams speed and performance with a deep front air dam and stylish (if not effective) rear spoiler, which are truly integrated into body lines, and don't look tacked on. However, this is still a big car, a full foot longer than the Mustang. Somehow, the Camaro has about the same interior room, although the back seats seem poorer than the previous offerings.

The interior is marvelously clean in line and well laid out. The dials are large and easy to read, and the controls are greatly improved. Welcome features include a lockable glove box as well as standard dual air bags.

What the Camaro loses in some creature comfort is made up by sexy, head-turning styling and rocket-ship acceleration, especially with the Z28 version. …