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Old 06-22-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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Post Automobile Driven: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible

Full review at: Automobile Magazine

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After being delayed for a while because of GM's whole bankruptcy/bailout thing, the Camaro convertible is finally here, completing the reborn Camaro lineup.

A convertible had been planned for the Camaro from the beginning, so the car was engineered for a topless existence. Still, the convertible does require extra bracing, including a large strut tower brace under the hood. Chevrolet engineers boast that the car is so structurally stiff that they did not have to soften the suspension for the convertible version, as is often done for convertibles. But maybe they should have.

The firm-riding Camaro SS convertible I just spent a week with exhibited plenty of body jiggle over patchy pavement. And despite the Camaro's independent rear suspension, this car can hop sideways when it encounters a bump mid-corner. The steering, though, is nicely accurate and has natural effort levels. The deep-dished wheel has a strangely shaped rim that's not terribly comfortable to hold, but I did love the design and function of the audio system controls on the spokes.

The big, 6.2-liter OHV V-8 in the Camaro SS isn't exactly quick-revving, but it ultimately makes so much brutish power (426 hp, with the manual transmission) that it gets the job done. Its deep exhaust rumble can be somewhat droning on the highway but you've gotta love the crackle and pop when you lift off the throttle. I only encountered the six-speed manual's obnoxious 1st-to-4th skip-shift once during my entire time with the car, which is a lot less than in the Camaro SS coupe I drove a few months ago -- maybe I was booting the accelerator more aggressively with this car (the skip-shift only asserts itself during gentle acceleration). In other respects, I was less pleased with the stick shift this time, as the clutch seemed heavy and shift action less fluid.

Chevrolet designers were able to get the convertible's soft top to very nearly match the profile of coupe's rakish roofline, which means that the convertible is every bit as handsome as its hardtop sibling. This is a car that gets a lot of attention and a lot of compliments. But as in the Camaro coupe, the good looks come at a price. With the top up, the convertible suffers the same claustrophobia and tough outward visibility through its slit-like windows as does the coupe. And even with the top down, the high beltline and steeply raked windshield diminish somewhat the open-air feeling.

As with the coupe, the Camaro convertible offers a whole lot of performance and style for not a whole lot of money ($37,500, for a base SS). If you like the coupe, you'll like the convertible at least as much, and if you don't like the coupe, the convertible probably won't tip the balance. Its crosstown rival, the Ford Mustang GT, is probably a bit easier to live with on a daily basis, but that won't matter one bit if you're someone who likes the Camaro better or, maybe more importantly, someone who lusted after the original Camaro and not the original Mustang.


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Old 06-22-2011, 06:38 PM   #2
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The new Camaro's get way more compliments on the road than the new Mustangs. When im at a light or driving, people turn there heads and point with there jaws wide open. When im in my buddies 11 5.0 noone bothers to say a thing. It bothers him also. LOL Should of bought a Camaro
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:38 PM   #3
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Seems like a fair assesment of the vehicle.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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Good article, some bad things are great for others, and vice versa - crackle and pop, highway drone. They left out Brembo squeal, all part of the package. It's looks though *are* eternal. 20 years from now you will still know this car was different. A good different.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:39 PM   #5
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I really don't like convertible that much, I love the hard top convertible, i will like to see that on the camaro
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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I really don't like convertible that much, I love the hard top convertible, i will like to see that on the camaro
Too expensive...
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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I had a lady in a mustang GT convertible pull up next to me at a light and tell me she wants to swap cars with me...told her no way you have a Ford.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:26 PM   #8
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I've had mine for over 2 months now, and love it almost as much as the day I got it. I drive it 22 miles to work each day, and enjoy driving the car. I guess if a person wants to find things to complain about, they will.

I find the seats extremely comfortable, and the interior is functional, despite what the idiots on BBC Top Gear had to say.

I do agree, however, that for 426 hp, it isn't as fast through 3500 rpm as I'd like. At about 3500 it feels like a mini-supercharger kicking in and the engine hits its torque band. Still, I'd rate the performance a "B" overall. I think a 3.73 or 4.11 rear-end option is needed. I know it would hurt Government MPH ratings, but the thing has a 3.55 now and does 1800 rpm at 80 mph in 6th gear, which is crazy.

Does anyone know if any of the performance houses are offering rear gears for the 2011's?
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:40 PM   #9
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Full review at: Automobile Magazine

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After being delayed for a while because of GM's whole bankruptcy/bailout thing, the Camaro convertible is finally here, completing the reborn Camaro lineup. I guess nobody told this guy about a hot new "yet to be released" number called the ZL-1!

A convertible had been planned for the Camaro from the beginning, so the car was engineered for a topless existence. Still, the convertible does require extra bracing, including a large strut tower brace under the hood. Isn't the strut tower available on the coupe now too?? Chevrolet engineers boast that the car is so structurally stiff that they did not have to soften the suspension for the convertible version, as is often done for convertibles. But maybe they should have.

The firm-riding Camaro SS convertible I just spent a week with exhibited plenty of body jiggle over patchy pavement. While all of the other publication reviewers were suprised by the rigidity! And despite the Camaro's independent rear suspension, this car can hop sideways when it encounters a bump mid-corner. Really?? Mine glues itself to the road, and handles the bumps like a Sport Caddy! The steering, though, is nicely accurate and has natural effort levels. The deep-dished wheel has a strangely shaped rim that's not terribly comfortable to hold, but I did love the design and function of the audio system controls on the spokes. Ironically, the placement of the audio and cruise controls were consumers' biggest complaint about the wheel.

The big, 6.2-liter OHV V-8 in the Camaro SS isn't exactly quick-revving, 0-60 in 4.6 isn't quick enough for ya?? but it ultimately makes so much brutish power (426 hp, with the manual transmission) that it gets the job done. Its deep exhaust rumble can be somewhat droning on the highway but you've gotta love the crackle and pop when you lift off the throttle. I only encountered the six-speed manual's obnoxious 1st-to-4th skip-shift once during my entire time with the car, which is a lot less than in the Camaro SS coupe I drove a few months ago -- maybe I was booting the accelerator more aggressively with this car (the skip-shift only asserts itself during gentle acceleration). In other respects, I was less pleased with the stick shift this time, as the clutch seemed heavy and shift action less fluid. Don't know what to do with a performance-driven shorter throw?? Doesn't suprise me!

Chevrolet designers were able to get the convertible's soft top to very nearly match the profile of coupe's rakish roofline, Not exactly... but nice try which means that the convertible is every bit as handsome as its hardtop sibling. This is a car that gets a lot of attention and a lot of compliments. But as in the Camaro coupe, the good looks come at a price. With the top up, the convertible suffers the same claustrophobia and tough outward visibility through its slit-like windows as does the coupe. Didn't notice the missing B-pillar huh? And even with the top down, the high beltline and steeply raked windshield diminish somewhat the open-air feeling. No realization of the fact that it DOESN'T HAVE A ROOF!!

As with the coupe, the Camaro convertible offers a whole lot of performance and style for not a whole lot of money ($37,500, for a base SS). If you like the coupe, you'll like the convertible at least as much, and if you don't like the coupe, the convertible probably won't tip the balance. Its crosstown rival, the Ford Mustang GT, is probably a bit easier to live with on a daily basis, but that won't matter one bit if you're someone who likes the Camaro better or, maybe more importantly, someone who lusted after the original Camaro and not the original Mustang. TOOL!


Is he even sure he was driving a Camaro???
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:49 PM   #10
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"Tool"...agreed.

Sorry, the 2SS has 3.45 rear gears, not 3.55. But look no further than the 5.0 Mustang, which despite giving up 70 cubic inches, matches coupe to coupe in the quarter mile, mostly due to its 3.73 ratio.

I had a mechanic drive my car today, who owns a Hemi Challenger. He raved about the car, especially the interior design, the HUD and the handling ("amazing for a convertible"). His only negative: "Doesn't have as much pep as I thought it would...definitely less than my Challenger."

If anyone else has put in 3.73, 4.11's or anything else, let me know how it worked out for you.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bond View Post
Chevrolet designers were able to get the convertible's soft top to very nearly match the profile of coupe's rakish roofline, Not exactly... but nice try which means that the convertible is every bit as handsome as its hardtop sibling.
The coupe still has the edge but we're not talking 350Z 'vert here.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:22 AM   #12
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The best part about driving these camaros is the sense of camraderie I feel when I see other ones on the road. I honk, they honk back, they engine rev... hey even thumbs up outside the window.
You can even do that with the other generation camaros. Well, lemme' take that back. I don't see very many 3rd generation camaros and the fourth generation seemed to be owned by someone that just needed a strong yet affordable means of transportation. Honking at him/her would seem like I was honking a driving error, not giving a thumbs up.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:39 AM   #13
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BOND -- best reply I have seen in ages. This guy from Automobile must have hemorroids or something. He doesn't like the punch from the engine, but enjoys the audio controls?? Maybe he's a closet-conductor for some orchestra and the wind buffeting and raspy exhaust made it hard to hear the tenor sax during their solo. I bought Automobile magazine from day one and couldn't wait to read it for the first five or six years. Now, I don't even bother looking for it. After reading this guy's assessment, I realize why. Each time I drive through a neighborhood and some little 10 year-old kid is playing in the front yard and they stare at my Camaro like it's Santa's sleigh -- I know that I'm driving the hottest looking car out there.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:22 AM   #14
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After seeing a few convertibles in person. I actually prefer the coupe over the vert looks wise. And I'm a convertible lover. Just doesn't look quite right but still an awesome car regardless.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:41 AM   #15
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The coupe still has the edge but we're not talking 350Z 'vert here.
Great comparison pic...I always thought the vert felt slightly off, and now it's clear as day: the huge C-pillar compared to the coupe. Still looks good though.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:36 PM   #16
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I had a 1969 convertible camaro years ago, and have missed the convertible ever since. Now that I have a 2011 vert, I LOVE IT...Ive driven corvettes, mustangs, Porsche,BMWs, and a few other verts...and the camaro is one of the most versatile. Its hard to compare to a 2 seater, but against the mustang, BMW, and lexus, I have to say its the best! where else can you get 426HP, 26MPG, and a badass looking ride all in one??
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:15 PM   #17
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I had a 1969 convertible camaro years ago, and have missed the convertible ever since. Now that I have a 2011 vert, I LOVE IT...Ive driven corvettes, mustangs, Porsche,BMWs, and a few other verts...and the camaro is one of the most versatile. Its hard to compare to a 2 seater, but against the mustang, BMW, and lexus, I have to say its the best! where else can you get 426HP, 26MPG, and a badass looking ride all in one??
This is what i'm talking about,......a true comparrison of the camaro vert against other verts that probably cost alot more $...and what does this person say? "they prefer the camaro above others"
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #18
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Seems like a pretty fair review to me - I don't agree with all his conclusions, but the guy's supposed to be objective - we here have no obligation to be, which is occasionally a bit annoying when the "Ford/the Mustang sucks, always has & always will!" crowd comes out of the woodwork, but overall not a bad thing.

Considering that he's one of the very few (as far as I know) reviewers to not complain incessantly as if gripping the steering wheel is like being forced to grab electrified barbed wire, and he can figure out that the aux gauges are intended to be a cool-looking nod to the past and not regularly used for driving, I'm willing to cut him some slack.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:03 PM   #19
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Auto mags

The writers of these magazines call themselves critical writers. So even if they know the car is perfect they have to find a complaint about something. Except we all know the car is perfect!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:35 AM   #20
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Great comparison pic...I always thought the vert felt slightly off, and now it's clear as day: the huge C-pillar compared to the coupe. Still looks good though.
Think it looks big from the outside, backing out of a parking space is a bitch.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:02 PM   #21
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I really don't like convertible that much, I love the hard top convertible, i will like to see that on the camaro
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Too expensive...
And it only adds to the weight. But I do agree that I would love to see a hard top convertible camaro. I think your trunk space would pretty much be non-existent unless the top was up. Minor detail.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:19 PM   #22
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:31 PM   #23
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I had a lady in a mustang GT convertible pull up next to me at a light and tell me she wants to swap cars with me...told her no way you have a Ford.


I'm thinking the C-pillar was necessary for the glass back window which is AWESOME on a vert, especially since we also have rear defrost, which I have never had on a convertible before. Small price to pay, and I think its well worth it.
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You sound like my wife...at first she was.........but after a few rides in it and seeing me giggle lik a schoolgirl she was more like ............but then when I told her we could get her Vert lowered to match my stance she was like so it all worked out.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:24 PM   #24
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The vert is a COW over 4,100 lbs,what does he expect?It's slow because it's so heavy! I've never owned a vert,don't like them but i own one now,only because it's the only way the pace car came. I've never had the top down nor do i plan to,but nonetheless i can't even tell it's a vert while driving.I like that a lot. The only difference is the rear window shakes a little bit while looking through the rearview and i can hear outside noises a little clearer...but overall i guess the writer needed something to complain about.Overall i love my car!
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:36 PM   #25
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The vert is a COW ...
Yes but with 426 hp it really MOOves! (sorry, couldn't help it)
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