Rent a 750-horse Hendrick Motorsports Camaro from Hertz

Henry Payne
The Detroit News

Call it Hertz Rent-a-Beast.

The car rental company has teamed with its NASCAR race team, Hendrick Motorsports, to offer steroid-juiced rentals of Chevy’s most insane Camaro muscle cars, the SS and ZL1.

Cloaked in a menacing black wardrobe with yellow stripes down the hood, the Hertz-Hendrick V-8-powered monsters can be smoked off the airport lot beginning at $99 a day for the SS. The Hendrick car gains 25 horsepower over the standard SS thanks to engine tweaks.

The ZL1, which harbors the same supercharged engine as the 650-horse Corvette Z06, is cranked to 750 ponies thanks to a Hendrick-exclusive Callaway supercharger. The ZL1 can be had for a stiff $299 a day.

Starting this fall, travelers can find the ZL1 at Hertz counters at airports in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and Phoenix. The SS will be at those locations as well as Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, San Diego, San Francisco and Tampa.

Hertz has sponsored Hendrick’s NASCAR No. 24 Camaro — one of four entered by Hendrick in the Monster Energy Series — since 2018 with driver William Byron on board. Hendrick’s supply of Camaros to Hertz completes the marketing loop. Rental companies are healthy markets for Detroit 3 muscle with the Camaro and its Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger competitors available.

Hertz’s so-called Hendrick “pace cars” are not the rental agency’s first performance car rodeo.

The company rents other performance cars as part of its Adrenaline Collection. The international rental brand rents Maseratis in Italy, Jaguars in England and “Kollektion 7” performance cars in Germany (including athletes like the BMW Z4, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 718 Boxster).

For the U.S. Ford faithful, Sixt Rent a Car offers a 600-horse Shelby Mustang GT-S with 600 horsepower in limited locations.

Renters of the Camaros might want to bring their helmet. They are the most ferocious Camaros on the market. The Hertz-Hendrick ZL1 is part of an elite club of muscle cars that puts out more than 700-horsepower, including the 717-horse Challenger Hellcat and forthcoming 760-horse Mustang GT500.

In addition to the custom paint job and engine upgrades, the Hertz-Hendrick cars will be distinguished by touches like special wheels and embroidered headrests with driver Byron’s signature and No. 24 team logo.

The celebrate the debut of the monster Camaros in Hertz’s fleet, customers can register to win an SS until Nov. 18. Five finalists get a day at Hendrick Motorsports’ Charlotte facilities that includes a ride-along with Byron at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Hertz partnership will help raise Camaro’s profile at a time when the badge has struggled. Camaro was the best-selling muscle car in the U.S. in 2014, but has since dropped to third.

Hertz customers can find more details at www.hertz.com/rentacar/misc/index.jsp?targetPage=custom_camaro.jsp

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne. Catch “Car Radio with Henry Payne” from noon-2 p.m. Saturdays on 910 AM Superstation.