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Old 01-27-2011, 05:28 PM   #1
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Post C&D: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Review - Short Take Road Test

Via Car and Driver:

Full review - http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test


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Visibility issues in the turret-like Chevy Camaro, well-documented in this journal, are now cured by simply ordering  the car without a lid. The view from Lookout Mountain isn’t as commanding as the one from the long-awaited Camaro convertible—once its top is dropped.

A rocker switch stationed near the rearview mirror puts the Camaro’s canvas in motion after you’ve released the single mechanical twist-handle anchoring the top to the windshield header. The time it took the roof to Z-fold into the trunk seemed longer than the past election season, until we timed it: 17.7 seconds, which is actually quicker than some of those German android hardtops, including the BMW 3-series’.

The Camaro’s roof is a cleanly stitched canvas ceiling that hides its joints and spars within a thick, sound-absorbent headliner. Erect, it is almost as smooth and taut as a timpani head, and it’s a decent facsimile of the coupe’s rakishly slippery steel top—blind spots included.

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Folded, the top crams into a well in the trunk, mostly lying below the horizontal plane formed by  the Camaro’s body. A couple of stray shin bones stick up, but those can be hidden by the included tonneau cover, whose many  tabs and flaps take some wrestling to put into place.

A fabric curtain in the trunk ensures that the top doesn’t collide with cargo, and it must be in place before the roof will move. About a quarter of  the small, 10.2-cubic-foot trunk is lost to the top, leaving just enough space for half a pro golf bag. Figure on playing only nine holes that day.

Chevy is proud of the Camaro’s stiffness, claiming torsional rigidity that tops that of the 3-series convertible. Aside from some distinct quivers up the steering column, the Camaro’s structure feels adequately sound. Usually convertible versions get a softer suspension to absorb more bumps and make life easier for the compromised structure. Ford does it on the Mustang, for example.

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But the topless Camaro—which has extra bracing linking the front shock towers, supporting the transmission, bridging the prop-shaft tunnel, and tying the front and rear subframes to the unibody—has the exact same spring and shock tune as the coupe, says Chevy. So we weren’t surprised to find as much lateral grip (0.90 g on the skidpad) and steering that feels the same as the coupe’s: quick and a bit lifeless.

The penalty is weight: a burdensome 246 pounds more than the hardtop Camaro SS (compared with the 174-pound gain of the Mustang GT’s convertible conversion). The topless Chevy’s punch-out times are thus delayed. The 60-mph mark arrives 0.3 second slower, at 4.9 seconds. A standing quarter-mile is covered in 13.4 seconds, almost a half-second longer than in the coupe.

But the opportunity to enjoy the popping and sniffling of the 426-hp LS3’s exhaust through the open air on a warm evening  will be well worth the price to some.

Speaking of  which, expect to pay an extra $5700 or so for the SS droptop privilege. Fully optioned SS convertibles reach into the mid-40s. Markets may crash, currencies may flutter, and reality-TV stars will come from New Jersey  to make us all look ridiculous, but America will always be exceptional as long as it has convertibles.

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Old 01-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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not bad id still rock the convertible
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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Sweet, I am ready to take a ride in one. GM, you can come to my house tomorrow. I will be here all day. Don't worry about the snow coming down. I don't mind.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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Lookin' good on what appears to be the Balboa Island Ferry in Zoo-port Beach.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
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Yep Balboa Island in Newport beach, and the last shot is Main St in Huntington Beach. Pretty close to me.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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"But the opportunity to enjoy the popping and sniffling of the 426-hp LS3’s exhaust through the open air on a warm evening  will be well worth the price"

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Old 01-27-2011, 07:47 PM   #7
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Wow, what's there not to like about it ? +1 !
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
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Very sexy in its CGM outfit.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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I ordered my 2LT/RS Contvertible in IBM with blk top/int. on 1/11/11 and have a TPW of 2/14 and it can't get here soon enough!!
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:19 PM   #10
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I really like the Verts, can't wait a few months so I can trade.......
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:14 PM   #11
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damn thats a sexy car. i dont think i would gt it, but for a convertible it looks really good.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:59 PM   #12
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NICE! i wanna see conv whith gfx!
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #13
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I LIKE IT, I LOVE IT, I WANT SOME MORE OF IT!
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by OldSchoolCamaro View Post
Sweet, I am ready to take a ride in one. GM, you can come to my house tomorrow. I will be here all day. Don't worry about the snow coming down. I don't mind.
No snow down south. Taxes are lower too. You think about moving.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:05 AM   #15
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I'm a hard top guy, but the vert looks sharp. C&D still won't give the Camaro a fair shake, but it is there if you look close. Better torsional stiffness than beemer. Top is high quality. Now if they would just get off the blind spot thing.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:45 AM   #16
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Looks really good.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:09 AM   #17
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Am I the only one that doesn't care all that much for the convertible? the coupe looks way better in my opinion for some reason I can't quite put my finger on. Although I do admit I enjoy long trips with my ttops off.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:47 AM   #18
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Am I the only one that doesn't care all that much for the convertible? the coupe looks way better in my opinion for some reason I can't quite put my finger on. Although I do admit I enjoy long trips with my ttops off.
No, you're not the only one. I don't like them either, but keep in mind the convertible threads are going to be mosly filled with convertible fans.

I wanted to read the C&D review, but when every up date on the home page was "convertible this", "convertible that" for about a month, I didn't even bother clicking the links.

Regardless of my personal feelings, it looks like GM did a very nice job and will make a lot of people very very happy. Also, if sales continue to rise (and beat the tar out of the competition) then it can only be a good thing for the future of the Camaro.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:45 AM   #19
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"C&D still won't give the Camaro a fair shake, but it is there if you look close. Better torsional stiffness than beemer. Top is high quality. Now if they would just get off the blind spot thing."

That's the same thing I was thinking while reading this. They start out saying, dropping the top fixes the problem. Then they keep bringing it back up. It's like they feel guilty for saying something nice about the car, so they feel compelled to immediately slam it.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:58 AM   #20
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"C&D still won't give the Camaro a fair shake, but it is there if you look close. Better torsional stiffness than beemer. Top is high quality. Now if they would just get off the blind spot thing."

That's the same thing I was thinking while reading this. They start out saying, dropping the top fixes the problem. Then they keep bringing it back up. It's like they feel guilty for saying something nice about the car, so they feel compelled to immediately slam it.
That's C&D in a nutshell. Unless it's a BMW review, don't expect it to be 100% positive.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:28 AM   #21
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I'm going to have to check one out as soon as Eric Hall gets one at Classic Chevrolet!

It'll be nice to see one close up. I love how it looks with the top down, top up, not so much. Would have looked soooo much better in a hard top. But you can't please everyone!

Still glad I have my 2SS/RS - not sure if I'd have waited that I could justify $5700 more to get the top off. That's an expensive lap dance!
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:53 AM   #22
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Gosh, that is SO sexy. The aesthetics department at GM really did a great job with a car that look strong and fast, yet retains the attractive curves that make it a camaro...and make it look slightly more feminine (since all cars are girls, remember )
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:58 AM   #23
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That's C&D in a nutshell. Unless it's a BMW review, don't expect it to be 100% positive.
Nothing is 100% positive. Even when the first coupe reviews came out and everyone was gushing over it, the weight, blind spot, visibility and other complaints were still there.

I think the review was pretty fair. The negatives they pointed out were all objectively true - yes, it is harder to see out of than the run-of-the-mill teardrop-mobile; yes, there is a performance penalty due to extra weight; yes, it does use up more trunk space (although I never understood why golf bags were the gold standard). But they also give it a coupe nods for the suspension (as well as a favorable comparison to the Main Enemy, Ford), they like the lines it has with the top up. In spite of the BMW love affair, they didn't even contradict Chevy where the Camaro was compared to the 3-series. About the only stand-out negative opinion I saw was calling the steering "lifeless," but compared to some it may be - then again I don't spend my days on a slalom course so it doesn't matter much. About the only target of any real negativity was "Jersey Shore," and of course that's totally deserved.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:11 AM   #24
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Certainly, a more resonable review than the twits at M-T, but one striking similarity - their opinion of how good the car looks with the soft top up. Really? Its not that taught and was he being sarcastic when he said it was a reasonable facsimile of the coupe? The author lost credibility with me there. As for the inevitable loss of performance and practicality with any convertible, the idea of adding almost 250 lbs to an already overweight car is painful to think about. If I want the wind in my hair, I'll jog. If I want the best Camaro possible, I'll stick with the hard top. I can hear the engine just fine with the windows down.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:16 AM   #25
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I have never been a convertible fan but the Camaro vert does look pretty nice compared to the other convertibles.Good job GM
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