By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com

Unlike the mammoth 6.2-liter V-8 engine (455 horsepower) Camaro we test drove last year, this one for 2021 was equipped with a smaller power train. Nevertheless, it is still a thriller of a ride.

The Chevy Camaro 3LT model is equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine cranking out 335 horsepower @ 6800 rpm and 284 pounds-feet of torque @ 5300. Making the rear-wheel-drive coupe a fun experience is an effortless 10-speed auto gearbox (at $1,595). The iconic muscle car is truly a blast to drive, especially when pushed hard at sharp and quick turns. Some of the credit goes to a McPherson-type strut front and an independent 5-link rear suspension. And thanks to a variable-ratio electric power, steering feedback is rapid and accurate. Drive modes include tour, sport and snow/ice.

Immediately grabbing attention up front is a bulging hood that meets up to prominent LED headlights and daytime running lights. The black bowtie and RS badge in the upper grille are visible too, making the speedster not just bold but also intimidating. However, the cabin displays a classic Camaro appearance with deeply recessed binnacles housing rounded tachometer, speedometer, fuel and oil temp gauges. An 8-inch touch screen displays phone, audio and navigation capabilities. The soft power top opens or closes in a mere 15 seconds via a button. In fact, you can operate the top at up to a 30-mile speed. Also standard are 8-way driver and six-way front-passenger power seats, dual auto a/c, flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel and short-throw shifter, folding rear seat, head-up display, keyless open/start and ambient lighting.

Among the several safety features are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes, limited slip differential, rearview camera, rear park assist, rear cross traffic, lane change and side blind zone alerts, three-point safety belts for all, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights. The powerful 12.6-inch front and 12.4-inch rear vented discs (Brembo available) will boost any driver’s confidence behind the wheel.

The Camaro displays incredible nimbleness, tremendous handling and exceptional braking. It leaves you asking for more as you put the pedal to the metal. If top-down motoring enthusiasts are looking to catch the sun and the eye of the onlookers, this rear-wheel-drive ride fits the bill. Take a seat behind one of the finest-handling convertibles, power down the top and cruise your neighborhood for a sensational jaunt.


Tires: P245/40R20 all-season run-flat

Wheelbase: 110.7 inches

Length: 188.3 inches

Width: 74.7 inches

Height: 53.1 inches

Fuel capacity: 19 gallons

City: 18 mpg

Highway: 29 mpg

Weight: 3,691 pounds

Base price: $37,500

Price as tested: $44,625

Web site: www.chevrolet.com