HSV fi­nally gets its right-hooks into the re­freshed 10-speed Ca­maro

Wheels (Australia) - - Contents - STEPHEN CORBY

JUST WHEN you thought the Hsv-badged Chevro­let Ca­maro couldn’t be any more tempt­ing to the grunt-lov­ing, old-school en­thu­si­ast, the even more at­trac­tive 2019 2SS model has been launched, and will of­fer a manly man­ual gear­box.

The six-speeder will be­come the stan­dard trans­mis­sion, yours for the slightly higher start­ing price of $86,990 (up $1000), while a 10-speed auto – re­plac­ing the cur­rent car’s eight-speed unit – will be the op­tion for left-leg-lazy buy­ers, at a $2200 pre­mium.

The man­ual comes with both rev- match­ing and hill-hold, al­though purists will snort with de­ri­sion at the idea of us­ing ei­ther, while the auto of­fers the bonuses of a cus­tomis­able launch-con­trol pro­gram, and a slightly con­tentious line-lock fea­ture.

Beloved of drag-strip diehards, line­lock al­lows you to hold your Ca­maro sta­tion­ary while you spin up the rear wheels with a big old smokey burnout, the kind of be­hav­iour that might well see you clamped in irons in po­lice states like Vic­to­ria. Amer­i­cans do seem ob­sessed with go­ing fast in a straight line, how­ever, so it’s a fea­ture Yank buy­ers love.

Ford chose to re­move sim­i­lar tech­nol­ogy from the Mus­tang GT, but HSV spokesman Da­mon Paull says his com­pany trusts its cus­tomers not to be ir­re­spon­si­ble. “We have em­pha­sised it’s avail­able for track us­age – we’ve been fairly clear on that,” he says. “It’s a track-only per­for­mance fea­ture.”

Un­like the first 550 ex­am­ples of the su­per-mus­cu­lar Ca­maro that HSV brought into the coun­try to un­dergo its right-hand-drive con­ver­sion, which were orig­i­nally specced for Ar­gen­tinian buy­ers, and thus not en­tirely ideal, the new ex­am­ples will be fit­ted with more cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy.

That in­cludes the lat­est-gen­er­a­tion Chevy in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with a 7.0-inch touch­screen of­fer­ing Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto. Also in­cluded is wire­less phone charg­ing, a re­vers­ing cam­era dis­played in the rearvi­sion mir­ror, a head-up dis­play, and for­ward-col­li­sion alert. What you don’t get is AEB, which is a star­tling omis­sion in this day and age.

Looks wise, the up­dated de­sign has been con­tro­ver­sial, but there’s a cer­tain moder­nity to the old-school Ca­maro ex­te­rior with twin-el­e­ment LED head­lights, a func­tional hood

scoop and the very cool sound­ing ‘flowtie’ grille em­blem, which al­lows air to flow through the fa­mous Chevro­let bow tie, a badge that many Holden own­ers have long cov­eted.

The rear has also been given a freshen up, with new tail-lights and a slightly more pinched look from the re­vised fas­cia, while the 20-inch wheels get a new five-spoke de­sign.

Un­der that at­trac­tive hood, the me­chan­i­cal pack­age re­mains the same, how­ever, with the 6.2-litre LT1 V8 pour­ing the same 339kw and 617Nm to the ground through the rear wheels. The 2019 Ca­maro weighs 1710kg and HSV claims 0-100km/h in just over four sec­onds. A Wheels test (Novem­ber 2018) man­aged 4.9sec from the cur­rent car.

HSV is still try­ing to shift some of its orig­i­nal al­lo­ca­tion of 550 Ca­maros, al­though it won’t say how many are left, but the first ex­am­ples of the 2019 2SS ar­rived for con­ver­sion at Clay­ton in Mel­bourne in March.

Su­per-keen en­thu­si­asts might, of course, want to keep their pow­der dry for the truly men­tal ZL1 model, which you can read all about on page 62…

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