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Running the Power Tour Route in a Real Life Hot Wheels Camaro

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 6/8/2018 Hot Rod Network Staff
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If you are a car guy in any capacity, chances are you grew up playing with die cast Hot Wheels cars as a kid, and maybe you still collect them to this day. Fifty years ago, the original "Sweet 16" Hot Wheels cars were released to the public, and one of those was a first generation Camaro. So Chevrolet partnered with Hot Wheels for their golden anniversary to create a full-scale Hot Wheels Camaro you can actually drive on the street! Available on the 2018 Camaro 2LT and 2SS models, this special edition gets its own unique Crush orange exterior reminiscent of the plastic track we sent our 1/64th scale cars hurtling down, beautiful 20-inch satin graphite wheels that look like they would be right at home on the toy version, contrasting black and metallic accents dotting the exterior, a nicely appointed orange and jet black leather interior with orange stitching, and a plethora of Hot Wheels badging inside and out. It truly is like a toy come to life.

Chevrolet Performance kindly lent us a convertible version of the car complete with the Super Sport package to pre-run the route we had planned for Power Tour 2018. With bright orange paint and a rumbling V8, this ride definitely kept us from slipping subtly through any of the sleepy, southern towns along the route exactly the kind of car you want to do some promotional work. This particular vehicle came outfitted with the 6.2L, direct-injected, 455-hp LT1 mated to an eight-speed, paddle-shifted automatic transmission that sent power to a 3.73:1 rear gear and independent rear suspension. The real party piece, and perhaps our favorite option on this car, was the active exhaust that essentially bypasses the muffler when in sport mode making this car sound like an absolute animal with snaps, crackles, and pops that put Rice Krispies to shame. Pair that with a convertible top, and suddenly tunnels and underpasses became our best friends out on the open road.

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We only ran the first four legs of the route in the Camaro, while another team ran the final three in a Corvette Z06, but the first few days of driving were just perfect for this grand touring sports car. Curvy mountain roads with tons of elevation change were taken with ease by the Alpha-series chassis that underpins all sixth gen Camaros, and the massive Brembo brakes quickly bled off speed when entering a tight corner. The suede-wrapped steering wheel provided just the right amount of feedback from the road below so that you could be confident the car would hold the corner, and the roar of that engine was a raucous symphony that echoed of the mountain walls announcing our presence everywhere we went.

Not only was this car great because of its performance capabilities, but it was also quite comfortable, even on the long stints of Power Tour. The seats were downright cozy and even had the options to heat or cool your back while riding down the road the latter option being used liberally in the balmy southern heat with the top down. In addition, the car had a premium sound system on which to enjoy your choice of music. The ride was far from harsh, and there was no buffeting even with the top retracted, thanks to modern aerodynamics.

All in all, we saw some great scenery along the way, ate lunch at some fantastic southern restaurants, and drove through small town America in a Chevrolet Camaro while checking up on the route for HOT ROD Power Tour 2018. Does it get more American than that?

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