2012 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2LT Review By John Heilig
THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
The Auto Channel
SPECIFICATIONS: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2LTM
Model: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2LT
Engine: 3.6-Liter VVT, V6, 24-Valve, DOHC, SEFI Engine; Front Mounted, Alloy Block and Alloy Cylinder Heads
Horsepower/Torque:Horsepower 323@6800, Torque 278@4800
Wheelbase: 112.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 190.4 x 75.5 x 54.2 in.
Tires: P245/45ZR20(F) P275/40ZR20 (R)
Cargo volume: 11.3 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 18 mpg city/29 mpg highway/20.4 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 19.0 gal.
Curb weight: 3,719 lbs.
Sticker: $37,560 (includes $900 destination charge, $2,560 in options)
Where Built: Canada
1. Great warm-weather tourer
2. Good performance
4. Handles well
5. Looks great
The Bottom Line: Even with its V6 engine, the Chevrolet Camaro convertible is a fun car to drive, proving that a big honking V8 isn't necessary in an American muscle car primarily designed for open-air touring.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a big V8 with tons of horsepower as much as the next guy, but the 3.6-lite rV6 in the Chevrolet Camaro convertible gives all (well most of) the thrills and noise as the big V8 with much better economy. Acceleration is very good and the top speed reaches the legal maximum everywhere. And, there's a nice throaty exhaust note that grows to a growl on hard acceleration.
Even the shifter gives the feeling that there's a bigger engine in there. There are also paddles behind the steering wheel if you choose to go manual.
I also realize that the story if the Camaro convertible isn't all about the engine, but about the top. Yes, it's a nice convertible, with classic Camaro lines with the top up or down. There's no question what you're driving in any case.
The top goes down and back up quickly. Top-down driving has very little backlash due to the high seats. There's some sacrifice to trunk space with the top down, but that's to be expected if you want a clean rear surface. Personally, I'll accept the minor inconvenience. We still were able to get grocery bags back there.
To go along with the engine, the handling is very good. The Camaro corners well at most decent speeds. the suspension tends to be hard and harsh at times, but there was no kidney damage.
The front seats are comfortable with good side support, which aids in the good handling. There's also support in the back and seat areas.
Rear seating is tight, but that's to be expected in a sporty convertible.
A feature I liked was the full instrumentation. In front of the driver are the standard (from left) tachometer with insert water temperature gauge, information panel, and speedometer with inserted fuel gauge. In front of the shifter at the base of the center stack are four accessory gauges that complete the instrumentation (oil pressure, battery voltage, oil temperature and transmission fluid temperature).
As a concession to size, there's a small center console/arm rest. Inside are a USB connection and a 12V outlet.
A design feature found in the convertible that I remember form the coupe is the light spear on the inside of the doors. It's a light green/teal and it accents the door. It isn't necessary, but adds a nice touch.
The Chevrolet Camaro convertible is a great looking car and is fun to drive, as long as you don't expect a big powerful V8's performance.
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