2015 Chevrolet Camaro

What's new for 2015? After a number of styling upgrades last year, the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro returns essentially unchanged.

When it comes to evaluating the wisdom of major purchases, the dynamic involved often boils down to the classic question of "need" versus "want." Staking out a clearly defined and heavily defended position on the "want" end of this spectrum is the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro.

Between the nameplate's storied high-performance history and this fifth-generation coupe and convertible's muscle-bound styling and gutsy engines, it doesn't take long to figure out this is a car that has very little to do with need. From the beginning, this has always been a car with a strong emotional appeal. Now that attraction can be downright visceral as well, thanks to beasts like the 580-horsepower V8 under the hood of the ZL1 model, an engine that enables it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in a supercar-like 4.4 seconds. Alternately, there's the race-oriented Z/28 with its high-performance hardware and stripped-out interior.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro is that there seems to be a model for everyone. Buyers attracted by the car's ready-to-rumble looks, but with no desire to indulge in hooligan behavior like long, tire-smoking burnouts, will find models powered by the 3.6-liter V6 to be fine choices. With 323 hp on tap, this engine delivers both satisfying acceleration and nimble handling that feels more like a sports car than the V8-powered muscle car models.

Exterior Highlights
Available in four-seat coupe and convertible body styles. Available in 1LS, 2LS, 1LT, 2LT, 1SS, 2SS, ZL1 and Z/28 trim levels

The 2015 Chevy Camaro is available in both four-seat coupe and convertible body styles.

There are a total of eight trim levels, starting with the V6-powered 1LS and 2LS, and 1LT and 2LT. The V8-equipped lineup includes the 1SS and 2SS, plus the ultra-high-performance ZL1 and racetrack-oriented Z/28. The entry-level 1LS, 2LS and the top-of-the-line Z/28 are offered only as hardtops, while all other Camaro trim levels can be had in a choice of coupe or convertible.

Standard equipment on the 1LS base model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats with power recline, a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio input jack and satellite radio. The 2LS adds an automatic transmission.

Moving up to the 1LT gets you foglights, remote start (automatic transmission models only), eight-way power front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Chevy's MyLink smartphone app integration, and Bluetooth audio connectivity. The 1LT Camaro convertible also includes a power-operated soft top, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.

The 2LT starts with all these features, then adds 19-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a head-up display, additional gauges, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system. Most of the 2LT's upgrades are optional on the 1LT, with the exception of leather upholstery.

The list of standard equipment for the 1SS starts with everything on the 1LT, then adds a V8 engine, 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip rear differential and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 2SS gets those same performance hardware upgrades plus all of the 2LT's comfort and convenience features. The 1LE Performance package, which is only offered on manual transmission-equipped SS models, takes things up a notch with racetrack-inspired modifications that include unique gearing, suspension tuning and tires.

The ZL1 is equipped similarly to the 2SS but adds still more performance-oriented equipment starting with a supercharged V8, an adaptive suspension with magnetic dampers, Brembo brakes, distinctive 20-inch alloy wheels fitted with performance summer tires, and retuned power steering. Exterior changes on the ZL1 include xenon headlights, a functional carbon-fiber air extractor on the hood, a unique rear spoiler and distinctive front and rear fascias. Inside the cabin you'll find simulated suede upholstery and a smaller, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

The RS option package (not available on 1LS/2LS and ZL1) adds 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights and a rear spoiler. Recaro sport seats are available as an option on SS and ZL1 coupes. A sunroof is offered on all coupe models except the LS and Z/28, and a variety of exterior stripes and trim detailing are available across the lineup.

Finally, the Z/28 is a stripped-down, high-performance model that employs a variety of weight-saving measures including removal of some sound-deadening material, an audio system with a single speaker and the deletion of the air-conditioning system (it is offered as an option, however). This highly specialized Camaro, which is street legal but really intended for use on a racetrack, makes up for the deletions noted above with a number of other go-fast goodies including a larger, more powerful V8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission (an automatic isn't even offered), plus lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels, a special track-oriented suspension, performance tires and large carbon-ceramic brakes.

Stylish interior, 7-inch color touchscreen, MyLink infotainment system with smartphone app integration, comfortable front seats, OnStar service

For a car model that built its reputation on performance, the interior of the 2015 Chevy Camaro lineup still earns its share of style points. The dash offers an interesting contrast of old-school Camaro details, like the squared-off bezels that frame the speedometer and tach, and the latest technology, like the 7-inch color touchscreen that offers access to the available MyLink infotainment system with its selection of smartphone-like apps. The Camaro's front seats offer good comfort and support.

Standard safety features on the 2015 Chevy Camaro include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is the OnStar telematics system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

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