8.25.2011

2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Review

Front 3/4 view of red 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible parked with top down
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible. Side effects may include elevated heart rate.
Go ahead, stare. I'll wait.

That, frankly, was the only thing that kept me from jumping in and twisting the key when they dropped off the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible. I had to look. For a long time. The thing was just incredibly gorgeous. A perfect blend of sensuality and menace.

Regular TireKicker readers know we haven't given a bad review to the re-born Camaro. We liked the SS coupe, and found that the 6-cylinder RS coupe was a big-time winner, as well. The only complaint we've ever had about the new Camaro was how dark the interior was...a combination of high doorsills, a low roof, minimal glass area and a sea of black plastic.

Rear 3/4 view of 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible driving with top down
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible from the rear. No, there is no bad angle.

Problem solved. Not only does the convertible allow light and visibility, with the top down, the Camaro looks slimmer, sleeker...and even more desirable.

My only complaint now? That Chevy remembered to come get it at the end of the week.

The tester was the Camaro 2SS Convertible. That takes the 426-horsepower 6.2 liter V8, 20-inch bright painted aluminum wheels, four-piston Brembo vented front disc brakes, SS front and rear styling treatment, seat embroidery and limited-slip differential and adds leather-appointed seats, a heads-up display, the four-gauge cluster on the console (just like the '67-'69), a Boston Acoustics 8-speaker premium audio system, Bluetooth and a USB port. Starting price: $39,650. Ours had just one option, the RS Package, which swapped out the wheels for 20X8s in the front and 20X9s in the rear, with a midnight silver finish, HID headlamps with a halo ring and RS taillamps. That's $1,200. Fold in $850 for destination charge, and the bottom line is $41.700.

Red and black leather interior of 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible interior. Ahhh, much better.


So what's it like from behind the wheel? Fast. Like 4.8 to 60 and 13-second quarter miles. Furious...as in the engine note when you leave it in second and tromp on it (it makes great sounds in third and fourth, too). And then there's the other "F" word. Fun. Like little kids waving from inside the minivan in the next lane...teenagers doing 180s on their skateboards to look as you go by...pretty girls giving you looks (yes, it's the car...but you're IN it) you haven't seen in years.

And let's face it. There aren't many cars available today that can make all those things happen. There are some that can't make any of those things happen. And apart from a Mustang GT Convertible, there aren't any others who can make it happen for $41,700 as tested...and get an EPA estimated 16 city/24 highway in the process (the Mustang has 24 horsepower less, but is smaller, lighter and gets 17 city/26 highway).

When the ponycar and muscle car era of the late 60s came to a screeching halt in the early 70s, a lot of people thought the party was over for good. Well, it took a while, but not only are they back...they're better performers than they were 40-plus years ago.

Happy days are here again.

1 comment: