After seeing the 2014 Camaro Z/28 in person at the New York Auto Show, discussing the car and its development with the folks at The General, and then mulling all that information over in our collective heads, we’ve come up with a list of the five things we do not like in the new track monster from Chevy. Here they are:
The Rear Fascia Design
For the 2014 model year, the Chevrolet Camaro sees a visual exterior restyling. So far, reviews have been mixed. And while taste in design is completely subjective, we’re in the camp that finds the looks of the new Camaro a bit awkward, at least when it comes to the rear fascia. Yes, the new lights provide a sleeker, stretched look. But in the process, the 2014 Camaro seems to have lost a sense of depth, as the 2010-2013 model’s tail lamps had some visual layering that we enjoyed. Though, at least now nobody can say the 2014 Camaro tail lamps look like the Corvette Stingray’s. Not that they ever really did in the first place. Maybe the looks just need to grow on us.
The Deletion Of HUD And Gauge Pack
We’re well aware of the fact that the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is purpose-built as a no-BS performance car that is sure to tear up the track against vehicles three to four times its price. That’s a given. However, we were hoping to see some driver-friendly tools to use in the process, especially something as essential as a Head Up Display (HUD), which projects vehicle speed, RPM and other useful information on to the windshield, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road (or track). When going for the best lap time, glancing down at the speedometer and tachometer could cause the driver to lose a split second or two… and every second counts.
The deletion of the retro-inspired gauge pack is also a head-scratcher. Though it was awkwardly placed by the shifter to begin with, it displayed vital information such as oil temperature and pressure, transmission temperature and battery voltage — all important stats to have on a track day. Though getting rid of all that wiring probably contributed to the 300-pound weight savings compared to the Camaro ZL1.
No Friction Bubble Or Other Performance Monitors
Friction bubble is a fancy name for that cool circle that displays lateral and longitudinal G-forces. It lets the driver know just what kind of physical stresses are being put on the car, and how much it is being pushed to the limit. Something like this would be perfect for the Z/28. Sadly, the car will not have it. Nor will it have any of the cool “Track Apps” offered by the Ford Mustang, which allow the driver to record acceleration rate, lap times, braking, and other kinds of performance metrics. Though we’re sure the aftermarket already has a solution.
Why Even Bother With The Radio?
So, GM couldn’t give the Z/28 a bunch of track-day tools, but it kept the radio. A radio with one speaker, that is really just there for the door and seat belt chimes (since those are all digital). Whatever music that will be played will probably be drowned out by the LS7 engine and lack of sound insulation. At the surface, it’s puzzling. Our inner-project manager would have at least found a way to make the radio an option, like the air conditioning, while keeping the speaker.
Could Have Done More With Weight Reduction
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 may have gone on a diet, but it’s easy to find spots where there could have been even more weight saved. The hood, for instance. Why isn’t the hood carbon fiber? Or the front splitter? Or the rear wing? The interior plastic paneling could have also been swapped out for a composite material. Sure, that would have driven up costs, but the Z/28 is already investment-grade material as it stands, and those looking to buy one probably wouldn’t mind if the MSRP grew by a few grand. Something tells us that the engineers wanted to, but the Corvette team probably wouldn’t be too happy if the Z/28 and the new Stingray Z51 posted identical lap times.