It was big news when talks of the new Camaro Zl1 started buzzing around. Now that it’s here and all over battling it out with the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 dominating some respect, enthusiasts couldn’t be happier. Especially those interested in the new convertible version.
The ZL1 is a beast to be reckoned with when it comes to looks and performance. It has that mean exterior already. Cruisin’ down the scenic highway, the 580 horses just roar. That’s right, cruising topless in a 580 hp 6.2-L monster down the back roads has got to be an amazing feeling.
The convertible has just as much power as its coupe sibling with the 6.2-L V8 available with either a six-speed manual or atutomatic transmission. It also features Magnetic Ride Suspension (MRS) to help with ride quality for those casual drives but also knows when to stiffen up when it’s time for serious play. Stopping power is provided by Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes hiding behind 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. Those wheels are wrapped with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires.
To really enhance the aesthetics besides the big forged aluminum wheels, consist of a sports a mean fascia with larger openings for cooling, front splitter, hood with vents and carbon-fiber inserts, updated rocker panels for the wider tires and also a rear spoiler. When inside you’ll see alloy pedals, a nice head-up display, flat-bottom steering wheels, a short-throw shifter for those driving interested in manual. The seats feature microfiber inserts.
To reinforce the top there is a shock-tower bar, better support for the transmission, underbody tunner brace front X-brace and rear V-brace, and a bigger cradle for the engine. The difference between the coupe and convertible is a 260-pound weight difference. The StabiliTrak traction system is available in the Camaro SS and now, the convertible ZL1. This is a competition mode that really makes the back roads a breeze.
Now that the details have been explained, let’s see how she handled. The guys at Autoweek battled the Michigan back roads with a brand new ZL1 ‘vert and loved every minute of it. Not in their words exactly, but you get the point.
They go on to say that the blown V8 really is forceful and thrusts forward with incredible throttle response. Passing slower cars on two lane roads was a piece of cake, going on to say that the Camaro ZL1 convertible really impresses throughout the whole rev band. Throttle response is quick as it roars to life under the pedal. The short-throw was easy to use and looks “slick”.
No complaints on comfort and the suspension really absorbs all road flaws. Wind sound is little at all speeds whether on the back roads or expressway. The only thing that might bother someone would be the noticeable shaking of the steering wheel. With that said, no noticeable header vibrations, same with the cowl.
When you stomp the pedal, MRS stiffens up and the grip is incredible as it stays composed under pressure, whether driving on twisty curvy roads or gunning it down straightaways. They do go on to say that the variable-assisted steering isn’t exactly where they’d like it and the brakes definitely do what they’re supposed to. Overall, response is decent.
The interior is nice as microfiber breaks up the seats and gives it more texture. Plus, the accents throughout break up the plastic giving it a more luxurious feel and not plastic sports car.
Their favorite thing about the convertible? Well, besides not having those annoying huge A-pillars to see around, it’s the fact that the exhaust note is completely enjoyable. Who the hell needs a radio?
If that wasn’t a good review on the brand new Zl1 convertible, I don’t know what is. The base price is $60,445 and is available for those ‘vert people wanting a lot of performance.
Photo Courtesy of AutoBlog.com.