This past Thursday, December 10th, 2015 I took delivery of my new ride – a 2014 Camaro SS/RS with only 4,568 miles on the odometer. This car is a 2SS model, with the optional RS package adding many cool niceties. Since this is an SS, it comes with the big 6.2L 400hp/410ft-lb engine paired with a six speed paddle-shifted automatic. I would have preferred the six speed manual, but given the amount of traffic in town these days, I just could not justify the wear and tear that would result from all the stop-and-go conditions. Plus this car is fully loaded!
Yes, this is a previously owned vehicle, but I’ll let the caption to the left do the talking (click on it and you’ll see what I mean)… I agree, that this Camaro is no Aston Martin but the basic concept remains.
Unfortunately the original window sticker was not to be found, but I was able to get the original sales invoice from when the vehicle was first sold. Suffice to say, the original owner took one hell of hit between that original sticker price and what I paid.
I’ve never been a fan of buying a new car just because it is “new off the showroom floor”. It is best to wait and take your time finding that special deal such as this one. I have no problem buying a 4,568 mile “new” car including full factory warranty!
The exterior color is new for 2014: Red Rock Metallic and hence I’ll refer to it as RedRock. The RS package adds “halo” headlamps, a rear wing, body color drip rails, and dark gray 20″ aluminum wheels shod with Pirelli P-Zero staggered tires. In addition there is a sunroof with vent mode and slider mode. Oh and yes, also new for 2014 is a fully functional heat extractor built into the hood. The vent comes finished in black, just like the front grill.
I’m really pleased with the interior. Fit and finish is much improved and overall it is quiet and spacious for this type of car. The interior is a dark ebony with two-way heated and electric powered driver’s and passenger’s front seats.
There is a Heads Up Display (HUD) with full color rendering of speed, tach, g-force, shift lights, turn signals, radio station, compass direction, etc. This is all accomplished by a push button which cycles through different “pages” worth of data.
Full instrumentation plus the special console-mounted gauge cluster (part of the RS package) shows all sorts of details one might need to know about. As if that were not enough, there is a dash mounted digital display between the tach and speedo, that shows even more info such as engine oil temp, oil pressure, MPG’s, miles-to-empty, etc, etc, etc.
The MyLink infotainment system is very cool – with Bluetooth, XM radio, AM/FM, USB connectivity (for iPod or thumb drive), but no CD player. What’s a CD, right?? This thing pairs itself with my iPhone and enables hands-free phone calls. It will even “read” to you text messages – nice! I’m still trying to figure this thing out – it comes with a 92 page manual, separate from the Owner’s Manual.
So, What is it Like?
This earth shaker is a point-and-shoot affair. The independent rear suspension is a huge improvement over a straight axle. Add to this a 3.27 axle ratio and you get about 2,000 RPM’s at 70 mph. Nice.
There is no power steering pump. The 2014 C5 Camaro has electric assisted steering and this one works very nice. Throttle of course is fly-by-wire which I don’t have a problem with. Finally, the transmission has two settings: “Drive” and “Sport”. In Sport mode it is fully controlled with the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. There is a slight lag in shifts, however I think it will just take some practice to get my timing just right. It is not a substitute for a clutch but given what it is, I’m very pleased.
Finally the part that will take more getting used to is the Displacement on Demand (DOD) or Active Fuel Management (AFM). The L99 engine comes equipped with a feature that enables the ECM to shut off 4 cylinders in low-demand conditions. This comes in handy during steady state driving on the interstate, but not so much around town.
Can it be disabled, you ask? Yes it can. AFM is disabled by doing a tune on the ECM however this voids the warranty. There is also a non-intrusive device available that plugs up to the ALDL diagnostics connector. For the time being I think I’m going to just learn to live with it by tapping the paddle shifter and requesting a shift when needed. This will also be fun since it breaks the monotony of driving an “automatic”. I’ll have more on this in future articles.
The Sad Part…
All this wonderment came with a steep price. I used my 21-year-old Camaro as trade-in. A week or so ago, a little part of me died when I walked away at the dealership. My old Z28 Camaro had been a very trusted and reliable friend. Hopefully it will have a new home soon.
I could have kept it (and I wish I had) but I just don’t have room for yet another car. I realize I will wake up one day and kick myself in the ass wishing I still had it. When we parted ways, the odometer had yet to break 100,000 miles. In fact it was about 300 miles short. That LT1 sure was an excellent engine – the OptiSpark and water pump had never been replaced and it never missed a lick.
Overall that Z28 was an exceptionally reliable vehicle and for those of you that like to bash GM’s products think again. All I did to this car over 21 years of ownership was change oil (every 3k miles, full synthetic Mobil1), filters, tranny fluid, rear-end dope, tires and one AC compressor. I did replace rotors and brake pads several times but that is just part of owning a car. All this was not extremely expensive stuff either. Try that with other brands… 😉
The Z28 will be missed 😥 . That is for sure.