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Review: 2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

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I triple-checked the parking brake and glanced ahead through the narrow windshield—almost more of a viewing port—at the “ZL1″ affixed to the hood scoop’s side. I heard Jeff Glucker, Hooniverse’s executive editor, in my head.

Don’t f— it up.

Well, he hadn’t said those words, but he’d typed them in an email to let me know what I’d be driving for my short weekend visit to California to serve as a member of the austere and somber 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court. Nevertheless, I heard his voice when I first read those words and I heard it again as my thumb pinched the ignition key against my index finger.

Don’t f— it up.

My foot floored the stiff clutch pedal and I rolled my wrist forward. The Chevrolet Camaro’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 sprang to burbling life and the whole chassis oscillated with the cam’s lope, a mighty American bear awakened. Ready to pounce.

I chanced a grin before those words popped up again in a buttery smooth podcast voice.

Don’t f— it up.

I furrowed my brow. This brand-new Camaro was about to see the easiest 330 journalist miles of its service life.

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Review: 2014 Chevrolet SS
A last dash for Aussie gold

chevy ss lede

We look upon the Australian automotive offerings with jealous delight. There are coupes, wagons, and sedans that we’d love to put in our own garages. Don’t even get me started on Utes…

It’s not often that a bit of Oz awesomeness makes it Stateside though, and that’s because the idea of a rear-wheel-drive V8-powered bruiser only appeals to a limited bit of the market. We love that bit of the market, and that means we should love the 2014 Chevrolet SS. It’s a rebadged Holden Commodore VF, which means it has a 6.2-liter LS3 motor up front and the driven wheels planted out back.

Sounds like a recipe for Hooniversal success… but is it? Hop on down to find out.

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Video Review: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
‘Murica’s sports car… goes global

2014 chevrolet corvette stingray convertible hooniverse 

It’s been a long time coming…

The idea of a true American sports car has been laughed at by the rest of the planet. Even Latvia chuckles when we say that we can make a car go around corners well. The Germans give us a gentle chuckle and a pat on the back. Japan reminds us that a sports car is supposed to go in multiple directions. Even the United Kingdom, which has relegated its sports cars to luxury duty (built in India) smiles and gives us a sarcastic thumbs up, when we say that we can build a real-deal sports car.

You know what?

F*$k ‘em all… the C7 Corvette is ready to set the world on fire.

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Video Review: 2014 Chevrolet Impala

2014-chevrolet-impala

For fans of the Chevrolet brand, the name Impala can conjure up some strong emotional ties and feelings. It should too, seeing as this is a name that was first applied to a vehicle in 1958. It then carried on for decades until it died a malaise-tastic death. The Impala was revived for the wonderful SS models in the mid 1990’s before going away again for a bit. After that we were “treated” to the 9th generation Impala… so, yeah?

Eventually, however, Chevrolet went back to the proverbial and actual drawing board to bring us the latest Impala. It’s an important car for General Motors, and I think it’s a sign that Chevy could be back on track from one end of its model lineup all the way to the other.

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First Ride: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 [w/Video]
A finely honed track weapon

2014-chevrolet-camaro-z28-lede

I don’t really care for the Chevrolet Camaro.

If you’re a regular reader of Hooniverse, you’ve heard me say that before. Sure, the older ones are definitely cool, but I have no love for the modern version. The Camaro ZL1 is certainly a blast thanks to its delightful amount of horsepower and noise. Folks who have driven the 1LE rave about its handling prowess. But other than those two (and one aftermarket tuned example), I’ve never enjoyed my time with the Camaro.

I’m telling you this so you fully understand just how impressed I am by the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. General Motors flew a handful of folks to Michigan so we could get a closer look at the latest machine to wear a very important badge. No, I didn’t get to drive the car, but I ride shotgun…

…and it was enough to blow me away.

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Quick Spin: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel

2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel Engine

It is pretty amazing, but General Motor’s past experiences with diesel-powered cars still remain a punch line of many jokes. It’s no surprise then that it has taken them decades to very carefully come out with a new diesel offering. That new diesel, a 2-liter, four cylinder was installed under the hood of the midsized Chevy Cruze, a significantly more conservative choice than the company’s diesel models of the past.

Chevy makes no secrets that the Cruze is aimed directly at the hot-selling Jetta TDi. Chevy will quickly point out their car is more powerful, with 151hp and 250lb-ft, more efficient, and less expensive when comparably equipped (MSPR: $25,695). If Volkswagen was here to defend themselves, they would say that their car has a lower starting price and is available with a manual transmission, which has a very high take.

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Video Review: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

I don’t really have much love for the Camaro. There are, of course exceptions thanks to those examples built before 1970, and the occasional aftermarket-tweaked version. Still, as the car comes from the factory it really doesn’t do much for me. There is, however, a new one… and it arrives packing a 580-horsepower surpcharged V8 engine under the hood.

Is that enough to make me change my opinion? Let’s see shall we…

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Quick Spins: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Turbo

Jeff Glucker September 18, 2012 Chevrolet Reviews, Reviews

For years eons, Chevrolet has coughed up small cars with a quality level that made the buyers understand that the automaker actually hates them. If you bought an Aveo, General Motors would send a pack of 16-year-old bullies to your house to stand on the corner and make fun of you until you started crying. Thankfully though, those days are long gone, and the bow-tie-badge loving brand has developed an affinity for the A, B, and C segment machines that flow forth from its assembly plants around the world. One of those vehicles is the Chevrolet Sonic… and it’s quite good.

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Quick Drive: 2013 Chevrolet Spark

Brace yourselves, because obnoxious and loud Chevy Spark commercials are coming. That’s the bad news. The good news, however, is pretty much everything else about the Chevy Spark.  It’s a small, inexpensive, zippy, fuel efficient car. But there is more to the Spark; it’s not just another cheapo econobox, but rather it was designed to be hip and fun, targeted specifically at the youngest of car buyers. The question is – will it be a sales success or a marketing flop?

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Review – 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition [w/video]

 

Chevrolet has been churning out vehicles for over 100 years now. The automaker was founded in November of 1911 by a man named Louis Chevrolet, which is pretty convenient in hindsight. Mr. Chevrolet was a Swiss-born Frenchman with a penchant for racing. He came to the States and began piloting quick cars for for Fiat. Soon after he was tasked by General Motors to run race cars for the Buick brand. During his time with Buick, Lou Chevy began to understand just what it takes to design and build cars. Chevrolet automobiles sprouted up, and the Bow Tie-brand continues to pump out cars and trucks to this day.

As a tip o’ the cap to Louis, Chevy has put out a special edition Corvette that serves as a proper homage to the man that founded the company. Racing was in his blood, and these Centennial Edition Vettes are set to boil off your own precious red fluid. I was lucky enough to spend a week with the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition… and I think Louis would be happy with the modern sports car that his namesake is churning out.

Keep reading to learn more, and watch a video where I spend my time from dusk to dawn getting my hoon on.

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