Hot Wheels without the muscle

A new derivative of the face-lifted Chevy Camaro comes with a 2-litre turbo. But, what's point of a muscle car without the muscle?

There’s nothing quite like an American muscle car, is there? The feeling of an accentuated masculinity, made tougher by the open road and a gas-guzzling V8 that will leave you more broke than ever but happier than a Cape Tonian with a shower. Aah, what a dream…

Indeed, this new facelift can give you all that it in the bucket loads because if you buy the V8, you’ll get all the usual good stuff: More torque than a Oom’s double cab (thank goodness bro) and enough kW to embarrass a GTi or two between William Nicol lights! Nice.

But, how’s this: For the first time in history this Camaro will also (if you’re mad enough to buy it) come with a 2-litre turbo called the 1LE, which we cannot guarantee will do much to intimidate our favourite Chevy Spark, never mind our favourite hot hatch back.

Yes, like the Mustang once did, a new derivative of this Chevy Camaro has shed 4 cylinders in the pursuit of something cleaner and lighter, which is all for show really. For, if you truly believed in cleaner and lighter running vehicles you wouldn’t waste your money on a 2-litre turbo anyway so it gets you thinking why someone would buy the 2-litre at all.

It’s like buying the horse without the saddle, or a Playstation without a remote. There is literally no point buying a muscle car without the muscle so why buy a muscle car?

Perhaps though the most concerning thing about this new facelifted Camaro is not necessarily its 2-litre derivative (which is just too ridiculous to carry on talking about) but its very plastic lines that look very Hot Wheels-like.

New muscle cars generally look a little toy-like, but that is part of their appeal. American cars arrive puffed out, and their accentuated lines are culturally appropriate; it's what you would expect from a nation that thrives on the flashy – much like South Africa. This however, plainly, looks very plastic and quite frankly, it looks a little cheap.

It gets you worried too: For, if indeed you were wise enough to buy the V8 (please do) could you still get out and lean on the bonnet without denting it, like a boychee in a pair of Nikies?

We’re not so sure.