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Old 05-18-2015, 01:28 PM   #1
garfin
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Thoughts and Impressions of V6 Drive on Sunday

The Disciples enjoyed a special treat yesterday in that we were given the same opportunity as the media to drive the 5th and 6th generation cars back-to-back on the Belle Isle track. We arrived around 12:30 pm, just as the last of the media were leaving and spent 1/2 hour or so getting up close and personal with the display cars in the tent before heading out to the track.

I was particularly excited about this opportunity as I've participated in lapping days for 14 years in my '98 Camaro SS and 2010 CTS-V. To me, this was like going into a dealership to test drive a vehicle that I was interested in and have the salesperson say, "Let's go test drive this car on a track!"

First off is the 5th Gen. We follow the lead car, a Z/28 driven by one of the instructors from Ron Fellows' Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain Motorsports Park who were flown in by GM for the Z/28 hot laps on Saturday and the press day on Sunday. Being familiar with the 5th Gen's road manners, this was a fun lap and the car behaved beautifully, as expected.

I thought GM must know what they were doing by allowing people to drive both Gens back-to-back. As a result, I was anticipating a noticeable difference in the feel of the 6th Gen car and I was not disappointed one iota...

The difference in feel is immediately noticeable. As good as the 5th Gen car is, the 6th Gen has faster reflexes, is more nimble (lighter on it's feet) and is much easier to drive fast. I thought it was a "smarter" car, in that it knew exactly where I wanted it to go, whereas the 5th Gen car felt as though it wasn't as sure where it was supposed to go. If I my be permitted to use personification here, the 6th Gen car felt more confident and sure of itself.

Other immediate impressions;
- GM simply nailed the pedal positioning for optimum heel-and-toeing. The first time I tried it, the downshift was perfect. All through the lap, every attempt I made was dead on. I thought that maybe the car had computer-controlled rev-matching and I was actually surprised when I found out that it didn't (only V8 cars will have that).

- the V6 sound is simply fantastic!! I believe this V6 had the dual mode exhaust, which gives the car a very, very aggressive exhaust note!

- the V6 is damn quick... realizing the shift pattern on the manual is different to what I'm used to, I was extra careful not to start off in reverse - and so I inadvertantly placed the lever in 3rd... and as a result, promptly stalled the car on launch in front of EVERYBODY in the pit area (Al O., Cheryl P., Scott S., Todd C. and a host of other GM folks). Needless to say this was a most embarrassing moment. As well, the lead car and the one following it had to stop and wait for me at the end of the pit straight! After this launch debacle, I put it into 1st and launched aggressively, leaving a nice little patch on take-off. I brought it up to redline in 1st, shifted quickly and left some rubber going into 2nd. Same approach through second and got good rubber going into 3rd! I couldn't believe it! That was the 1st time I'd ever gotten rubber going into 3rd in a V6 equipped car!
This V6 car is noticeably quicker than the 5th Gen V6 on my SOTP meter. Just glad I didn't make the lead car and second in line wait too long for me to catch up!

All in all, an amazing experience and a big "thank you" to GM and the team for allowing us to participate.

I honestly did not think there would be that much of noticeable difference between the 5th and 6th, but in my eyes, there really is that difference. Congrats to the team for taking an already amazing car and making it that much better in so many subtle ways - that it adds up to a car that has substantially raised the bar not only for Camaro, but also most likely for the whole segment.

Best regards,

Elie
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:54 PM   #2
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Thanks for the writeup. I'm glad to see the V6 car is so impressive. I may be tempted to replace my 2002 V6 manual daily driver with something similar.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:57 PM   #3
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If you're this impressed with the V6 I'm excited to see what people have to say about the V8!
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:00 PM   #4
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This really makes me want a 6th gen SS!
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:08 PM   #5
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Everyone that drove on the track seems to agree, GM has another winner. I'm surprised how nice the V6 sounds
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:14 PM   #6
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Nice review. From your observations of the V6 or V8, can you confirm the inclusion of a blind spot system and performance data recorder (PDR) in the new Camaro?
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:27 PM   #7
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They definitely have a blind spot system, you can see the indicators in pictures taken of the side mirrors. No one seems to know if the PDR will be available.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:03 PM   #8
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Awesome! This kind of feedback makes me feel great about going with my initial thoughts about getting a mostly loaded V6 versus a moderately equipped V8. My current V6 already makes me pretty happy. I know this new one would be that much better.

yes...the V8 is one to have just b/c.....V8 sound and power. But these V6s are damn quick, and it seems like they sound dang good to boot with the dual mode exhaust.

Appreciate your write up.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:34 PM   #9
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Garfin - thanks for a great write-up. We were glad you could join us this weekend for a great event -- and it was nice to spend time with you.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:22 AM   #10
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Just had a thought....was there any mention on if the rear end for the V6 was limited slip for both the manual and automatic, or was is the automatic still open dif? (I hope they are both limited slip)
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:52 AM   #11
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was the difference in width and length noticeable to you at all garfin ?
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:32 AM   #12
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Still not a v8
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbodfather View Post
Garfin - thanks for a great write-up. We were glad you could join us this weekend for a great event -- and it was nice to spend time with you.
Thanks for the writeup Elie and for dropping by to say hello to us fbodfather!
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizaro View Post
Still not a v8
Thanks for that update. It was really necessary and useful.
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