It’s difficult to talk about this particular Camaro SS without sounding clichéd: ‘raw’, ‘monster’, ‘presence’, ‘menacing’. Not many grey cells have been overworked conjuring up these terms, but when referring to the 45th Anniversary edition, they just seem right.
Take, for example, the hunched shoulders, sinister front grille, and the enormous hood scoop hinting at the pulsing 6.2l V8 underneath. Describing them in any other way wouldn’t do them justice, especially given the striking black finish. The reasoning behind these amplified features, aside from the muscle car DNA, is the Camaro heritage which this 45th Anniversary model honours.
Considering the fun we’ve been having with the Management Fleet convertible Camaro SS, we knew we had to get our grubby mitts on the Anniversary edition and celebrate 45 years in the right way. Yep, we’ve been for another sprint through the Hajar mountains.
Time to saddle up. My six-foot plus frame is a little hampered by the low-line roof, but the pseudo-cockpit feel to the cabin makes up for that. And even though most of the instrument panels and leather upholstery are adorned with ‘45th’, GM clearly want this car to be more than just a trinket.
Gone, for example, is the deep-dish steering wheel from our convertible, in favour of a smaller, more ‘sensible’ example. The brakes are also more responsive, and even though the noise of 395 rampaging horses doesn’t quite match the speeds we actually hit, the sight of the nose rising under heavy acceleration is immensely entertaining. I’m only twenty minutes into our run and I’ve already demonstrated this to fellow motorists several times. Don’t forget this car will hit 100kph from standstill in 4.6s and only run out of breath at 250kph.
Once we’re into the meat of the winding roads, I nail the throttle and watch the revs leap as we power towards 120(ish)kph. Steering can become light when we really get going as that muscle car weight makes its presence felt, but stiffer suspension means I can throw the 45 further and harder into corners than I would perhaps dare with a normal Camaro.
I wait a beat and get the power down out of the corner, confident the back will not snap round and throw me into the landscape. Gearshift paddles have sadly been replaced with buttons in the Camaro though, offering an out of character element of delicacy to the brute.
Since the smoking ruins of Motown aren’t available, we find the nearest available watering hole – complete with broken glass, graffiti and the occasional burn out mark – to pull over and stretch our legs before the blast back down.
GM have clearly worked hard to inject some precision into the Camaro lunacy, but there’s no getting past the 45’s roots. After all, surely that’s the whole point.
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