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New vs Used: Buy the new Chevrolet Camaro 2SS or get a used HSV GEN-F2 GTS

By Trent Giunco, 22 Jul 2019 Advice

New vs Used: Buy the new Chevrolet Camaro 2SS or get a used HSV GEN-F2 GTS

Both offer V8, rear-drive grunt, but which flavour is best – Aussie or American?

It’s rather sad, when you think about it, but there’s a few too many HSV GTSR W1s for sale on the used market. And just about all of them sit idle with scarce kilometres (quite often less than 1000km) and $200k-plus price tags. However, bring back the goal posts to around $85,000 and you can get behind the wheel of a GEN-F2 GTS and fulfil all your V8 cravings while ticking the nostalgia box. Conversely, that piggy bank could also score you American muscle in the form of the Chevrolet Camaro 2SS.

Read: Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2019 review

CHEVROLET CAMARO 2SS

It’s iconic, distinctly American and it’s powered by a big V8 with a soundtrack to match. If you like tough coupes, then the HSV-converted Chevy Camaro 2SS ticks a lot of boxes. It’s hard to argue against when there’s 339kW and 617Nm under your right foot and an angry soundtrack.

Sweetening the deal further is the asking price of $86,990 (for the six-speed manual), which is affordable given the performance on offer. Bang for your bucks is certainly high. Launch control and a line-locker function are standard, but we’d never use either…

Read next: Ford Mustang v Chevrolet Camaro comparison review

Despite gaining the updated car for 2019, the 2SS continues with a busy ride quality, steering that never really weights up how you’d like and it has a tendency to single-peg out of corners. However, that’s just about all the dynamic flaws as the Camaro offers huge lateral grip. It feels like a more focused, rear-drive coupe than its direct rival, the Ford Mustang. Interestingly, the 10-speed auto shares most of its innards with its Blue Oval enemy.

Pragmatic concerns are a bit pointless when buying a coupe, but there’s more than enough cabin space for two. And there’s enough luggage capacity to cater for a weekend getaway to boot. The conversion from left- to right-hand drive is largely successful, with only a few ergonomic fails as remnants of its previous US-born life. The shape of the steering wheel is odd, too.

While the claimed 0-100km/h time is a rather rapid 4.0sec, there is a higher rung. If you’re in need of more modern GM performance, there’s the Camaro ZL1 and its 477kW/881Nm of supercharged LT4 goodness. But you’ll also need $160k. Ouch.

HSV GEN-F2 GTS

For lovers of big, rear-drive Aussie four-doors with hulking V8s shoehorned under bulging bonnets, it’s hard not to be sentimental. Nostalgia is real. While the GEN-F2 GTS might not be the pinnacle of our engineering knowhow, it’s a high watermark. Only the likes of the GTSR and GTSR W1 outrank it. Until those final hurrahs, the GTS’s 430kW and 740Nm made it the most revered lion in the pride.

Read: HSV MY15 range reviewed

While riding the wave of supercharged torque is fun, the sound emanating from every fibre of the GTS’s being is obnoxiously intoxicating. The 6.2-litre LSA unit might not be tech-heavy, but no one can argue against its efficacy, especially in this application. There’s a beefed-up six-speed auto to choose from, but the six-speed manual is the pick. You can never really negate its physical size and heft, but the GTS is endowed with an impressive level of dynamics and the ride quality benefits massively from the magnetorheological dampers.

What’s more, turn down the wick and you can feasibly use the GTS as a family sedan. There’s ample room for five and the boot is positively cavernous compared to often cramped sports cars. Being the last of the line, the GTS’s cabin benefits from its VF II Commodore roots and gains plenty of equipment as well as body-hugging seats.

Read: 2016 HSV Clubsport, Senator, GTS, Grange and Maloo Review

For around $85k you can pick up a GTS-430 with next-to-no kilometres on the clock. Considering the as-new sticker was $95,590 in 2016, the time might be now to grab one. The market for our Aussie classics can be fickle. You’ll probably be visiting a lot of servos and spending your weekends buying rear tyres, but for a car that cost a fraction of the outlay its German/Japanese rivals commanded in the day, how can you not love it?


Specs comparison 

 

 

Chevrolet Camaro 2SS

HSV GEN-F2 GTS

Price (new)

$89,190 

$95,590 

Engine

6162cc V8, ohv, 16v

6162cc V8, ohv, 16v, supercharger

Output

339kW/617Nm

430kW/740Nm

Transmission

10-speed automatic

6-speed manual

0-100km/h

4.0sec (claimed)

15.7L/100km

Efficiency (combined)

11.5L/100km (claimed)

6.4L/100km

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

Doors

2

 4

Seats

4

5

Wheel size

20-inch

20-inch

 

   

Country of origin

USA

Australia

 


Wheels staff picks


Trent Giunco
Staff Journalist

While some would say it’s un-Australian not to pick the big, bad HSV GTS, I’m choosing it because the GEN-F2 is quite an achievement. Admittedly the Camaro sounds almost as good and the two-door coupe offers a dynamic advantage, but the HSV is hilariously powerful and not altogether uncouth when the road gets twisty. Although that last bit does depend on how you choose to drive it. Ultimately, 430kW and 740Nm is going to need some managing. Yes, it’s heavy and cumbersome to some, but the final GTS is loveable, practical and worth holding on to.


Tom Fraser
Digital Content Manager

As happy as I am that HSV are importing the ballistic new Camaro, my $85k would go directly toward a GEN-F2 GTS. There’s just something about an Australian designed and built sedan that can shred its rear tyres to pieces that is undeniably cool. While it mightn’t be as technologically advanced as the new Camaro, I’d still be happy with the extra practicality of a four-door, and not to mention the extra supercharged power the GTS delivers over the Camaro. Now, if it were a Camaro ZL1 vs HSV GTS, that’d be a different story…


Andy Enright
Deputy Editor

Head says the Camaro 2SS, heart goes for the HSV GTS. While the VF-II morphed into a wholly loveable thing, there’s no getting away from the fact that it was huge. I mean, vast. It’s longer than a 2014 Mercedes S-Class and at nigh-on 1.9 tonnes, even with all that power, physics catches up with it in the end. The Camaro feels so much more nimble and modern. It’s almost 200kg lighter, is supposedly quicker to 100km/h (4.0s versus 4.4s) and, well, I really don’t need big rear seats that badly. Head wins. Camaro, please.

 

Reckon we’ve got it right? Or are we way off the money (literally)? Find your best and let us know in the comments what you’d buy.