Last week, my wife and I were in Fort Worth at the Texas Motor Speedway for the annual Texas Auto Writers spring Roundup of vehicles. Journalists had the opportunity to test-drive and compare approximately 60 new cars. One car was always in demand among the journalists and there was usually a waiting line for the test drive. That was the new 2011 Camaro 2SS Convertible. Because it was raining all over the DFW area most of the day, the top was kept up and we couldn’t enjoy the convertible aspects, but that 6.2-liter V-8 engine kept us busy most of the day.
The 1969 model Camaro is the classic, but this new model is the best interpretation of that classic. The 2010 model Camaro was the introduction of the retro-look and the 2011 model has added a few more horses to the power and enhanced some of the features. So, what do you have now? A head-turning muscle car that can get you easily noticed. It’s a low-slung, two-door pony car that is aggressively styled.
Our test model at the Fort Worth Texas Motor Speedway was the top-of-the-line 2SS trim level. The convertible body style has just recently been introduced, but everyone knew it was coming. The Camaro convertible is fitted with a power-operated top and offers the same V6 or V8 engines as the coupe. The test model for our Texas Auto Writers group was the new convertible. It was a beautiful and attention-getting color scheme called Inferno Orange, inside and out.
The Camaro 2SS was powered by the V8 engine that provided 426 horsepower. It was matched with a wonderful 6 speed manual transmission that allowed the driver total control over the power and acceleration. The V6 engine was improved for the 2011 model, having the horsepower increased on that one from 304 to 312. I think I prefer the V8 with the 426 horsepower. If I am going to have a muscle car, I want plenty of muscle.
There are a few downsides to this Chevy Camaro. The steering wheel design is different and most of the journalists were not too impressed with it. The interior materials could have been a lot better and slightly more upscale for the price. The backseat, like other pony cars, is small and cramped. The trunk is adequate for a few pieces of luggage, but the opening is rather small.
The test model had a laundry list of standard equipment including an eight speaker sound system by Boston Acoustics, daytime running lamps, fog lamps, heated & powered outside rearview mirrors, intermittent windshield wipers, and more.