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Surprised to not see this comparison done... it's been 20 years (wow) since my last Chevrolet, and frankly I haven't been a huge fan... but wow has Chevy done a good job on the new Camaro. I think if you can get the RS under MSRP, it's the clear winner, but once you start tacking on dealer markup, the comparison gets a little tougher. As with other cars, the RS is "special" and the Camaro is well... just a Camaro. The RS starts with a power to weight deficit, which I'm assuming can be made up with a tune, and will probably be more fun to toss around a track. As I said, the Camaro wasn't even on my radar until I started reading some reviews. Thoughts?
 

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I loved the Camaro in my research, but had to pass do to the non functional back seats, and near zero visibility. The RS is just much more practical for my situation with 2 little ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Being 6'5", the back seat in my Focus ST isn't much use already, but I hear you. The utility of the Focus is definitely a consideration. Funny thing about the visibility in the Camaro, which Chevy even admits is terrible, but apparently their customer base places "looking cool" above "being able to see out of the car." LOL...
 

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I can't wait to drive one. We are scheduled to start getting them in by the end in Jan. I could get a optioned out SS for around 40K with my discount and honestly I'm sure I would love it, but not like I can love my RS. The Camaro is too much of a compromise and that borderlines what I would buy for a toy. The RS can be used all year round, has a lot of room, has a hatch. I would say good MPG and fun to drive but the Camaro has those going for it. My idea of a toy is something like a stripped out cammed Z06, or an Atom, something that really excites the senses and is on the difficult side to drive. Even if I had a lot of disposable income the RS would still be a part of my stable, and I would most likely drive it everyday. The Camaro is just too much compromise for where I live, and not equally as rewarding as something with more compromise but be classed as the same type of vehicle, which would be a toy to me. I would still need two cars, and the Camaro isn't worthy of a second car position to me.
 

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If I could see out of it, a Camaro SS would probably be in my top 3 possibilities. Apparently it's fun as hell to drive. I will still check 'em out when I go looking.
 

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I never really cross shopped the Camaro or the Mustang for that matter. The whole reason I'm getting an RS is based off of 3 main things.

1. Practical (5 person car with space for storage)
This is my only car, so I need something that I throw 4 people and gear in and go skiing.

2. Performance
Duh right. Most of us on here are some level of automotive enthusiast. The RS will offer class leading performance and be fun to drive. Thats important to us.

3. AWD
Being in Denver, there is no question that I want something AWD if not FWD. I could never look at a car that was RWD as my only car.

So I need something practical, performance oriented, with AWD. Which completely knocks out any type of RWD coupe.


All that being said, none of those 3 things can matter to you if:
1. You live in a climate where RWD year round is acceptable.

2. This is not your only car. You have a practical car.

3. You dont need a practical car. You live alone, you have 0 friends (not including your 12 cats), and the only person who will ever be in the car is you and the most you'll ever haul is groceries and cat litter back to your one bed room apartment :p


If those 3 things are true for anyone (especially that last one), that makes the RS more of a toy (not saying that in a bad way) which means comparisons to Mustangs, Cameros, used 911s or whatever makes sense.
 

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I've been in the new Camaro, it seats 2 fine, and 3 in a pinch (turned a bit sideways in the back seat).

Advantages over the RS: looks, that V8, the sound, magnetic shocks for smoother ride, true RWD with handling that in the SS version at least is being universally praised.

Disadvantages: massive size can be awkward in urban driving, near-total lack of outward visibility (who wants to lean forward to see the stoplights?), probably not as agile-feeling in quick maneuvers, lousy in snow, gulps gas when you're lead-footing it (although the RS probably will too).
 

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IMHO RS wins over SS

I've been in the new Camaro, it seats 2 fine, and 3 in a pinch (turned a bit sideways in the back seat).

Advantages over the RS: looks, that V8, the sound, magnetic shocks for smoother ride, true RWD with handling that in the SS version at least is being universally praised.

Disadvantages: massive size can be awkward in urban driving, near-total lack of outward visibility (who wants to lean forward to see the stoplights?), probably not as agile-feeling in quick maneuvers, lousy in snow, gulps gas when you're lead-footing it (although the RS probably will too).
IMHO the RS looks better . Aren't V8 and sound the same advantage? Agree the magnetic shocks will be better for a smoother ride, but RS on firm damper setting on the track shouldn't matter that much. Actually, we really don't know yet how the RS in "Track" mode with AWD will do compared with pure RWD ("Drift" mode is a sales gimmick and won't really do well at the track!) Yes, the SS will be a gas guzzler when driven hard; even driven hard the RS should still get decent mileage, i.e close to 20 mpg.

So, in summary, I respectfully disagree with your analysis of the RS versus the SS and again IMHO the RS is the clear winner over the SS, even though this is the best SS Camero to date produced by Chevy.


YMMV,

MidCow3
 

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I think it's obvious that most of us here (this being a Focus RS forum and all) will immediately jump to the conclusion that the RS is a better car and that we're glad to have put our orders down on them. However, if you sit back and think for a minute about the comparison we're making this becomes a much more interesting proposition.

Clearly, the SS and RS are totally different cars, having been created with different visions and having entirely separate histories (although both have excellent stories to tell over the last 40 years or so). So, saying that the RS is a better car because of its practicality, flexibility or visibility is missing the point of the comparison. So, you ask, how can we possibly compare these cars? A comparison can be made when we simply look at these two cars as nothing more than that, cars. Remove your own biases and reasons for buying a car, this then becomes an interesting comparison.

The RS:
A European derived car born out of the desire for a small racing car for the everyday road. It's emphases are on quick handling, tight grip, visceral feel, and speed through corners to provide real thrills to automotive and racing enthusiasts. The RS is a car with amazing engine and AWD technology built on the sensible platform of a four door family hatchback. With 350 hp and lb/ft, it has the power to work with the (hopefully) excellent handling to be a true track star, which still provides excellent daily usability.

The Camaro SS:
A true American muscle pony car created in the 1960s to go faster in a straight line than a Mustang (to....varied success) and look damn cool while doing it. Until now, handling, cornering, and driver comfort never really mattered much to the Camaro. Yet, the 2016 Camaro has been transformed into a world class sports car (see Motor Trend COTY) with an excellent chassis/platform, improved exterior and totally redesigned and upgraded interior (plus one of the most ergonomic HVAC systems on the market), and the ability to handle the way a true RWD sports car should with loads of grip and tight cornering. All this is topped off with the powerful 455 hp and lb/ft V8 pulled straight from the Stingray Corvette. With improved (but not perfect) usability for most parts of the world, the Camaro offers sublime and addictive American power with European sports car handling characteristics to create a much more sophisticated car which should thrill average and enthusiast drivers alike.

When looked at as just cars, this becomes a more difficult comparison. Both cars have been created to thrill the driver, albeit in totally different ways. Both have excellent and hilariously fun handling (thank GM for using the fantastic Alpha platform), but one being RWD and the other being an innovative AWD system, the overall feel of the cars' handling will be different. Also, one being a pony car coupe while the other being a four door hatchback means that the cars have been created for different purposes and usability, yet both will function fantastically for their designed purpose - the RS will be versatile and practical for a family, while the SS will cruise and thrill a passenger and a friend.

Both are amazing cars, the Camaro being the COTY is simply stunning with how many excellent cars are on the market today, and I think both will be historically important cars in the future. And honestly, this is why if I wasn't able to purchase the RS, I was going to head straight over to the nearest Chevy dealership and buy an SS (as it's basically the same price as the RS.

I would just have to get my rusty old 72 Camaro out of my parent's garage first.....
 

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IMHO the RS looks better . Aren't V8 and sound the same advantage? Agree the magnetic shocks will be better for a smoother ride, but RS on firm damper setting on the track shouldn't matter that much. Actually, we really don't know yet how the RS in "Track" mode with AWD will do compared with pure RWD ("Drift" mode is a sales gimmick and won't really do well at the track!) Yes, the SS will be a gas guzzler when driven hard; even driven hard the RS should still get decent mileage, i.e close to 20 mpg.

So, in summary, I respectfully disagree with your analysis of the RS versus the SS and again IMHO the RS is the clear winner over the SS, even though this is the best SS Camero to date produced by Chevy.
I'd be willing to bet that any objective polling of auto enthusiasts would have the Camaro favoured at least 2:1 in the looks department - those choosing the RS would be a small minority.

Engine and sound should not be conflated. Chevy small-block V8s are a proven commodity, with a history of high reliability. The highly boosted and tuned 2.3l in the RS is still an unknown on that score.

Gas mileage for the RS remains an open question, a lot of turbos get nowhere near their claimed mileage if they are driven on boost most of the time.

The handling of the SS is terrific by all accounts, and blows any non-Shelby GT350 Mustang into the weeds. I am confident that the RS will handle wonderfully as well, we'll know soon.
 

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I think it's obvious that most of us here (this being a Focus RS forum and all) will immediately jump to the conclusion that the RS is a better car....
Interesting discussion - a few comments:

The great majority of auto reviewers prefer the feel of a RWD over an AWD in a sports car (all else being equal of course). For example there is a new version of the Aventador out that is RWD, and it's universally preferred over its AWD stablemate. Perhaps the greatest appeal to me of the RS is that it will give us much if not most of that preferred RWD feel during vigorous driving, while offering the stability and security of AWD when we want it (winter, rain, etc).

I don't think visibility is an irrelevant issue in assessing a sports car. Being able to very precisely place your car on track or road is a key element of the sports car experience, and the horrid sightlines of the Camaro make that a lot more challenging. I remember Randy Pobst bringing that point up when he was tracking a Camaro. Poor outward visibility also limits outward awareness which is a very bad thing when you are driving enthusiastically on anything but an empty road.
 

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I could buy the Camaro SS over the RS, as I'm sure most of us could.

I used to own a Z28 4th gen amongst others, 1 LT1 Formula, 1 TransAm, and 2 Firehawks.

While it does have an impressive 1/4mi and other decent performance figures, this new Camaro had very little appeal for me. If I'm going to drop 40K+ on a RWD Chevy, it will be for a C6Z. Frankly, once you open up the scope of purchase to RWD, there are quite a few of other cars I would rather have at that price point (New and Used).

RS just suits my needs better, and for me it is just the cooler car.:cool:
 

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I loved the Camaro in my research, but had to pass do to the non functional back seats, and near zero visibility. The RS is just much more practical for my situation with 2 little ones.
Th rs wont have the best visability either. The pillars and headrests cut down on rearward vision. I'm sure its better than the camaro though
 

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Th rs wont have the best visability either. The pillars and headrests cut down on rearward vision. I'm sure its better than the camaro though
I'd be yanking out those back headrests first thing. Problem solved.

May be test driving a new Camaro Saturday weather permitting, will report back if I do.
 

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I'd be yanking out those back headrests first thing. Problem solved.

May be test driving a new Camaro Saturday weather permitting, will report back if I do.
Yeah that might help, but you still cant see through the giant front headrests or pillars. Its not terrible, is just something youll have to get used to
 

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Yeah that might help, but you still cant see through the giant front headrests or pillars. Its not terrible, is just something youll have to get used to
True, but compared to the vast majority of sports/performance cars today the Focus has better outward visibility. In its class only the Golf R is better IMO. I do wish you could see the hood beyond the base of the windshield though, that will take some getting used to.
 

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True, but compared to the vast majority of sports/performance cars today the Focus has better outward visibility. In its class ond ly the Golf R is better IMO. I do wish you could see the hood beyond the base of the windshiield though, that will take some getting used to.
Yes, I like the R's moonroof, fog lights, and very precise shifting manual transmission.

...And the service costs are so inexpensive and VW customer service is so superb. VW is such an honest forthright car company.

YMMV,

MidCow3
 

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Yes, I like the R's moonroof, fog lights, and very precise shifting manual transmission.

...And the service costs are so inexpensive and VW customer service is so superb. VW is such an honest forthright car company.
And let's not overlook the famed VW reliability....:rolleyes:

BTW I didn't mean to imply earlier that the Golf R is better all-round than the RS, just that it has better outward sightlines.
 
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