Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton-
“The 2010 Callaway Cars SC552 Camaro SS L99 is about as good as a street-able, supercharged Camaro SS can be. Yeah, it’s fast, its brakes are bulletproof and the parts installation is utterly sanitary, but there’s more to it than that.
I can say this because we’ve tested a large number of both stock and modified Camaros in the course of the past couple years. At the time, I even thought the SLP ZL575 was as good as anybody would ever build given a crate full of well-engineered parts and a few hours to bolt them on. But maybe I was premature with that assessment.
What makes the Callaway different is not that it consistently runs to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, nor that it runs 12s in the quarter-mile or stops (repeatedly) from 60 mph in less than 110 feet. Instead, I’m more impressed that Callaway has managed to extract 552 horsepower from a V8 that digests 91-octane fuel without inducing a single combustion knock or ping. Just as Callaway’s motto says, this is “Powerful Engineering.”
And there’s more. As we like to say, “Understeer will scare an enthusiastic driver in a corner before he runs out of talent or tarmac — whichever comes first.” And by now, it’s pretty evident that the stock Camaro SS has a generous amount of understeer built into the suspension geometry and tuning in order to restrain the enthusiasm of the car’s owners. Yet Pete Callaway has managed to tune the suspension so it enables the Camaro’s cornering attitude to be altered with subtle manipulation of the throttle and still acknowledge midcorner bumps without batting a sun visor.
Callaway has engineered a suspension package that does something other than lower the ride height and ruin the ride comfort in an effort to achieve a big number on the skid pad. Instead it has spent the time and money to develop a combination of pieces that adds drivability without sacrificing ride comfort. It’s not a secret that springs and dampers should be developed in concert. After all, they’re in a constant conversation with one another, so they ought to speak the same language.
This is what makes the difference between the Callaway Camaro SC552 and those other efforts that go only eight- or nine-tenths of the way to creating a completely engineered automobile. Callaway has a reputation for sussing out the details that others miss, or even choose not to address at all.”
Edmunds Inside Line
– May 4, 2010