“Fall can be an opportune time to snag a great deal on that dream-ride convertible you’ve always wanted…”

Buy now and park it until next spring!

With cooler weather ahead, fall can be an opportune time to snag a great deal on that dream-ride convertible you’ve always wanted to own, like the soft-top edition of Chevrolet Camaro.

Chevrolet introduced an all-new Camaro Coupe for the 2010 model year and the Camaro Convertible followed a year later. While it shares many similar styling details, this modern day rebirth of Camaro is longer and wider than the celebrated original ‘67, of the “muscle car” era. Big wheels (18-inch to massive 21-inch rim sizes) are an important design feature of new Camaro and it’s a little taller.

The 2011 Camaro Convertible was offered in just LT and SS trim levels. The LT comes with a lightweight and powerful “LFX” 3.6-litre V6 engine. It can generate 323 horsepower and is mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. Revised and more realistic new fuel economy (auto) ratings are 12.9 L/100km in city and 8.1 L/100km on highway.

A potent 6.2-litre V8 engine (from the Corvette) lies under the hood of Camaro SS. When paired with a six-speed manual it’s tuned to pump out 425 horsepower. A 400 horsepower edition of this same engine (with more low-speed torque and a fuel saving cylinder deactivation system) is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The revised fuel rating for Camaro SS (auto) is 14.9 L/100km in city and 9.5 L/100km on highway.

There is a key engineering difference between Chevrolet’s Camaro and, its nemesis, the Ford Mustang. While both vehicles send gobs of engine power to the rear wheels, Mustang has a rigid rear axle and Camaro has a more sophisticated independent link system with half-shafts and coil springs attached to an isolated sub-frame. In theory, Camaro should be a better riding and handling sports car but that debate rolls on.

A limited edition high-performance Camaro ZL1 arrived in 2012. It came with a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine that can produce an outrageous 580 horsepower … and it has obvious collector car potential. A special 45th Anniversary Package was also offered that year. Other than some packing revisions and new colour choices, there were no significant changes to the 2013 or the 2014 model year editions of Camaro.

While it may be hard to find practical reasons to buy a sports car like Camaro, it did make it on the Consumer Reports list of “recommended” good, reliable cars to buy. Camaro Convertible is also even less practical and more expensive than the Coupe. Then again, it’s a hoot to drive, especially with the top down!

VIDEO: Transformer Camaro Commercial – Chevrolet

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Price Check: 2011 – 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible (September 2014)

Year                    Edition                                                 Expect to Pay Today

2011                       LT                                                         $22,000 to $26,000

2012                       LT                                                         $25,000 to $29,000

2013                       LT                                                         $28,000 to $33,000

2014                       LT                                                         $33,000 to $38,000

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*Prices vary depending on a used vehicle’s condition, mileage, usage and history. A complete mechanical check should always be performed by a reliable auto technician prior to purchase.

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Safety Recalls: 2011 to 2014 Chevrolet Camaro:

2010 to 2014: There is a risk that some drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee and unintentionally move the key from out of the “run” position. Engine power, power braking and power steering would be affected, if this were to occur. Dealers will remove the key blade from the original flip key/transmitter assemblies and provide two new keys and key rings for every original key.

2011/2012: In vehicles equipped with power height adjustable front seats, a bolt securing the adjuster mechanism may loosen and could fall out, causing the seat to suddenly drop. Dealers will replace the bolt.

2012: The primary or secondary stage of the driver’s airbag may not deploy during a crash. Dealers will replace the steering wheel airbag coil (This is a condensed series of recalls).

2013: The airbag warning labels may not be permanently affixed to sun visors. Owners sent instructions on how to inspect labels, or may have the inspection performed at a dealer. Where labels are found to be defective, the sun visors will be replaced.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

 

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