2013 Chevrolet Camaro Road Test Review
by Martha Hindes
2013 Sexy Car Buyer's Guide - Top 10 Most Sex Appeal
Do girls ever have fun at the expense of the boys? You bet. Especially when it comes to autos where muscular might is usually equated with virility. We know that those haunchy hips can power a hunk of steel with Superman-like dominance. And we know when you have a name like Chevrolet Camaro 2SS Coupe "Hot Wheels" for the decked out 2013 special edition of the classic muscle car, you're going to want to display its prowess every chance you get.
But that's not just a male thing. We also know that a female behind the wheel of a rear drive sports car can peel rubber faster than Spiderman can swing to the top of a Gotham skyscraper. Shades of Angelina Jolie as Salt, landing on her feet after ditching a helicopter in flight. Doesn't that represent the kind of mystique that has kept a burly muscle car the pinnacle of want for a whole cadre of drivers—gender non-specific? And isn't that what driving a sports car is all about?
We doubt if a true enthusiast gives a snit about the available room for grocery shopping finds or whether it delivers a cushy, boulevard ride. Those attributes, in fact, could condemn a sports car wannabe to being dragged to the trash bin on someone's iPad faster than a sneeze. A true sports car or muscle car is the kind that causes a fan to build a double car garage in back of the property just to house such treasures.
So what's in the lusty 2013 Camaro's bag of tricks that can cause that kind of reaction? We found out in degrees as we hit the start button of a brilliant "kinetic blue" metallic 2SS Camaro Coupe with "Hot Wheels" logo and RS appearance package, and felt it throb to life. The red outline stripe highlighting on the Hot Wheels Special Edition 21-inch black painted wheels looked poised and ready to blast off. And they were.
We punched the aluminum-clad clutch pedal and sent the leather-wrapped six-speed manual into action. Did it ever accommodate, its rear spoiler held high and dual exhausts tips pouring out the throaty tone of a champion. Just the powertrain credentials would catch one's attention. The 426 horses thundering under the hood of the 6.2-liter V-8 churning out 420 lb.-ft. of torque made it one jacked up ride held in bay only by the lack of time to explore track worthiness.
Getting inside is a trip in itself, the handsome black leather-trimmed interior spiked with luminous red stitching, and the Hot Wheels logo anchoring seat backs. We adjusted the telescoping steering wheel and raised the six-way power seating to a most comfortable level and then found GM's adjustable "head up" display peaking back at us. When out on the road, having a digital MPH readout superimposed on the windshield is a constant reminder to not tempt law enforcement's finest by overdoing the speed a shade. We consider the streamlined, powerful look with black hood cladding enough to catch their attention just standing still.
In the ever present need to balance performance with fuel, we note our stick shift test model was rated at 16 MPG city, and 24 for highway miles, or 19 MPG combined. For those in a mellower mode, a six-speed automatic with TapShift manual emulation is available.
We could have spent our time in the "Hot Wheels" Camaro simply exploring this entire special edition's audio with the Chevrolet MyLink electronics setup in the dash. For those who get immersed in playing premium audio while in park, there's battery rundown protection. We didn't use the OnStar turn-by-turn navigation (or crash reporting), but did appreciate the rear backup camera and rear park assist since this kind of low slung sporty styling tends to create a blind spot in the rear. With weather on a kinder, gentler path as we set out, we also skipped heating the front seats.
Despite its own-the-road look and muscular driving credentials, the Camaro get kudos for safety, winning NHTSA's revised quadruple 5-star safety rating. Among reasons: A wealth of airbags, and the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system designed to help reduce rollover risk by applying throttle, braking or both to keep the car on course.
How does Chevrolet accommodate the need for special? With the Camaro, the Hot Wheels package adds a breath-catching $6,995 to the standard $36,135 price tag. With additional Navigation and exhaust dual performance packages, we clocked in at $45,720 total.
When we think of how much it could cost for fun—say to appropriate a 40-foot yacht, an elite six-digit supercar or a reservation as one of Virgin Galactic's first space adventurers, we think that Camaro, (that even comes equipped with rear child seat anchors), has scored a bargain for its true fans.