With muscular looks, a tire-scorching V8 and the wind-in-your-hair driving experience that only a convertible can provide, the drop-top Camaro SS is a recipe for big fun. It's also refined enough for the daily commute and sufficiently spacious to carry four passengers in a pinch.
Those looking for a fuel-sipping drop-top should check out the V6-equipped Camaro Convertible, which returns 28 mpg on the highway.
The Camaro SS Convertible is motivated by a 6.2-liter V8 that can be had in two forms depending on transmission selection. When coupled with the six-speed automatic transmission, the SS is good for 400 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, while opting for the manual gearbox will net an additional 26 horsepower and 10 torque, for a grand total of 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
The more powerful version of the SS, with its six-speed manual transmission, will return 16 city, 24 highway miles per gallon. Opting for the automatic will raise the highway figure to 25 mpg.
Other SS goodies include four-piston Brembo brakes, a sportier FE3 suspension and Competitive/Sport modes for the car's StabiliTrak stability control system, including launch control for manual SS models.
Inside, the Camaro recently received a minor cabin update with a new steering wheel and a revised gauge cluster. While the changes help make the car's stylish interior a bit more user-friendly, they do little to mitigate the visibility problems created by the show-car exterior styling - thick pillars and a high beltline mean that seeing out of the sides and back of the Camaro can be a challenge. Thankfully, Chevrolet does offer an optional backup camera.
New to the Camaro is an optional MyLink infotainment system, which offers voice control of certain entertainment functions and includes Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and streaming audio via Pandora radio and Stitcher SmartRadio. MyLink comes with a color touchscreen and can be outfitted with navigation.
Drop that Top!
The Camaro's cloth top is fully power-operated and can be raised or lowered in roughly 20 seconds. It takes up about a quarter of the trunk, although there's still 7.5 cubic feet of room left over.
When you chop off the roof of a vehicle a significant source of structural rigidity is lost, something GM engineers took into account with the Camaro SS Convertible model by adding a tower-to-tower strut brace under the hood, a transmission support reinforcement brace, additional underbody tunnel bracing and front and rear underbody "V" braces to help retain as much of the vehicles' driving dynamics at possible.
Trim Level Breakdown
The entry-level 1SS trim comes standard with A/C, full power accessories, a six-speaker FM/CM/CD/SiriusXM stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, power-reclining front seats, cruise control, keyless entry and 20-inch painted aluminum wheels. The 2LS brings an automatic gearbox.
The 2SS adds leather upholstery, an eight-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system with a USB port, an auxiliary four-gauge cluster, a heads-up display and a rearview camera.
An RS appearance package is available on the SS and includes HID headlamps with an integrated halo ring feature, spoiler, specific tail lamps and 20-inch wheels. There is also a recently added Rear Vision Package with combines Rear Park Assist, Rear Vision Camera and inside rearview auto-dimming mirror with built-in rearview camera display.
All Camaro SS convertible models are equipped with dual front and front side airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
The only similarly priced, V8-powered open-air alternative to the Camaro SS is the Ford Mustang GT Convertible. The athletic Nissan 370Z Roadster is another worthy rival, while the Audi TT Roadster is a stylish but less powerful option.