How much is too much for a Chevrolet Camaro?

You can grab a Mustang for as little as $49,990 or, if you want the V8 — $63,290 plus on-roads.

The starting price of the re-engineered HSV Chevrolet Camaro 2SS on the other hand is a whopping $85,990 — with the V8 thrown in.

Mind you that’s what you would have paid for a Clubsport and both cars would certainly appeal to the same group of buyers, a group that probably doesn’t include the man in the street (except for a few well heeled tradies that is).

Then there’s the icing on the cake, the Camaro ZL1, with a supercharged V8 and exey price tag of $160,000.

That’s still 10 grand less than the previous HSV GTS, but does see the car rubbing shoulders with German heavy hitters like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

With 477kW of power and a staggering 881Nm of torque, it is the most powerful vehicle that HSV has ever produced — bar none.

Remember, the Commodores were conversions in a manner of speaking too.

For those seeking a V8 with a “bowtie” the ZL1 is the stuff of dreams . . . big, mean and raucous, with movie star looks and a road presence like no other.

But at the price a dream it will most certainly remain for the vast majority of punters and, without a garden variety V8 SS to throw them, Camaro could well have a negative effect, instead of the positive vibe the brand is hoping to generate.

To explain, it’s flashy cars like the Camaro that draw people into showrooms, like bees to honey.

At the same time most of these same people walk out with the keys to another, less expensive model — the car they can in effect afford.

Which all begs the question: has Ford got it right and Holden got it wrong?

From all accounts, the affordable Mustang has been a runaway success.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.