The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro looks cool. Menacing yet sophisticated with its hunkered-down stance, it’s a great car to be seen in. But like the previous-generation Camaro, the sixth-gen car’s chunky, chopped-roof design makes for terrible visibility, both inward and outward. Enter the new-for-2016 Camaro convertible, which opens up the coupe’s pillbox view at the press of a button without sacrificing the Camaro’s excellent driving behavior.
Chevy says that the 2016 convertibles are about 200 pounds lighter than comparable 2015 Camaro droptops, including the couple hundred of extra pounds brought by the additional braces and top mechanism. Expect the V-8–powered SS to brush the two-ton mark. The convertible’s added mass should also impact acceleration by a few tenths versus the coupes, with the SS’s quarter-miles climbing into the mid-to-high-12-second range and lesser models stretching into the mid-14s. Equipment and trim largely mirrors the offerings on coupes, but at elevated base prices ranging from $33,695 to $44,295—a hearty $7000 higher than similar hardtops. Either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic ($1495) can be paired with the new 275-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 335-hp V-6, or the SS’s 455-hp 6.2-liter V-8. All of General Motors’ latest safety, convenience, and infotainment gear is available, as are a bevy of appearance and wheel options for customization.
The droptop Camaros’ overall feel is only slightly softer than that of their fixed-roof counterparts, and they share the coupes’ near-neutral attitude at the adhesion limit, precise steering, and willingness to clip apexes. The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is different, and its not a bad way to motivate what seems destined to be a balanced pleasure cruiser.