IF YOU’ RE INTO muscle of the four-wheel kind, and you find the Ford Mustang too common, where do you turn to? The first obvious answer is HSV. It has positioned the Chevrolet Camaro 2SS at the exclusive end of the sub-$100K coupe market, partly because it has to. Rebuilding each one in right-hand drive after it arrives in Clayton, from America, sends its price upwards to $85,990.
You won’ be short-changed on performance, though. Its beefy 6.2-litre pushrod V8 is all torque. In most conditions and at the hands of most drivers the Camaro is a sub-5.0sec car to 100km/h from rest, easy. But it’ not a one-trick pony, either. It has a chassis to match, delivering solid rear-drive dynamics with only some iffy steering and a stiff ride to blot its report card. But its price also invites competition from a more exotic contender.
Lexus’ RC F is an aggressive two-door that packs a V8. And now that it’ been four years since it arrived, its $133K price tag when new has tumbled. In fact, there are plenty around the $70K mark. It weighs much more than a Camaro, but it’ also more sophisticated – like a fine cut of wagyu. It gets adaptive dampers, a 7100rpm cut-out, and its Samuraitough looks can fly under the radar. That said, it’ not the most involving car to drive on a twisting road, and it lacks the emotional appeal of the Camaro. But a set of straight pipes could fix that.
Either way, Camaro or RC F, you’ re getting a lot for your money.
4.0L V8TT, 309kW/550Nm, 82,547km, Melbourne, Vic
Twin-turbo V8 wrapped in an Armani suit. A great fast-lane chariot.
1.3L R2T, 206kW/304Nm, 83,113km, Bayswater, Vic
JDM-only Type R Bathurst R was the ultimate pick of the RX-7 bunch.
2.0L I4T, 206kW/373Nm, 124,733km, Bayswater, Vic
WRC-bred weaponry packed into a four-door Lancer shell. Legendary.
4.3L V8, 283kW/410Nm, 126,398km, Mitcham, Vic
Not the burliest V8, but still looks like it belongs in a new-car showroom.