“In the best Shelby tradition, we took our already high-performance 575 horsepower Shelby Raptor and made it even more capable,” said Shelby American Vice President of Operations Akos J. Feher. “Fifty lucky owners will have the baddest, best-handling and best-looking Shelby truck we offer. Not to mention, all of the interior fit-and-finish people expect from Shelby. It’s a truck that can thrive under the most extreme conditions.”
More on all of them below, but it’s worth noting for anyone having philosophical reservations about a four-cylinder Camaro that at 275 horsepower, it’s more powerful than any small-block V-8 offered between 1972 and 1992 and at 335 horses, the new V-6 flat-out trumps every small-block from 1967 to 2002. Progress can be a wonderful thing.
There’s also a new center console that shows Chevrolet was listening to its more enthusiastic Gen 5 owners. It is designed specifically for easier shifting with a manual transmission, thanks to a repositioned armrest and the elimination of the mechanical, pull-up parking brake. In its place is a simple switch for an electric park brake.
You can also attack the burnout using the old-school method. Set up in the same fashion, but instead of using the Line-Lock, rev it up, dump the clutch, and quickly grab the brake pedal with you left foot. The trick is to use only sufficient brake pressure to hold the car. That’s because rear brakes will be applied, so using this technique will wear your rear brakes prematurely.
We were impressed with the Scat Pack’s acceleration, turning, and braking—all of it happening with relative ease. It’s a comfortable car with a generously proportioned interior. You never feel cramped, sightlines are good, and there’s plenty of headroom. And unlike other competitors in the ponycar segment, there’s room for passengers and stuff, since the Challenger is based off a slightly shorter version of the same platform as the Charger and 300C.
Once in Fourth, all that’s left is to ride it out. With 3.73 and a few mods, it may be necessary to upshift one more time into Fifth. This always makes us nervous because we don’t want to mess up the last shift, plus Fifth gear can be fragile and we don’t want to break the trans. Our test car did not require shifting into Fifth, but we’ve had to do so in 2011-2014 5.0 Mustangs.
We use the release-pause-release method, and it works really well. Let us explain. Since you don’t have a huge sidewall (like slicks have) to absorb the initial “hit” during launch, you’ll need to create a buffer to absorb the initial movement at the tires. If you don’t have a buffer, you’ll just spin. When it’s time to go, release the clutch quickly, but controlled. Then, just as the car is transferring weight, pause your left leg for a moment.
Of course, the Camaro SS is powered by the 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine introduced on the Corvette Stingray. About 20 percent of the components are specific for the Camaro’s architecture, including new, tubular “tri-Y”-type exhaust manifolds. And yes, it also employs variable valve timing, direct injection, and Active Fuel Management (on automatic-equipped models). Output is 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque, making it the most-powerful standard V-8 ever in a Camaro.
In Launch Control mode, follow the prompts to set up your rpm. Once you’ve staged you can put the throttle on the floor and keep it there for launch, or for the entire run if you’re powershifting. When you step off the clutch to launch, the Mustang will do its best to give you maximum acceleration. Using Launch Control still requires a smooth release of the clutch to give you the best performance. While the system allows some spin, excessive spin will cause the computer to apply rear brake and kill a bit of power to regain traction.
Goodyear tires are used on all models: The LT features standard 18-inch wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle Sport all-season tires with available 20-inch wheels matched with Eagle F1 Asymmetric all-season run-flat tires as an option. Camaro SS features standard 20-inch aluminum wheels with Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 run-flat tires.
Start by remaining focused on the tach and listen to the engine—most times we have a specific rpm in mind, but generally we shift by feel. Naturally, you want to shift before the engine hits the rev limiter, but with the Coyote engine you want to get close to redline. In the 2015 we were shooting for 7,000 rpm.
As with many cars these days, the gauge panel is a mix of analog instruments and digital readouts. In the Camaro, there’s a big, 8-inch high-def screen in some models and it’s matched by another 8-inch screen for the MyLink “infotainment” system. Like many other Chevys for 2016, it is compatible with Apple CarPlay, which means you can plug your phone in and “project” many of its controls and apps to the MyLink screen. Again, progress can be a wonderful thing.
Our Scat Pack was a base model with just the extra eight-speed TorqueFlite, so you can order one with a lot more gear, including a variety of seating, technology, convenience, and entertainment options. (See the sidebar.) You can even step up to the Scat Pack Shaker package, which adds the inspired legacy hood scoop with a functional cold-air intake.