Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible (2011)
Not every car looks equally good when the roof is chopped off and turned into a convertible. For example, the Jaguar XJ loses its elegant, swooping roof line, and more recently, a similar fate has happened to Nissan, with its Murano Cross-Cabriolet…
It can be a tricky affair, yet when done right, it’s right on. I am happy to report, that the Chevy guys pulled it off flawlessly with the Camaro SS Convertible.
The brawny, powerful signature silhouette, that is typical Camaro, is still evident, regardless of the position of the semi-electrically operated soft top. Front fascia is dominated by the dual headlights that offer halo rings as an option together with HID’s. The rear of the Camaro is characterized by the distinctive tail lamps as well as the large, dual exhaust tips. Wheels on the SS model are modern-looking 20” aluminum finished that are fresh and current, yet retaining the retro-look of the late 60’s icon.
Swing open the massive doors and you are greeted with a sporty interior. The seats in the Camaro SS are two-tone, with large side bolsters and easy, multiple seat adjustments. Material on the seats is color-coded, featuring double stitching on supple leather seating surfaces, giving off an elegant, custom look in the cabin. Rear seats are cozy yet usable, even more so when you drop the top and let the sun shine in!
Once seated in the driver’s seat, you immediately notice the center console gauge cluster with four indicators. These look great, but unfortunately, the location is less than ideal for monitoring using only the driver’s peripheral vision. That’s ok though, as the dash instruments will throw off an alert in the unlikely event of something being amiss. The leather wrapped and stitched, deep-dish steering wheel is a delight to handle, with well-placed fingertip controls. The Instrument binnacle is retro in look, again, harking back to the iconic 60’s design, with similar font and gauge patterns.
Our test car came with a six-speed manual transmission that was surprisingly smooth and easy to operate. Throttle and brake feel are excellent, clutch is a smidge heavy, but very communicative and easy to get used to. Of course, a Camaro is not a true muscle car without the throaty exhaust note, and the one on the SS did not disappoint. Start the 426 HP engine and you are greeted with a soothing cacophony of deep sounds, becoming, sweet melodies to any driver. The big question is, does it live up to the performance of a muscle car? This is an easy answer….Absolutely yes, it does! From the burbling exhaust sound when letting off the throttle to the intoxicating power that the 6.2 liter V8 delivers, this is a true 2011 muscle car.
Fast driving is effortless in the Camaro SS, braking as well as cornering is direct and compliant, regardless of the type of driving you choose to do. We tried several hard-charging starts and stops as well as some sweeping cornering on our favorite test road and we were pleasantly surprised how much fun the Camaro SS is to drive.
Regrettably, our one week with the topless Camaro SS came to an end far too quickly and the gentleman tasked with retrieving the car had a hard time prying the keys from my hand. If you are looking for a four seat convertible and want to buy American, then the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible should be on your short shopping list.
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS, its déjà vu all over again!
MSRP: $39,650.00 MSRP (As tested): $42,995.00
Engine: V8, 6.2 liter, 426 HP
Fuel Economy (Observed): 16.8 MPG
Popular options: RS Package (20” wheels, HID head lights with halo rings, RS unique tail lamps)