Not long ago I wrote a review on the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS. It was Inferno Orange with black racing stripes and a 6-speed manual, and boy oh boy did it get looks going down the road. Looking like the great pumpkin though didn’t come without some pitfalls. For example, everyplace I went the car attracted attention which meant that parking it in a public lot was a bit nerve racking. Then there was the issue of the $37,640 price tag. Sure it was steep, but with 426 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque on tap, as well as Brembo brakes, it was a fair price to pay for the performance that the Camaro SS delivers. Some however love the looks of the new 2011 Camaro but simply can’t swing 37k for a decked out SS. Enter now, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT.
Not long after I dropped off the SS I was able to get my hands on a 2011 Camaro 2LT Coupe with the RS package. This meant it had all the same bells and whistles as the SS version, sans the 6.2-liter V8, Brembo Brakes and 6-speed manual transmission. Things like GM’s stellar heads-up display, console mounted rally gauges and great leather wrapped seats were all still present and accounted for though. This particular car was done in Cyber Grey Metallic, had a healthy 3.6-liter 312 hp V6, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with TAPshift manual shift controls on the steering wheel.
Interior wise the Camaro 2LT was toned down a bit compared to the bright two-toned interior of the SS. It definitely had a softer feel and was much more subdued from a visual perspective, something I sense most buyers would prefer. If you opt for the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT with the RS package you gain the following:
• Includes 20″ x 8″ front and 20″ x 9″ rear flangeless, painted aluminum wheels with Midnight Silver finish.
• Body-color roof ditch molding
• HID headlamps with LED halo ring and RS unique tail lamps.
• Rear spoiler
Keep in mind that this was the first time I’d been behind the wheel of a V6 powered Camaro, and I have to say that I came away very impressed. While it’s not a rocket ship, the 312 hp V6 gets the car to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds. What really matters though is the 278 lb-ft of torque, as this is what places the V6 Camaro firmly in hooligan territory. Switch the traction control off, plant your right foot and you’ll spin the rear tires with no problem. While the engine does make good power, it suffers from a weak exhaust note that sounds very metallic when pressed hard. The trade-off however is great fuel economy to the tune of 18 city mpg /29 highway mpg. This is something that the Camaro SS could never hope to achieve. Plus it takes good ole’ regular gasoline, not premium like the SS.
The 6-speed automatic transmission also works well with the V6. Shifts are smooth with no real drama, but I’d stay away from using the TAPshift manual shift controls if I were you. Using this option just treats you to slow lazy shifts that will annoy you. Honestly, just leave the transmission in drive and let it do its thing, you’ll be happier, trust me.
Now even though the Camaro 2LT doesn’t come with the same Brembo brakes as the SS, have no fear because I found the brakes to be quite good. I did quite a few hard stops with this thing and never once did the car get out of shape. Stops were straight and true and the car was brought to a halt very quickly. Handling was also spot on as well. Due to weather, my tester came equipped with Pirelli snow tires and even with these mounted, the car handled surprisingly well. Obviously these are not performance tires, but it just goes to show you how good the Camaro’s road going suspension is.
After a week of tooling around in the Camaro I found that I was actually quite fond of the car. Visually it is almost identical to the SS, it gets much better fuel economy and its 312 hp V6 provides you with plenty of road going grunt. Price wise the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT stickered at $30,760, which is not bad for what you get. Keep in mind though that you can buy a stripper Camaro SS with a 6-speed manual for just $1,500 more. At the end of the day you need to decide which car fits your needs. The Camaro SS or the Camaro 2LT. Understand though that if you opt for the Camaro 2LT that you are in no way skimping, as this is a great automobile, with good performance and even better mileage. Happy motoring…
*Make sure to check out my review of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS for more driving impressions.