The TCI Camaro had excellent power and the ability to smoothly lay it down. The brakes were awesome for manual brakes; I had no problem slowing this car down anytime or anywhere and the front/rear proportioning was perfect. The car had good, responsive turn-in; the entry and offset slaloms were very easy to negotiate. It was "point and shoot" for the crossover to the end sweeper and I could trail brake into almost any corner and control the speed and degree of loose. After hard braking for the end sweeper, I lost power steering and it became a battle of wills to get over the hump. Discussion ensued ... Me: "Oh, crap!!!", Camaro: "Suckerrrr ...", Me: "Like HELL ... one of us has to be the car and YOU'RE IT!!! Turn!" And magically, power steering and a happy camper driver returned to play. Each run improved on the one before it and if I remember correctly, the TCI Camaro posted the quickest autocross time of the day.
The power transitions leading towards the finish were so easy for this car. Off a few inches from an apex? Just move the car over and get back on line (mind you, this is happening while sliding sideways at about 60-plus mph). Looking ahead was a cinch and I never once felt behind or late to the next turn. All parts work well within the confines of the chassis and this car just reeks of compliance when driven fast. Overall, I had some stellar autocross runs with the TCI Camaro, but would recommend two changes. One, soften the springs as in present form, the car is suited for one job ... autocross or slalom. Dropping the spring rates while keeping the ride height wouldn't hurt the handling but would really improve street manners and ride. And, like the majority of the other tested cars, get a larger diameter steering wheel. -Mary Pozzi
Driver's Impression - On the Street
Contrary to Mary's concern, I actually thought the ride was decent on the street. If TCI can make it ride even better with no loss of handling prowess, that's great but it wasn't objectionable the way it was. My quote from the driver's log: "Firmer than most of the other cars here, but not obnoxious."
Anyone who does a lot of autocrossing or open-track events will be thrilled with the performance these parts deliver. Yes, there was some sacrifice in ride quality, but it wasn't like driving a floor jack. It was quite livable, if not on the more extreme side compared to the other entries.
My most pressing concern on the street was the lack of interior trimmings (carpet, etc.), which were installed after our track day. It was both loud and hot inside and the strip-oriented shifter on the automatic made me think of it as a drag car that handled really, really well. The turning radius was very tight and the steering, though light, was accurate.
It's obvious that TCI spent a good deal of time developing its suspension and handling parts for the first-gen. In addition to its stellar autocross times (nearly two seconds quicker than a stock '10 Camaro SS), it was over three mph faster through the slalom than the new F-body and it pulled 0.92g on the skidpad. Bada-bing! It just blew the fifth-gen away from a performance standpoint. - Jim Campisano