It's fast! Love it or hate it, you'll have to admit it's fast. Sure the car has its shortcomings,but if what you want is car that will go super fast in a straight line - for under $35,000 this could be the car for you.
First you'll have to deal with the poor Camaro's image. Every time I mention the word Camaro, people start making jokes about being a low life, or crank user, or having one of those 1987, Billy Ray Cyrus, long-in-the-back-short-on-the-sides-haircuts. Granted, most stereotypes have their roots in truth, but the Camaro/Firebird seem to get a pretty bum rap. Stranger still are comments like "you'll get a lot of chicks with that," Uhhh..... I don't think so - most women I know are more afraid of guys in Camaro's rather than attracted to them.
Besides I am married, and my wife sort of frowns on me getting too many "chicks."
There are a lot of drawbacks to it as a useful car but, to be fair, the Camaro SS has one of the best engine/transmission combinations anywhere. The engine is powerful and pulls hard in all gears, at all RPM's. The Hurst short throw shifter that comes with the SS is notchy and precise, shifting is fun, and 2nd or even 3rd gear tire chirps are not uncommon. The 6-speed seems to be perfectly matched to the 5.7L, 320 hp engine. Chevrolet has had years, no, DECADES to perfect the small-block V-8. The Camaro SS is where their work really shines. The exhaust note is perfect - maybe a little too loud for everyday commuting. You'll no doubt find yourself leaving the SS in a lower gear a little longer than usual, just to hear that wonderful growl. Brakes are very good.
The SS package adds about $3900 to the sticker of a Z28. Here is what you'll get for your money: 17in wheels with Z rated Goodyear Eagles (these tires seem a mile wide), functional hood scoop giving the V-8 forced induction, bigger dual exhaust, lower restriction air cleaner, Hurst short throw shifter, and of course SS badges. The SS gives about 15-20 extra hp depending on whose figures you believe.
That's the good stuff, here is the bad: A car that costs close to $30K should have much better ergonomic design inside. Sure there is a cup holder, but if you use it you'll be constantly reaching over your drink just to shift. Anyway, a car this fast will demand all of your attention, so you'll have no time for a Snapple (besides Snapple bottles don't fit). There is not enough headroom, seats don't go back far enough and offer little padding, too little storage space for a car this size, it's difficult to park or change lanes due to poor visibility, and there is a VERY bothersome LUMP on the floor of the passenger side. No one will want to sit there - chicks or not. Finally, handling could be better. Cornering hard is fun, unless you encounter rough or uneven pavement. The back end feels twitchy, but then you'd feel twitchy too if you had to constantly put 320 horses to the ground efficiently. Brands like Porsche and BMW have more refined and predictable handling, but then they don't sell for under $30,00 do they?? NO they don't.
Overall the Camaro SS delivers exactly what is promises - Speed, and plenty of it. You get more HP for your money than almost any other car in the world. Super-fun, super-fast, and one of the best engine/transmission combinations anywhere. The down side is that you will give up things like ride quality and practicality. It's no family car. If a person wanted an extra car, just for fun, The Camaro SS could be the one. If you are in the market for any Camaro, the SS is worth the extra money, if you get a Z28, you'll be no different than anyone else. Spend the extra on the SS package and know that you have something special.
Also, Camaro's are available with a V-6. I don't know why.