Chevrolet Camaro in Snow & Winter Driving (Solved & Explained)

Since it first went on sale in 1966, few cars have been as beloved as the Chevy Camaro.

With its iconic shape and agile, quick responding handling, the Camaro is a high performance car that delivers on many levels.

In this article, we’ll assess the Camaro’s ability to handle the winter conditions…

Here is the short answer to whether the Chevrolet Camaro is good for snow and winter driving:

The Chevy Camaro can drive in snow just fine, despite being rear-wheel-drive. This is due to its snow/ice mode and the combination of Electronic Stability Control (StabiliTrak) and Anti-Lock Brakes. The Camaro will perform much better in the winter when equipped with snow tires.

Is a Chevy Camaro Good in the Snow?

Critics often point to the Camaro’s rear-wheel-drive system as evidence that it performs poorly in the snow.

And they could be forgiven for making such claims – it’s no secret RWD vehicles are less optimal for driving in snow in comparison to their FWD counterparts.

Rear-wheel-drive vehicles don’t have the weight of the engine sitting on top of the drive wheels, this in turn, reduces the amount of traction and can mean they’re more prone to fishtailing (this is when the rear end of a forward-moving vehicle swerves from side to side out of control).

Whilst the Chevy Camaro is not the optimal, first choice vehicle for winter driving, the modern technologies fitted as standard on this muscle car means the Camaro is an adequate choice for winter driving.

Chevy Camaros are known for being sports cars exceptional at vehicle handling, which is true even during winter conditions due to advancements in electronics (such as StabiliTrak, electronic stability control system with traction control) and tire technology.

Both of which have made it possible to own a Camaro in a snowy area and not encounter too much trouble. 

Should you live in a town or city that experiences a lot of snow, you don’t need to altogether dismiss the idea of owning a Camaro, but you should factor in its ground clearance which averages around 5 inches.

A low ground clearance isn’t ideal for thicker, deeper snow for obvious reasons, however, for lighter winter conditions the low center of gravity is beneficial as it reduces the chance of vehicle rollover.

The combination of the various powerful drivetrain options and the fact that there is very little weight over the rear drive wheels makes the Camaro seem like a vehicle that would be terrible on winter roads but our findings certainly contradict that perception.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

Despite being RWD the Camaro has some great features that make it a viable option for winter driving:

StabiliTrak System 

The StabiliTrak, Electronic Stability Control system, is an innovative feature that comes as standard on the Camaro.

As the name implies, StabiliTrak is designed to keep your vehicle stable and on track, it helps drivers be more confident, especially in low-traction, uncertain driving situations.

The system works by using a complex sensor system to determine whether your vehicle is correctly responding to specific inputs during emergencies. 

The system will analyze real-time data to establish which operation it needs to complete, which can mean enabling a specific brake(s) or reducing engine power.

In slippery conditions, it automatically intervenes when it senses a loss of traction / wheel slippage, to help you maintain control when accelerating on wet or snow-covered roads.

It’s important to note that all electronic control systems are a type of traction control, but not all traction control systems are electronic stability control systems.

Anti-Lock Brakes

When traction is limited, such as on roads covered in snow or ice, ABS is an incredibly useful feature.

During hard braking or on slippery surfaces, a driver may apply a braking force that is greater than the tires capacity to grip.

If this happens the wheels can ‘lock up’, causing the vehicle to skid out of control.

By preventing this lock-up the vehicle stops sooner and remains under the drivers control.

The anti-lock brakes on the Camaro provides this assistance.

Please also read our article: Dodge Challenger in snow and winter driving

Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert 

This feature doesn’t come as standard on all trim levels, however, this is a great tool to have, especially in the winter months when driving visibility is at an all time low.

The aim of this feature is to help you avoid lane change collisions, and does so by providing a side-mirror visual alert when a detected moving vehicle is quickly approaching or is in your side blind zone.

Its important not to rely solely on this type of technology and always check mirrors and blind spots before leaving your lane.

Does a Camaro Have Snow Mode?

The Chevy Camaro features a snow/ice mode, which can be activated through the mode selector switch.

The snow/ice mode will limit your pedal sensitivity, should you accelerate harder than required it will limit the throttle to reduce wheel spin. It shifts the transmission earlier to reduces torque at the wheels, and decreases the initial bite of the brakes, so your tires don’t lock.

This is a great feature to have and makes driving in bleak winter conditions much easier.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on Camaro? 

If you’re looking to drive your Camaro in snowy conditions we strongly recommend getting a good set of snow tires as these will make the world of difference.

You can install snow gear on the Camaro. Depending on what is available and legal in your region, you can install: 

  • Snow tires 
  • Studded tires 
  • Snow socks 
  • Snow chains 

Ensure you know what tires you need before buying snow tires/studded  tires. This includes knowing proper size, speed and weight ratings.  

If you are going to be using snow chains, it is advised to only put them on  the rear of the vehicle. 

With snow socks and chains, do not exceed speeds of 30 MPH. 

Also, be wary of installing chains, studs or socks without knowing if your region allows them on the road. Many regions have strict laws regarding snow gear. 

How Much Snow Can a Camaro Handle?

Camaros, as we previously mentioned, handle snow better than most people imagine.

The Chevy Camaro has a relatively low ground clearance of 5 inches and can handle between 1 to 4 inches of snow without running into too much trouble. 

If snowfall is extreme in your area and roads tend to be poorly maintained, you might want to consider a bigger vehicle with more ground clearance. 

How Do Camaros Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Camaro handles low temperatures just fine. This vehicle has fuel  injection, meaning engine starting is no different than it is in the summer months. 

It also has the option for an engine block heater to be installed, if you live in extremely cold climates. Something to consider, as engine block heaters can prevent damage to your engine from cold starts.

Camaros also can come equipped with heated steering and heated seats.  These are great features for winter driving, and greatly improves driver comfort in the cabin.

Can a Chevy Camaro Drive on Ice?

The Camaro will not perform well on ice, without the assistance of  studded tires and/or other snow gear mentioned above.

In such conditions it is advised to put the vehicle into snow/ice mode.

Does the Camaro Have 4WD?

The Chevy Camaro comes as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle and thus does not have four-wheel drive capabilities. However, despite being an RWD vehicle, the new Camaro handles just fine winter conditions. 

What about Older Camaro Models and Winter Driving?

Now, in theory, you don’t need to go out and purchase the latest Camaro model. Although obviously not as advanced as their latest counterparts, many of the earlier models have the same technology features that allow for winter driving.

Models manufactured during the 2000s should be reliable enough to use during winter (although we advise avoiding the 2017 and 2018 models). However, you will need to be cautious if you decide to go with a much older Camaro. 

You might also be interested in our article: Toyota 86 in snow and winter driving

Do Camaros Need Snow Tires?

The truth is that although the new Chevy Camaro fairs well during winter, you will need to equip your vehicle with snow tires as an added safety precaution.

The summer tires you have likely don’t use the correct rubber that is flexible in cold weather, nor do they have a deep enough thread. Should you wish to use your Camaro during the winter months, we would recommend getting high-quality snow tires fitted. 

Can You Mount A Snow Plow On A Camaro?

We do not advise mounting a snow plow on a Camaro (although it has been done). If you require a snow plow, refrain from buying this vehicle, and find something more suited to moving snow.

Resources

https://www.chevrolet.com/performance/camaro