chevrolet camaro ss

2014 Chevrolet SS

Who can recall the last rear wheel drive 4 door SS that Chevrolet had? If you can, you’ll remember it to be the 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS. A barge of a car, the Impala SS was essentially a Chevrolet Caprice with the package that their police counterparts came with, along with some body colored bumpers, different wheels, oh, and an engine derived from the Corvette’s LT1. I must admit I was never a fan of the Chevy Caprice in stock form, but the ’94-96 Impala SS always caught my attention, to the point that I even looked for one for my first car.

10 years after the 1994 Impala SS came around, Chevrolet has introduced the 2014 Chevrolet SS, which is essentially a new and improved Pontiac G8 that made it to our shores from GM’s Australian division before Pontiac got the ax, and guess what? This car is good. It checks all the boxes needed if you’re a dad who wants to have a fun, sporty car with room for a car seat.

The SS is pretty much a 4 door Camaro SS. It has the same 6.2l V8 engine found in the Camaro SS(a little less HP, 415hp vs. 426) and the same 6 speed automatic transmission. Oh yeah, hope you don’t mind an automatic, as thats the only transmission available, but hey, you’ll appreciate it when you’re trying to stop little Timmy from hitting his brother. This car comes pretty much with no options available, but thats because it comes with the majority of normal optional features standard. However, you do have the option to choose whether or not you want a full size spare tire and wheel, as well as a sunroof.

For a price tag of around $46,000 you get a slew of standard features, some of which include such premium features like keyless push button start, an 8″ color touchscreen with navigation, heated and ventilated seats, heads-up display, remote start and a plethora of safety features like lane departure, blind zone alert, rear traffic alert, forward collision alert, parking assist, and a rear view camera. All-in-all a great set of features for what you’re paying.

This car was very well composed, a little stiff, but surprisingly comfortable. It is something you could live with on a day to day basis, but still tackle the corners when you’re all alone. Handling was very crisp, and provided pretty good feedback. The flat bottomed steering wheel was a very nice added touch to enhance the sportiness feel. With all the safety nannies on I was surprised at how well they were able to keep that rear end planted to the ground and keep the car composed when pushing it hard into turns. It reins you in pretty well in case you push a little too hard. There isn’t really much you can say about the 6.2L 415hp LS3 V8, it’s a big thunderous V8, which is quiet when you want it to be, but the burble lurks subtly so you know its ready to go whenever you are. As for the people behind you, they’ll be well aware of when you step on the gas, as it’s not a polite exhaust full out, but damn does it sound great.

Inside you’ll find all the comforts you need, from a decently appointed dash with some nice leather and alcantara touches, to nicely bolstered and supportive seats. The seats were a little wide for my body type, still very comfortable, but for your average American these were perfect. The only quibble I had was with the cheap chrome-looking pieces located throughout the dash and center console. To me they felt a little cheap, and were a little gaudy looking.

Overall the Chevrolet SS is a great car. It hits all the points in sportiness and comfort. If you’re looking for something fun and to tide over the 25 year old in you, all the while having a completely capable family sedan for a day to the zoo, then this is an ideal car for you.

2013 Hot Wheels Edition Chevrolet Camaro

When I was a little boy, I remember thinking to myself, “Gee, wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could shrink down in size so I could fit inside my Hot Wheels cars so I could drive them around and do the loop!” Well, since that is pretty much impossible, Chevrolet and Hot Wheels teamed up to bring us something us adults can actually fit into. For many, this is a dream come true, for others, its just another way to make some money from some suckers. While at first I was a little skeptical of this appearance only package upgrade, after driving around for a day, it brought me back to my childhood days. Now, you can get the package on any version of the Camaro, but if you want to have the most fun, I’d advise you to get it on the SS. For some pretext, I drove the original 2010 Camaro SS when it first reappeared back in 2009.
chevy-camaro-ss-2010While it was a vast improvement over the previous generation of Camaro, I felt a bunch of things lacking. The steering felt numb, the shifter was clunky, and you just felt generally unconnected to the ground and the car. While the car was plenty quick, I got bored of driving it just as quickly. It just didn’t feel like a driver’s car.

Fast forward to 2013, and with the addition of some new updated parts, I can say that the steering feel, shifter feel, and connectedness on this 2013 Hot Wheels Edition Camaro SS is much better. Overall feel for the road has increased, as well as responsiveness. Rather than feeling like I was just floating on the road, I can feel what lies beneath, and can get a better connection to the car. A nice added feature to 2013 is the dual-mode exhaust, which basically lets the Camaro be nice and quiet, until you really get on the gas, and what a wonderful sound does that make! It’s no wonder why people get into so much trouble in these types of cars, it begs to be opened up, and listened to.

One must be careful, however, as the rear end likes to break loose with any kind of overzealous right foot, even with traction control on. But if you want to leave a nice double solid black line, traction control can be defeated, and the burning of rubber can commence.

Now back to the dream as a kid driving a Hot Wheels car. Being in this car, and seeing the kind of attention it got surely felt good. The Kinetic Blue Metallic paint when properly polished up looks beautiful, and while its not Spectraflame, it sure does get the job done of standing out. This Hot Wheels car has their logo emblazoned all over the car. There are embroidered seats, aluminum door sills, and emblems everywhere to let you, and everyone else around you, know that you’re driving around in a Hot Wheels branded car. To make it even more complete, they gave this edition a nice classic Hot Wheels feature, Redline wheels, albeit subtle Redlines, that really only true Hot Wheels fans will notice and appreciate. Oh, and there’s one more thing, Hot Wheels even put into production a 1/64th scale mainline diecast car replicating the real life sized Hot Wheels Camaro, which you see in the photos.

So, is this a car for the masses? No. Will it appeal to everyone? No. Would I buy one with my own money? Sure, if I had plenty of it. It could be a great heirloom to pass onto future generations of Hot Wheels collectors. But beyond that special feeling that you are driving a true to life Hot Wheels, this is nothing more than a gussied up Camaro, which I’m sure one day, maybe, will become a collectible.