It’s a few minutes before 9 p.m. and I just missed the last flight out of Burbank to Las Vegas. By the time I drive south on Interstate 405, through LA traffic, there’s no way I’ll make the 10:15 out of LAX either. Flying to Vegas is no longer an option tonight, but I can still make it if I want, by car.
However, if I’m going to have any chance at hitting the strip before it’s too late, I’ll need to drive fast. Real fast. Fortunately, I’m packing power, punch, and speed behind the wheel of the 2020 Chevy Camaro LT1, and a few minutes after nine I’m already out on CA-134, driving northeast en route Las Vegas.
Cruising along the 134, then exiting to I-210 east, I can instantly feel all eight cylinders working. The Chevy Camaro LT1 is a mighty beast, weaving in and out, leaving the competition in the dust.
It’s late enough that most of the traffic has dispersed for the evening, and by the time I hit I-15 north, the road is wide open for the climb up El Cajon and the jaunt through the high desert and towns like Hesperia, Victorville, and Apple Valley.
Approaching Barstow around 10:35, it’s time to really see what this 2020 model of the Chevy Camaro LT1 can do. I crank up the volume and pump AC/DC through the six-speaker stereo and Apple CarPlay setup, and now it’s time to open this car up.
It doesn’t really take much for the 6.2 liter engine to kick into action. With just a little pressure from my heavy right foot, I can feel the might of the Camaro’s 455 horsepower and 650-pound-feet of torque. This engine is massive and responsive, and before I know it, I’m breaking land speed barriers, whizzing past countless 18-wheelers down the desert straightaways.
Now, this is a driving experience!
Of all the test driving I’ve done, this is my first time behind the wheel of a muscle car, and I’m relishing every moment of the experience, even if it is the middle of the night. Actually, this time of day is perfect for the task at hand. There’s hardly any traffic, so it’s smooth sailing into the Mojave National Preserve.
Around 11:25 p.m., I realize that I’m making such good time that I consider a quick stop in Baker to hit the Mad Greek Cafe, a legendary pit stop roughly 100 miles southwest of Vegas. However, I’m not the slightest bit hungry, so I redirect my attention to Zzyzx.
When you’re in a rush and making great time, the idea of pulling over seems completely counterproductive, but I know the roulette table will still be there when I arrive in Vegas, so rather than rush the process, I decide to take a moment to savor what has been an incredible drive from LA.
Parked on the side of the road in Zzyzx, I step outside for a few minutes to marvel at the vast and plentiful stars in the sky. So bright are the stars, so illuminated is the sky, that I become lost in my gaze, imagining the endless possibilities of the universe.
A test drive is a rather random time to delve into existentialism, and I still have my sights set on Las Vegas, so ultimately I pick a star, one star, my star, and make a wish for the coming weekend in Sin City. Then, I look down at the Camaro and promise to return to this exact spot on my way back to LA, so I can see the LT1 and the Mojave National Preserve in all their glory, sun shining down upon these magnificent manmade and natural wonders.
The 2020 Chevy Camaro LT1 is the kind of muscle car that dreams are made of: sleek, stylish, powerful, aggressive, and fast. It even has the vented hood made famous by the Super Sport, giving the car an almost elegant aesthetic, round and curvy in all the right places.
The LT1 packs a mighty punch, along with a tremendous ability to accelerate, almost instantly, which comes in handy as I merge back onto I-15 amid the numerous trucks and tractors. And, with less than a hundred miles to go until I reach Las Vegas, I crank up the speed one more time to enjoy the thrilling homestretch, once more blasting AC/DC out the speakers.
It’s been a most excellent drive, and amid all the compliments and superlatives, I can’t help but think that the 2020 Chevy Camaro LT1 sure has come a long way since the days of the boxy and rigid IROC-Z.
Dan Shapiro is a writer, editor, musician, and producer currently based in Los Angeles. In addition to covering some of the biggest fights in combat sports history, he’s also hunted down the world’s best sushi, skied the northern hemisphere in July, and chronicled Chinese underground music for publications like CNN, the New York Daily News, VICE, and Time Out. Dan also conjured up a ghost at the Chateau Marmont while out on assignment for RoadTrippers. Follow him on Twitter here.
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More Car Reviews and Road Trip Tales From Dan Shapiro
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