2017 Camaro SS, Review, Price, Photos, Motor

2017 Camaro SS, Review, Price, Photos, Motor
2017 Camaro SS, Review, Price, Photos, Motor

The 2017 Camaro SS’s bulldog front bumper, pregnant fender flares and breadbox rear deck reek of haste, dying for an evening with a clay modeler’s wire-loop tool. And what the last F-body did for hatchbacks, the new Camaro does for the boot: reasonable space but cumbersome usage makes it a pointless endeavor. Combined with a skyward beltline and miniscule greenhouse, even the 2017 Camaro SS’s nine-inch wide rear wheels get lost in the flab.

The interior reeks and creaks of GM interior’s stock and trade: look for visual pleasure, yet touch for sensory disapproval. Aside from stitched armrests on the SS’ door panels, The 2017 Camaro occupants sit between a rock and a hard place. Faux silver trim accents the flimsy vent registers on a brittle dashboard, then encompass the area normally associated with cloth/vinyl padding on the door panels. (Even the Chevrolet Aveo got that right.) Sitting in the Camaro’s cramped rear cubby reinforces the impression. The interior is awash in a blandness that would not feel out of place in a 2017 Camaro.

That’s not to say the 2017 Camaro’s interior can’t be fun. The busy analog gauges sit in retro square binnacles, while secondary readouts rest atop the console, with its pitch-perfect short handle shifter. The SS gets an ergonomic steering wheel complete with an M-series worthy logo on the bottom of the tiller. There’s a respectable Boston Acoustics audio system and the seats aren’t half bad . . . 

But the 2017 Camaro interiors have been crap for years. The spatial challenge never dissuaded the Bowtie faithful for one reason: Chevy’s small block V8. With six smooth-shifting, close-ratio speeds and a burly 6.3 liters and 422hp of LS3 underfoot, the SS’s performance is absolutely right for the nameplate. Aside from the (industry standard) practice of throttle delay at tip-in, the 2017 Camaro’s power is effortless, refined and angry enough to ruin an import’s day, one quarter-mile at a time. We’re torquing the mid-to-low 13 second range—much like the outgoing 2017 Camaro SS and its low-po LS1 mill.

All of this makes sense, given the fifth-generation 2017 Camaro’s portly underpinnings. Blessed with plenty of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) reducing materials, an independent rear axle and the necessary bulk associated with the Zeta Platform, the 3800lb Camaro SS rides like a champ, obliterating any bump in the road, rolling down the highway like a refined German autobahn cruiser. Pony car heritage be damned, the new 2017 Camaro is made for Baby Boomers who remember the good ol’ days, but demand Lexus-like refinement in the prime of their lives.

Aye, there’s the rub. The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro still wanders like a lost Taliban in the Tora Bora; angry and full of vigor, but without any focused direction. No longer a Panhard-infused, knuckle-dragging back road barnstormer, the new 2017 Camaro has enough inertia-infused body roll to feel like an overstuffed gymnast in quick corners. The multi-branded Camaro/Brembo calipers have a Bumblebee-like identity crisis, but they stop like a Decepticon in Optimus Prime’s wake, sans nose-dive.

The fifth generation 2017 Camaro’s marketing push in the “new” GM’s portfolio notwithstanding, it appears the remnants of the old GM are alive and well. Uh-oh. If the latest Camaro was a clean sheet redesign, GM wouldn’t give the Zeta platform the time of day. It’s simply too big and heavy to provide the lively performance associated with the 2017 Camaro brand. Sorry, model. Even if GM’s platform engineers got the right bones for the beast, the crap interior proves that the “new” GM isn’t ready for the change that customers, taxpayers and the American economy expect from a company (supposedly) changing its ways.