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Old 01-24-2011, 02:25 AM   #1
Devon
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RWD and WInter/Snow Driving (

My wife and I are seriously considering buying a '11 2lt RS. Well, she's considering, I'm already sold on it.

Anyways, we live in northern Ontario. I mean way north. -25 - 35C average winter temp and roughly 4 or more feet of snow over our 5 months of winter.

My wife refuses to get a manual :( and has reservations about driving a RWD vehicle with 300+hp in the snow. She has only driven FWD cars in her life. I can live with the auto if that means getting the car, but this is aside from the point...

Now, I have explained to her that with a good set of winter rubb and subtle throttle inputs on takeoff, along with stability/traction control, driving the Camaro in the snow will not be a problem. I told her that I have driven many thousands of miles in pickup trucks without 4wd on and getting stuck/sliding around it is never a problem.

Without this getting into a "get good winter tires and all will be fine" thread, I was wanting to hear some anecdotes from other Camaro owners who have actually driven in show. And I'm not talking about the 2 or 3 inches most of you in the mid-US see, I mean waking up to a fresh 6 inches of fluffy, dry snow and having to commute to work on rarely traveled, but plowed, roads with ice, hardpack crust with snow on top.

I know I'm long winded already, but I wanted to also ask about one other thing: I have been told that having a higher rubber profile is beneficial in winter driving, but the RS comes with 20's. 20's do not leave alot of room for sidewalls. Is this an issue? My local dealer recommends against the larger wheels, but I love the styling of the RS package. Is it possible to get the package with the 18's from the factory?

Ok, so that was alot of questions, but I am wanting to put her mind at ease. She is 99% for the Camaro, but these reservations are wearing on her.

I do have a test-drive scheduled for Friday, and the forecast is calling for 2-3 inches of fresh snow for Thursday night, so I am going to have a chance to see for myself, albeit for only a short time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I really want this car, but this could be a deal breaker if my wife is not convinced.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:32 AM   #2
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They plow quick where I am so I'm still on the summer tires & wait for them to plow but my dad has winter tires which are great. A lil hard to drive but that cause he has 650wHP (750HP)..
I drove car stock (stock HP & tires) 2 hours home in bad snow storm. A lot of a tail wiggle but made it. Put winter tires on at stock HP levels & u be fine. There a video of a v6 ripping thru snow
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:34 AM   #3
Devon
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I have seen a vid on youtube, but it didn't show much. Maybe 1 min long. Do you have a link to the vid you speak of?

Also, does anyone know what detrimental effects, if any, does the open diff on the auto have in winter driving? Any fixes?

Last edited by Devon; 01-24-2011 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:53 AM   #4
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idk man. i know my dad would never dream of buying a camaro as a family car and living in MI we get also get allot of that cold weather you guys get. and even here i wouldn't get a camaro as a family car.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:58 AM   #5
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Although I never drove my Camaro in the snow (used a beater for the winter), I'm now piloting around in a manual transmission car with 556 HP and not having any problems at all. Granted, I'm in Toronto and the roads are cleared pretty quickly, but I made a point of getting the car out recently after a fresh snowfall to assess its driveability and I was most pleasantly surprised. Not having driven a RWD car in the winter for 25 years, I can tell you that advances in rubber technology along with stabilitrack/traction control make it difficult to get the car out of shape if you drive sensibly! I'm on Pirelli Sotto Zeros on OEM wheels in stock sizes and I've been told that going narrower in the rears would be even better.
Without the Brembo brakes that are on the SS, 18" or 19" wheels will work on the V6 with a higher profile tire. The Camaro is very workable in the winter - especially with dedicated snows.
Keep another thing in mind - GM does its cold weather testing in Kapuskasing, so you gotta know they were able to get around in this car in Northern Ontario!
BTW, here's a clip I took the other day while getting to know my car in a (relatively) empty parking lot! Car is very easy to control!

http://s129.photobucket.com/albums/p...VintheSnow.mp4

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Elie
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:17 AM   #6
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You are correct, we do not get snow here in Michigan like you do, but have been driving mine all winter so far. Have not had a single problem.
The 18" wheels are best, you may have to invest in 18" wheels and tires for the winter then put the 20's on come warm weather.
I have ONLY driven RWD cars my whole life and have never had an issue.
Good luck and just be careful.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:39 AM   #7
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Well I have Nokia Hakkapeliitta 225/60R18 stub tires.
No problem what so ever. Car moves better than some light weight FWD.

Just be careful when accelerating, you dont want to buy new rear tires every winter
Oh and try to avoid stopping in up hill.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:56 AM   #8
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I have a set of pirrelli scorpion snow and ice studless and have yet to get stuck or lose traction anywhere.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:22 AM   #9
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I have driven plenty of rwd cars in the snow over the years, and unless she is a sketchy driver to begin with, she should be just fine. Hey, if you're really wanting her to experience it, go buy an old beater with rwd and automatic for a couple hundred bucks and take her out on a frozen snowy parking lot and let her have at it. If she dents it, no big deal.
It's the feeling of the rear end coming out from behind you that is freaky, but let off the gas and steer into it (without oversteering) and you can bring it back around. Once you get the feel of it, it's kinda fun!
The other thing people have problems with is getting going on a hill. I found a girl stuck in her rwd/auto car almost at the top of our very tricky, slick hill. She'd been there for 20 minutes waiting for someone to come along and help her. This is a very steep short hill with a curve and very shady, icy, and easy to get stuck in the ditch on. So, I stopped and helped her out:
1: "give me your floormats", which I snugged up under the front of her rear tires.
2: "put it in low (automatic) just let it idle itself into moving forward, and do not press on the gas pedal."
3: "once you are moving, very lightly press the gas and very slowly crawl the rest of the way and DO NOT STOP until you are on level ground."
4: "DO NOT GUN IT AND SPIN THE TIRES."
She crawled up onto the floor mats, crawled ahead to get going, the tires were good and cold (important), and she crawled the rest of the way up that hill.
She had been sitting there spinning her tires like crazy, which heats them up, which melts the ice, which creates water, which makes the ice even slicker, and there you are. Let the tires get cold, and crawl. The floormats just get you past the ice you've already created and lets you get your crawl going. She thought I was a nut job when I asked her for her floormats.
In an automatic, if you are on ice and trying to stop, lots of drivers just push the pedal and then the brakes lock up and the car slides on the ice. Put the car in neutral and tap tap tap the brakes to slow down if you are finding yourself unable to stop, steer, or otherwise avoid a collision at slow speeds. When the transmission is disengaged it is NOT turning your wheels which means you can stop easier. If the transmission is engaged, the wheels turning the tires works against your desire to stop.
It's teaching your wife little tricks like that and letting her figure it out in a car that does not cost an arm and a leg that will help you convince her that driving a Camaro in the snow is not a fearful experience. No one likes to be out of control. Teach her the control part! Please do not yell at her while she's learning, that's the worst thing you can do. If you can't do that, get a friend of yours to teach her instead.
My Camaro is parked, and I have a 4x4 pickup for winter driving, however that is not because I am afraid of what ME or MY car will do, I fear what those other guys will do or fail to do. It's the people who do not know those few simple winter driving tips that I'm afraid of.
Tell her that THIS winter driving girl says "it's OK, you can do it!"
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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I have a little experience driving in 6+ inches of snow and understand your climate. Having said that, my Camaro is in the garage until the snow starts to melt and roads are dry....PERIOD!

I've driven a 74 Camaro in the winter, and it's not fun... And it had STUDDED snow tires.....

Purchase a 4X4 beater for the winter and park the Camaro. Save yourself, and your WIFE, the hassel of driving a hot rod in the winter.

People will tell you it's no probelm, but I must disagree. I could give you all kinds of examples of why I'm right, but I think you already know the correct answer to your question. I know what kind of snow you receive each year. I think it would be a mistake to try and drive the M6 or A6 in much snow at all.

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Old 01-24-2011, 12:07 PM   #11
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Here's that video you were talking about I think..



I have a 2LT and I live in Chicagoland. I drive 2 hours each way for work. There have been at least 6 days this year where I woke up with 6-10 inches fresh outside. I have the manual, so no autostart for me, even though I know it can be done. The new Camaro is especially nice to drive in the winter. The whole fishtailing thing around corners and spinning out is a thing of the past. The stability control is outrageously great at keeping the car in the line it is moving. I drive in rural areas for 20 minutes until I get to a major state road, and yes it's usually plowed once, at like 6am. Theres tons of fresh snow and ice underneath. When you're turning on a residential street the rear end might get loose for a split second; you ease off the gas, but not completely... and then the stability control lightly applies the brakes to the slipping rear wheel and focuses the right amount of energy needed to get the tire to grab again. I can take a corner at regular dry condition speed in the snow, and the rear will kick out a foot, catch itself, and force the car in the direction I'm steering. I think it's easier and safer to have a RWD car for winter... Isn't that what all the cops and emergency vehicles use?...
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dire Wolf View Post
If you don't have another FWD, AWD or 4x4 vehicle to drive in the snow DON'T GET A CAMARO.
Depends on what kind of snow and what kind of Camaro we're talking about. In "just" a few inches the V6 will treat you pretty well.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerbrainz2k3 View Post
Depends on what kind of snow and what kind of Camaro we're talking about. In "just" a few inches the V6 will treat you pretty well.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #14
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I drove mine in 6 inches of unplowed snow and with 20" wheels and Pirelli scorpion ice and snow tires. It is like a tank in the winter.

I wouldn't be afraid of driving it in the winter. Just don't have that attitude that some people have and think

"Summer tires, oh that is for everyone but me"

My 2010 Camaro is better than my 2000 Camry in the snow and ice because of the even weight, snow tires, stabilitrac and traction control.

Just get the right tires and you'll be more than fine. I do kind of laugh about the majority of "get a winter beater" and "my car will never see snow" comments you get in threads like these.
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