2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Grant Yoxon

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2011 Chevrolet Camaro

This was my lucky week. Bracketed by two weeks of dismal Spring weather, with lots of rain and cool temperatures, my week in the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible was, for the most part, sunny and warm: perfect top-down weather.

And so much of the week – every spare moment in fact – was spent cruising around the city in the black and Inferno Orange Camaro SS attracting lots of attention – lots and lots of looks.

Not all flattering, mind you. Some folks couldn’t help but look down their noses at this shameless display of excess.

But these folks just don’t get it. Some vehicles, like the Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible, are much more than simple transportation. This is a car that is meant to be enjoyed: to enjoy driving it, to enjoy being in it, and yes, even to enjoy being seen in it.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible. Click image to enlarge

The price of this opulence is not cheap, although I can think of many more expensive ways to show off on wheels. Our test vehicle, a Camaro “2SS” convertible, has a base price of $47,835, $5,800 more than an equivalent coupe model and $2,650 more than a Ford Mustang GT convertible. Add to this $1,710 for a six-speed automatic transmission, $1,380 for a Rally Sport package (body coloured roof ditch moulding, rear spoiler, unique tail lamps, red SS badging and auto-levelling, high-intensity low and high beam headlamps), $540 to polish the 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels included in the Rally Sport package, and $1,160 for the Inferno Orange interior trim package and dual hood and trunk stripes, and the suggested retail price for this well-optioned Camaro arrives at $52,625 not including taxes and delivery charges.

If that price seems, well, up there, consider the cost of almost any other four-passenger convertible – only the Mini Cooper in base trim, the BMW 128i and the Volkswagen Eos start at a lower price than the SS Camaro. For buyers who want a four-passenger convertible, the choices are limited and prices begin north of $30K; in most cases, way north of $30K. And you can guarantee you won’t find any convertible with 400 horsepower anywhere near the Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Opt for the manual transmission and you will not only save $1,710, but you will get an additional 26 hp. The 6.2-litre LS3 V8, based on the same engine found in the Corvette, is rated at 426 hp and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. Coupled with the automatic transmission, as our test vehicle was equipped, the 6.2-litre L99 engine is rated at 400 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque.

Premium fuel is recommended, but not required. And if you are not concerned about maximum performance, you will probably drop back to regular. It’s a thirsty beast. Although rated by Energuide at 13.3 litres/100 kilometres in the city and 8.0 L/100 km on the highway (10.9 combined), the best I could do was a combined consumption of 14.6 L/100 km during my summery week of mostly cruising and the odd blast when overcome by the need to feel full throttle. Step into the accelerator and you can watch the fuel consumption rise as quickly as the speedometer.

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