HSV also converts the hulking Chevrolet Silverado full-size pick-up, while Walkinshaw is responsible for converting the RAM 1500 pick-up. Automotive mass-production might be dead in Australia, but HSV is proving that niche manufacturing is alive and well.
With the imminent end of the Holden brand in Australia, expect HSV to rebrand and maybe even add some other American-sourced GM models to its roster to convert and sell here.
But back to the Camaro. HSV launched the legendary nameplate here in September 2018 and since then it has benefited from a mild 2019 facelift that included fresh front-end styling.
The Camaro is offered in two grades – 339kW 2SS from $86,990 before on-road costs for the manual, and the blisteringly powerful 477kW ZL1 with a massive step up in price to $159,990. Swapping the manual for an automatic transmission adds $2200.
The Ford Mustang is the Camaro’s closest rival and in V8 guise it starts at $63,690, more than $20,000 cheaper than the Chevy. Granted, the Camaro costs more because it is converted in Australia for RHD, whereas the Mustang comes in RHD from the Michigan factory.
The Camaro has loads of standard equipment to make up for the high entry price. On the flipside, it misses out on safety gear that the Mustang has, such as autonomous emergency braking, but it does have a forward-collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
Our test car looked menacing in black, like a cross between the Batmobile and KITT from Knight Rider. And it got a lot of attention.
Inside, visibility isn’t great. The cabin feels closed in and the massive haunches, big B- and C-pillars and tiny rear windscreen impede vision. But most of this is typical of a low-slung sportscar.
Chevrolet is clearly going for a retro look with the dash and large circular air vents, but there’s a lot of black plastic and it’s all very busy and a bit early 2000s.
The only giveaway that this car was converted to RHD is the infotainment screen, which is angled towards the passenger. It’s also awkwardly angled downwards for some reason.
The sports seats are firm but supportive and we love the chunky sports steering wheel.