Rounding the corner of the new Millennium, the fourth-generation Camaro still has the same long hood/short deck "pony car" lines first seen when the 1967 Camaro made its debut.
With a sloping nose, deeply raked windshield and arching rear deck spoiler, the Camaro SS has a dart-like profile. The SS-specific, low-rise rear spoiler sets off its tail end nicely. Ten-spoke, 17-inch wheels freshen the nine-year-old body style. A wide, black-out grille sits between narrow, oval headlights up front. The hood is crowned by a functional fresh air scoop, giving this muscle car an appropriately menacing look.
Camaros, especially Z28 and SS models, offer a driver-oriented cockpit. A power six-way driver's seat is multi-adjustable and offers enough support to hold you in place during spirited driving. Speedometer and tachometer form two large, overlapping arches centered in the instrument panel, framed by supporting gauges. Lights and HVAC controls are of a straight-forward, rheostat style.
The sound system is a little button-busy to deal with while driving, but redundant controls mounted in the steering wheel are in easy reach of one's thumbs. Speaking of sound, a Monsoon AM/FM/Cassette sound system is standard issue on convertible and Z28 models. The 500 watt peak power system includes speed compensated volume - a handy feature in an open air car, where wind, engine and traffic noise could otherwise find you fiddling with the controls a lot.
The front passenger must contend with a large hump in the floor that cuts into available leg room. The back seats are best thought of as a nicely upholstered parcel tray, just about useless for transport of people. Coupes offer slightly more back seat room than convertibles, but the difference is slight.
Trunk space measures 7.6 cubic feet in convertibles, which turns "pack light" from suggestion to mandate. Coupes fare a little better than convertibles when it comes to storage space. The hatchback style offers 12.9 cubic feet of storage in a multi-level trunk. However, the Coupe's trunk also holds the optional T-tops when they are not in place, thereby eating up space, and there's a "watch your back" alert posted for the high lift over height.
The convertible top is simple to operate: just pop the two release latches and press the button. Camaro convertible drivers must contend with large rear blind spots typical of most rag tops. A hard plastic boot is provided to give the car a finished look with top down. It is a three-piece unit, which stores in a bag in the trunk when not in use. Given the Camaro's limited storage room, it is suspected that most of these boots and bags will be given the boot, out of the trunk, into the garage, preserving precious cargo space. A brochure included in new Camaros advises owners to avoid high-pressure "touchless" car washes, as they may induce leakage. They're right. A trip through such a wash will lead to water dribbling in along the side window seals. Those Camaro owners who aren't able to avoid brushless automated washes will learn to take a towel along, for two reasons. First, to blot up any interior seepage, then to wipe off the water on the outside that the driers never seem to reach on any car.