Re-live your youth – only faster
Words by Cam Benty
Photos by Chevrolet
Most car enthusiasts love Hot Wheels. It’s just a simple fact that more than not, their first car was probably really small and really fast with a Hot Wheels logo on the underside. We bet that most of you/us still have a Hot Wheels toy from your youth in a box in the attic or maybe even on our desk at home. This fanaticism is the rationale behind Chevrolet’s creation of a line of special interest cars branded with the Hot Wheels name – their latest – the 50th anniversary Hot Wheels Camaro.
Lest you be lost in the crowd, the newest Hot Wheels Camaro is draped in bright orange with black striping cues. In addition to the exterior appointments, including a signature rear deck spoiler, the interior features a similar orange trim upholstery treatment that harkens back to an era when brightly colored interior motifs were all the rage. While it’s not for everyone, it was fun driving the car for a week and getting to relive a childhood dream of driving a full-scale Hot Wheels car.
Our Hot Wheels Camaro was not all flash and no dash. Outfit with the 2SS package and 6-speed manual transmission, the car was super fun to drive. With a ready 455HP and 455 lb. ft. of torque at your command, the car would jump on the drop of the clutch and deliver not only terrific off-the-line performance but amazing handling. The quick ratio steering and low-profile Goodyear Summer tires wrapped around custom 20-inch alloy wheels made for a light feel and agile maneuverability.
The interior of the Camaro is well laid out with clearly a focus on retaining many of the original first generation Camaro (1967-69) elements such as the deep pocket cluster where the gauges are deeply embedded in the surface. The Instrument panel also includes a host of current-day trickery such as full electronic readouts that can be changed through the steering wheel button array. Overall the system was fairly intuitive – in all fairness – due to our experience with earlier model years.
The glorious part of the interior was the manual transmission system that was light and smooth making for both ease of operation in traffic and in performance driving mode. The manual transmission equipped 2SS package is our preference over the automatic shifted version. With this 450+ HP engine rating, this “normal” Camaro is the quickest F-Body to be had short of outrageously powerful ZL1 that tips the dyno at over 650HP!
Our Hot Wheels Camaro was in effect a 2018 model – thus the 50th anniversary badging that is boldly stated on the exterior. Currently, there are some of these jewels still available for those desiring the looks of this dramatically unique car (they went on sale starting February 2018). For those looking to really make a statement, a COPO drag race Camaro is also available – all the fast of the 9-second race car in a Hot Wheels wrapper.
For those that prefer a subtler machine, the same package, sans the Hot Wheels motif can be ordered at your Camaro dealer today in a vast number of colorations. But for those looking for an instant collectible, these special-order Hot Wheels cars will be offered and when they are gone, they are gone, relegating you to break own a box in the attic to play with your Hot Wheels once again.
The choice is yours. Don’t miss out.