It’s taken a few days but the muscle and character of the Camaro is finally beginning to win me over. Once I’d had the chance to drive it outside of the urban environment, the 6.0-ltre Chevy proved an absolute blast!
I swear the entire front end lifts up when you hit the accelerator and the roar from the twin exhaust pipes is just too tempting to ignore. I’ve finally mastered the head-up display now too, which flashes the speed and various other features just above the line of the bonnet, reflected on the inside of the windscreen. Cool.
While there is plenty of flex in the convertible’s body design – manifested in the odd squeak and rattle – the Camaro is actually a very comfortable and quiet drive. The front seats are vast, like your grandfather’s favourite armchair.
The one place you don’t want to be sitting in this car is the passenger seat on a country A-road. It’s not that my driving is so bad, just that the Camaro is so wide you really do have to keep your eye on your lane positioning.
Just in case a 911 Cabriolet isn’t enough to get you noticed, Porsche has thoughtfully added the ‘Extrovert Button’. It’s right next to the gearstick and a quick press is guaranteed to turn every head in a 100 yard radius.
The sports exhaust system improves the car’s exhaust note by opening a flap in each of the twin exhaust system’s silencers. It turns the Cabriolet into a snarling beast – although why it’s not a standard feature on the latest 911 is rather surprising.
Shy, retiring types are unlikely to be driving a Porsche in the first place but having just returned from the Bath, I can tell you the 911 wouldn’t have been more conspicuous if I had Kate Moss siting naked next to me.
This latest version of the Cabriolet is around 60kg lighter than the old one and with a more powerful engine under the boot lid, it’s very fast indeed.
However, the best bit so far is the wind-blocker behind the driver’s seat. Wind-blockers are usually removed from a sports car and kept in the garage until the day you sell the car. In the 911, it pops up electronically from the hood well. Brilliant – and you can still hear yourself talking on the Bluetooth phone system at 65mph…
The big front grille on the Veloster Turbo suggests this is a happy coupe – it’s certainly a cut above the normally aspirated versions further down the range, which only have 138bhp to play with. The Turbo’s 184bhp gives it a decent turn of speed, although in the US the same engine has been tweaked to 204bhp!
What a shame that American model isn’t available here. The Hyundai feels like it could handle a lot more performance. It would help give the Veloster the edge over key rivals like the VW Scirocco and Astra GTC.
Our Turbo pulls well from low revs and is pretty smooth too. You have to work the six-speed gearbox on twisty A-roads but it will reward you with decent handling – if only the flat sounding exhaust pipes added a more exciting soundtrack!
And despite the Star wars looks, the Veloster lacks features many of us are becoming used to, like stop-start technology and an electronic handbrake. Although, that might tempt some people to consider it more seriously…