Discover New Places in a Camaro | Performance | Chevy New Roads

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2020-3-2 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

Driving the Big Island

Driving on the Island of Hawaii is unlike driving just about anywhere else on the planet. The landscape underneath the roadways is animated (and often edited) by volcanic activity, when not encroached upon by the irrepressible plant life that carpets this place. As a result, narrow highways roll across the Big Island almost as if they’d grown there, not been paved in place. Find the right stretch of road, with a willing car as a companion, and the Hawaiian island turns from simple paradise to driver’s paradise.


The 2020 Camaro SS is just the tool for roads like these. Of course, the potent 455-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 engine makes the Camaro SS magical anytime a straight stretch of road opens up. And on the many beautiful, twisting stretches of Hawaiian roadway, the excellent steering response and supple suspension make cruising a joy.


You can reliably find fun driving roads the world over by heading to the coast, or into the hills, and the same is true of Hawaii. Point your car toward geological activity, and you’re bound to find a few curves. But for some of the most interesting driving, along with jaw-dropping views on the Big Island, set aside a few days to explore these locations—you won’t regret it.

Kalapana-Kapoho Road / State Route 137

Hawaii State Route 137 is still named Kalapana-Kapoho Road on many signs and maps, but that is a misnomer. Head northeast on 137 out of the funky little village of Kalapana and you will indeed be pointing toward Kapoho, but the road won’t get you there anymore. In 2018, earthquakes hit the Puna region, opening fissures in the earth through which lava erupted. The flow cut off Route 137 just north of Isaac Hale Park, which today is an unmissable reminder that this is a landscape in constant flux.

The Details Matter

2020 Camaro SS

6.2L V8

ENGINE

455

HORSEPOWER

455 LB.-FT.

OF TORQUE

The 14 miles or so between Kalapana and Isaac Hale are worth the excursion. The road skirts the coast, regularly opening up for the kinds of views that only Hawaii can offer. Palm trees lounge on rocky cliffsides, looking for all the world like a postcard come to life. Grassy hills to the south give way to jungle scenery, especially through the Malama-Ki Forest Reserve, where one might slow down for a pass through tunnels of overhanging trees. It’s wise to slow down here, partly because of the many blind crests on undulating hills, but also for frequent wildlife crossings—darting mongooses, stray chickens, and even the occasional feral pigs.

 

The Camaro’s available 10-speed automatic transmission, which offers individual gear control by way of paddle shifters, is a perfect fit for a morning drive up and down 137. Even at modest speeds this setup is satisfying to use, allowing the driver to keep the engine in the sweet spot of the rev range with the flex of a finger. Don’t forget to roll the windows down for the double pleasure of hearing the sweet V8 burble and taking in the green smells of the forest all around you. If you feel like lingering on the Puna coast for a bit longer, downshift and turn into any of the parks or little beaches that dot this route.

Saddle Road / State Route 200

Resting between Mauna Kea to its north and Mauna Loa to its south, Saddle Road seems like a more fitting descriptor than its official map designation of State Route 200. The road climbs westward out of Hilo and connects with Route 190 to form the central east-west corridor on the Big Island. Though the ride up from the coast doesn’t scale the heights of the peaks that stand guard to either side, having 455 pound-feet of torque on tap does not go amiss on the ascent to more than 6,600 feet.

Saddle moves quickly from merely picturesque to fascinating after its northern split toward Waimea. Here the roadsides roll out into green fields and verdant hillocks to either side, evoking a buckled version of the Great Plains.

 

For years after its construction in the 1940s, this stretch of road was considered downright dangerous, with narrow shoulders, wicked elevation changes, and generally poor upkeep. These days the surface is well attended to and wider, leaving a ribbon-like stretch of asphalt seemingly custom-made for sports cars and driving enthusiasts. The rolling road steams over big hills and around fence lines, making Saddle hugely entertaining even at the posted 55- and 60-mile-per-hour speed limits.

 

This high portion of the island is also prone to rapidly changing weather conditions. Cloudless blue skies can give way to menacing fog in short order. So while Saddle Road is almost custom-made to exploit the Camaro SS’s quick steering, athletic chassis, great grip, and Brembo® performance-tuned brakes, it still pays to keep your head on a swivel. The very same conditions that provide such a thrilling drive also make this hilly stretch of blacktop utterly jaw dropping, with moody skies and never-ending vistas. It’s worth the effort to find one of the few safe places to pull off and take some photos.

Observatory Road / Mauna Loa

By far the slowest and most isolated of our recommended routes, the single-​lane trace know as Observatory Road (which winds 11,141 feet up to the Mauna Loa Observatory) is akin to embarking on an alien planet. The effects of volcanic activity can be seen everywhere on Hawaii, but few places lay the story simmering under the ground quite so bare as these slopes.

The road itself is improbable—almost fantastic—when you consider the task of paving a path on one of Earth’s most active volcanoes. Mauna Loa has erupted some 33 times since 1843, and though the last event was in 1984, the landscape around the road writes that history large. The road surface is a surprisingly flawless strip of blacktop straddling pulverized lava rock and surrounded by unending reddish​-black fields of char.

 

Speed isn’t advisable on Observatory; the posted limit of 25 miles per hour is entirely sensible considering the way the road twists over rises and turns unexpectedly, to say nothing of the occasional intrepid cyclist you’ll encounter. The Camaro proves a willing companion, though, smoothly gliding through this moonscape with excellent road manners.

 

The available Head-Up Display is also quite useful here, allowing the driver to keep eyes focused firmly ahead to scout for sometimes fast-​arriving oncoming traffic. If you do encounter someone headed down while you’re driving up, don’t panic: Road engineers allowed for frequent pull-off spots to get out of harm’s way.

 

It can take nearly an hour to drive the 17 or so miles from Saddle Road to the observatory, but it’s worthwhile to stop along the way. Cut the engine and step out of the car, and you’re rewarded with an unbroken silence that’s unusual in the modern world, incredible views of the epic landscape below, and air quality that will make you breathe deep.

 

There are also sightseeing and hiking to be done once you’ve reached the observatory, but remember to dress warmly, bring sun protection, and drink lots of water—at over 11,000 feet, the views are great but the environment can quickly become overwhelming in a variety of ways.

 

Three spectacular roadways, one incredible driver’s car, and a singular island full of possibilities. The Chevrolet Camaro SS was engineered for the spectacular places of the world, and the Big Island is a still-evolving paradise that offers a million different ways to enjoy the journey.

 

STORY: SEYTH MIERSMA / PHOTOGRAPHY: JUSTIN WIRTALLA / DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY: BAYLY BUCK

 

*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/39 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.

     

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to User Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service and GPS signals. OnStar links to emergency services. Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Data plan offered by AT&T. Services subject to user terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. Sirius, XM, SiriusXM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc.

  • EPA estimate for Sonic with available 6-speed automatic transmission.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and conditions.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain and driving technique.

  • Visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for vehicle and smartphone compatibility.

  • Available late 2018.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, your selected subscription plan will automatically renew thereafter. You will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. ©2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • EPA-estimated 28 City/39 Hwy MPG

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Read the vehicles Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android (TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service plan and paid AT&T Data plan. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated with available 3.6L engine (FWD).

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Available on all trims and standard on RS and Premier including 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Requires AWD model. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Map Coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987–July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan, and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • Requires Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 2WD DRW with fifth-wheel hitch and available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android(TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

     

  • 308 horsepower with available 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Colorado 2WD with available Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel 4-cylinder engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner's Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • 308 horsepower with standard 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner's Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • Read your vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Certain features require a SiriusXM subscription and the Chevrolet Connected Access plan. See siriusxm.com and onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/chevrolettires or see your dealer.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all trims:  Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Intellibeam Headlamps. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints.  Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.  See the Owner's Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • On LS models with available front-row split-bench seat.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity to some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires AWD and 3.6L engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models

  • Available on Crew Cab models

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

     

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    Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/bluetooth to find out which phones are compatible with the vehicle. Full Bluetooth feature functionality varies by device, model and software version.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

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