2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
November 29, 2011 / By: Phil Floraday, Eric Tingwall
Despite its age, the Chevrolet Corvette is one of the greatest sports cars in the world. There's a wide range of models that can fit a variety of budgets from the entry-level Corvette coupe up to the monstrous ZR1. I prefer the Grand Sport because it offers the right mix of performance and cost and it feels a little more special than a regular Corvette coupe. The super-high-performance ZR1 is reserved for those with deep pockets and, hopefully, plenty of experience with high-performance sports cars.
It's a little known fact that Chevrolet has a full range of distinctly different sports cars all masquerading under the Corvette name. The base car and the Grand Sport are akin to a Porsche 911. They are livable, straightforward sports cars. The $110,000 Corvette ZR1 has the demeanor of the Ferrari 458 Italia. It possesses finesse and fluidity in the context of obscene power. This fiery Z06, then, is the ZR1's antithesis. It is a Lamborghini to the ZR1's Ferrari. It is unruly, brutish -- and awesome.
2012 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS
December 21, 2011 / By: Joe DeMatio, Jake Holmes
A stiff clutch pedal and a manual shifter that doesn't move through the gears with much fluidity make the Camaro SS a chore to drive around town. The tall cowl, small windows, huge A-pillars, and tall, broad hood are also bummers, because you can easily feel claustrophobic in this car. If you're a Camaro person, you might not much care, but I find the Ford Mustang to be easier to drive and to have a more livable cabin than the Camaro. I suppose I would have liked our test Camaro better had it been equipped with the Hurst short-throw shifter, which seems like it would be $380 well-spent. A 45th anniversary package is a stretch, in my opinion. 25, 40, 50, those are anniversaries worth noting, but 45? Not so much.
I really love driving muscle cars because they are loud, powerful, and look menacing. The Camaro SS does not disappoint. Even though cold and rainy weather precluded any aggressive driving, I had a ton of fun behind the wheel of the Camaro. I love the lumpy idle, the hearty growl of the V-8, and the way the exhaust pops and crackles on engine overrun. No downsized turbocharged engine can provide that much aural and visceral excitement.
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ Crew Cab
September 15, 2010 / By: Rusty Blackwell
Does this truck have a dual-clutch automatic transmission? Of course it doesn't, but it certainly feels like it -- so quick is the Allison six-speed automatic. The Silverado 2500HD is quick, too, as the 6.6-liter Duramax's 765 lb-ft of earth-moving torque is very evident from the push of the accelerator pedal.
The bulging hood and the forged-aluminum wheels are very attractive. My Chevy-loving brother-in-law ogled the rims so much that I feared he would remove them from the snazzy 2500HD and install them on his ten-year-old half-ton Chevy pickup. This fully loaded test vehicle features all kinds of other cool stuff, too, such as navigation, heated leather seats, satellite radio, a power sliding rear window, and a sunroof. Still, $60,000 seems a bit steep for a vehicle whose interior is merely adequate (and almost identical to that of our 2007 Four Seasons Chevy Suburban).