Tag Archives: chevrolet

2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible Review

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Before this review, the 2012 Nissan GT-R that I reviewed had the most horsepower of any car I have reviewed. That is not the case anymore. Another car has claimed the title of having the most horsepower of any car that I have reviewed, and that is the 2013 Chevrolet ZL1. 580 horsepower mated to a six speed manual transmission. Before I get into the review itself, I should start with the expected introduction about what exactly is the ZL1 model and how it differentiates itself from other Camaros. Alongside the regular Camaro, the ZL1 originated in late 1960’s, 1969 to be exact. This is a little complicated, so do not take my word on the history of the ZL1. It is my understanding that the ZL1 came to fruition because Chevrolet dealers wanted bigger engines available for the Camaros. 69 models were made in 1969. Its exclusivity and performance made it a rare and coveted Camaro for car collectors (Do not take my word on the history of the ZL1). In 2012, the ZL1 was revitalized as a performance version of the Camaro. Even though I have already reviewed a Camaro, a SS version, I was keen on trying out the ZL1. As mentioned, the 580 horsepower engine makes for one memorable Camaro. The question is, is the ZL1 worth it?  Continue reading

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2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Review

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When foreigners judge Americans in terms of cars, the first thing that pops to mind are pickup trucks. Which makes sense considering that a Ford F-Series truck has been our best selling automobile for the past 32 years (according to Wikipedia). However, there is one other thing we are also known for: our muscle cars. America has a long history of shoving big horsepower engines into sporty cars, a craze that started back in the Roaring Sixties. When the economy was booming, American manufacturers wanted to add fun to their lineups. Ford was the first to jump start this idea with the 1964 Mustang. Then Chevrolet, a division of General Motors, created the Camaro three years later. So did Dodge two years later with the Challenger. The three of these muscle cars coined the term “pony muscle car.” The Camaro also spawned a twin, the Pontiac Firebird. The Chevrolet Camaro lasted for four generations until Chevrolet discontinued it in 2002. By the time the fourth generation arrived, the Camaro and its twin, the Pontiac Firebird became more like big sporty coupes rather than sports cars. Due to lackluster sales and the market’s decreasing appetite for sporty coupes, General Motors discontinued the Camaro and the Firebird. However, in 2006, Chevrolet showcased the Camaro Concept at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show to unexpected levels of acclaim and praise from spectators worldwide. The Camaro became more prominent, especially in its role as Bumblebee in the Transformers series. The overwhelming demand for the Camaro was too much for Chevrolet to ignore, so they made the decision to produce the Camaro as a 2009 model. The release date got pushed to spring 2009 to produce the Camaro as a 2010 model. The Camaro was designed and engineered by GM’s Australian division, Holden, and it was built off the “Zeta” architecture that underpinned many Holden vehicles. After reviewing a Mustang, and a Challenger, I was anxious to review a Camaro. However, you may remember that I will refuse to review a car unless it is in the proper specification. That’s right, I told myself I would review Camaros only with a manual transmission. Problem is that this is America. Luckily, the opportunity presented itself soon enough, and it was not just any version of the Camaro, it was the top of the line version, the SS!  Continue reading

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1996 Chevrolet Corvette LT4 Review

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In the 1950s, General Motors enjoyed its status as the biggest corporation in the world. GM’s notoriety stemmed from its automobile divisions: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. However, they all lacked a world class sports car to rival Jaguar, MG, Triumph, and the like. GM’s lead designer, Harley Earl came up with the idea of a sports car that would also cost as much as an affordable American sedan.This generation is known as the C1 which lasted from 1953-1962. The Corvette had its ups and downs. The C2 generation was one of the most popular Corvettes thanks to the Stingray model which had hidden headlights and a split window fastback, and it boasted performance worthy of a sports car. The C3 (1968-1982) was hit by the oil crisis of the 1970s, and demanding government regulations resulted in more pedestrian friendly bumpers, and the result was more fuel efficient but slow engines and altered styling. The C4 generation arrived in 1984, and Chevrolet was determined to up its ante with updated mechanicals and new styling. In 1996, Chevrolet introduced the LT4 version that came with a new 350 cubic-inch small block V8 for the Corvette. Continue reading

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Base Review

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You wouldn’t know from looking at this car, but the Impala’s history stretches all the way back to 1958. Originally, the Impala was a top trim level of the Bel Air coupes and convertibles. By combining luxury and muscle, the Impala elevated Chevrolet to number one production spot in 1958, a year of financial hardship. As the years passed, the Impala separated from the Bel Air model and became one of the most famous muscle cars of the 1960s. The fourth generation Impala was the most popular generation and also the model’s first Super Sport version. Fun fact: this fourth generation is the best selling automotive model in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T,  and the Lada Riva. However, during the 1970s, the Impala diminished in status and luxury as it was repositioned as a mainstream large sedan. It would be discontinued in 1996. For the 1999 model year, Chevrolet revived the Impala. Positioned above the Malibu, It aimed to provide cheap motoring in a roomy package. Continue reading

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2012 Chevrolet Malibu LS Review

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Named after the city in California, the Malibu emerged as a muscle car in the 1960s. Originally a high end version of the Chevelle, the sales and reception it received convinced Chevrolet to make the Malibu a separate model. It quickly became Chevrolet’s best selling model, and the Malibu evolved from a two door muscle car to a family sedan. The Malibu ceased production around 1983, replaced by the Celebrity. In 1997, Chevrolet revived the Malibu. Facing stiff competition from the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, the Malibu always came up short. The Malibu was redesigned in 2008, and extensive development and testing ensured it would be a quality contender. The Malibu, along with its cousins, the Saturn Aura and Pontiac G6, are General Motor’s attempt at creating a worthy family sedan. Continue reading

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2013 Chevrolet Cruze LT Review

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The Cruze’s ancestry goes all the way back to the Citation. Following the fuel crisis in the late 1970s, General Motors switched from full size rear wheel drive sedans with thirsty V8s to smaller and more fuel efficient front wheel drive cars with V6s and four cylinders. The Citation was the first model of this reversal. Plagued by reliability and build quality issues, the Citation still sold well. Then came the Cavalier. Even though it did not formally replace the Citation, it was still considered the successor. It sold for 20 years before being replaced by the Cobalt. Despite selling well, the Cobalt was not the smash hit Chevrolet hoped for. This time around, Chevrolet went hard at work at developing a worthy contender to the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and the like. Designed in both Europe and Korea and built in America, the Cruze is Chevrolet’s latest entry into the compact sedan market. Continue reading

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