So, let’s get something out of the way really quick:
Yes, the Camaro is a bit of a mullet mobile. Yes, the SS is a mullet mobile that’s had a bit of Red Bull. And yes, the Convertible doesn’t make any of it much better.
But, there’s another side to the Camaro -- one where it’s an absolute star or a character car, if you will -- to a significant portion of our population.
Thanks to Michael Bay, this bright yellow Camaro is Bumblebee to everyone under the age of 10. We know better (Bumblebee was a Beetle in earlier incarnations of Transformers), but we won’t tell them that.
What is the Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible?
Simply put; this is General Motors’ pony car.
Fitted with a 6.2L V8 L99 small-block under the hood, the Camaro SS is good for 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque when paired with our tester’s 6-speed automatic transmission. If you opt to row your own gears, those numbers go up to 426 hp and 420 lb-ft.
Starting at $28,795 for a V6 LS Coupe, the Camaro can be had as a performance bargain. But, once you start going up the trim levels, the situation turns. Convertible models begin at the LT trim with a $37,030 sticker price. My tester, a Camaro SS Convertible with 2SS packaging, has a base price of $50,225. Add up the options and delivery, and the drop-top rings in at $57,955.
The bargain starts to diminish.
If you want more performance, you can even go up to the wild ZL1 and Z/28 (coupe only) models. The 7.0L V8-powered Z/28 can be yours for $77,700. That’s an incredible spread of pricing.
Driving the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
Everyone who saw the Camaro in my driveway said, “You must be liking that this week,” or something similar. The reality is, the Camaro -- less so with the SS -- has the looks of something incredibly fast, but it doesn’t back up those illusions.
For instance, that L99 small-bock engine, while it might be good on its own, is hindered by the 6-speed automatic transmission sending its power to the rear wheels. Also, for a V8, it doesn’t have the best sound in the world. When it comes to mechanical theatrics, the Camaro simply underperforms, and tickets for the show aren’t all that cheap.
You’d assume the Camaro would make up for it in the ride and handling department. Surely, if the engine is more tuned for the boulevard drive, like a Mercedes-Benz SL500 without the refinement, the suspension should be tuned to match.
The ride is firm and crash-y. And, due to a serious lack of roof rigidity, the whole car jiggles when traversing bumps and potholes. I could put up with that if the Camaro felt light on its feet and coaxed me through corners at a rate that would scare my mother, but the handling just isn’t there and the Camaro feels about as heavy as a fully loaded Silverado.
For a sports car, or even a sporting car, none of this is good.
Maybe I’m being a little harsh. When you drop the top, the Camaro is cleverly quiet for a convertible. On one of my test routes, through picturesque Peggy’s Cove and along Nova Scotia’s South Shore, the Camaro was a dream. It should be mentioned, though, the pavement was smooth as glass.
Inside and Out of the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
The main problem with getting one of the upper level Camaros, such as this SS Convertible, is you still get a $28,000 interior.
While Chevrolet has come a long way in interior design -- especially in their new line of trucks and SUVs -- the Camaro has not seen this advancement… yet.
Inside, the plastics are cheap and the design over-the-top, yet bland at the same time. The finishing touches scream of a designer having no inspiration and cobbling things together on a whim.
On the 2SS package, you get gauge pods behind the shifter for oil temp and other such things…right where you can’t see them.
However, it’s the exterior design that gives the Camaro its star status. Nobody will ever identify it as something else. The latest refresh gave it another lease on life for a few more years, though it still looks slightly dated.
Comparing the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
Chevrolet’s drop-top V8 pony car really only has one competitor, the Ford Mustang Convertible, which is all new for 2015. The Dodge Challenger isn’t available as a convertible.
If you look beyond the domestic offerings, you’ll find the Nissan 370Z Roadster, Lexus IS C, and other sporting contenders that’ll let you get a tan.