Marking 50 years of the Camaro, Chevrolet rolls out the red carpet to celebrate a half-century of their prized muscle car that some say has been delicately molded into a world-class sports car. In those 50 years, Chevrolet has seen a lot and conversely been through a lot. Standing the test of time is the American drive for excitement, and the latest iteration of the Camaro does its best to provide just that, in a slew of different trim levels and configurations, such as the Camaro RS 2LT Convertible 50th Anniversary Edition test car in my garage for the week.
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Having already reviewed the new Chevrolet Camaro in both V8 SS trim and the 2LT RS V6 Convertible trim, I have conceptualized a definitive theme that Chevrolet has instilled in the Camaro. It’s one that attempts to offer a little something for a wide audience in the confines of those who enjoy head-turning sports cars with seating for four that don’t necessarily break the bank. With that, the new 2017 Camaro 2LT RS V6 Convertible with in its 50th Anniversary livery attempts to capture a monumental feat for the brand – 50 years of a heartbeat that continues to palpitate with the press of your right foot.
Powering the Camaro at its base trim level is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Optional, found on my test vehicle, is a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 355 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. The V6 engine is a consistent performer giving you dialed in power in an instant from the start. Those who are on the fence about the engine choice for the RS 2LT Camaro will want to know that while the turbocharged engine may have a better midrange of torque, the V6 is the more consistent choice to deliver a smoother and broader range of power. Though the V6 choice will be at a slight expense, in addition to burning a bit more fuel getting an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined for the Convertible Camaro. The turbocharged engine will yield slightly better numbers at 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Running to 60 mph in the V6 Convertible Camaro with its snappy-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission takes about 5.3 seconds.
Overall handling for the Camaro Convertible V6 is not bad and somewhat relies on the larger 20-inch alloy wheels. There are orange-painted Brembo 4-piston brake calipers up front, which are also part of my test vehicle’s 50th Anniversary Edition package. Utilizing a new Alpha platform, which is shared with other GM vehicles like the Cadillac ATS, the new Camaro embodies a much more nimble feel thanks to a lighter body weight, as much as 200 pounds lighter in the new Camaro Convertible over its predecessor.
The new Camaro Convertible in its sixth generation uses an insulated fabric top and good top-down looks in a plug-and-play package. The top takes almost 20 seconds to perform a full folding or raising cycle but allows you to do so at speeds up to 30 mph. The Camaro offers up a four seating configuration but proves to be quite tight out back. In fact, adults will need to beg the front passengers to slide their 8-way-power driver’s or 6-way-power passenger’s seats forward to accommodate. Up front, there is plenty of space with a good amount of support and comfort in the perforated leather seats guised in their 50th Anniversary embroidering. Other attributes of the Interior that play the tune to celebrate 50 years of Camaro is the dashboard with its own “Fifty” lettering as well as the steering wheel and illuminated door sills. There isn’t much to mistake the new 50th Anniversary Edition Camaro for anything else, which is reiterated on the trunk with a darkened vinyl wrap and side fender “Fifty” emblems.
The unfortunate aspects of the new Camaro remain to be the poor outward visibility and high beltline of the cabin that further impedes your line of sight. Moreover, with the Convertible top up, it appears to block your blind spot even more. Thankfully, there is the availability of a blind spot monitor system, which is equipped on my test vehicle. The review camera is also a necessity, which comes as standard on all Camaros.
Many of the familiar creature comforts and amenities are available to the new 2017 Camaro Convertible in its 50th Anniversary Edition form. My loaded-up Camaro 2LT RS Convertible 50th Anniversary Edition test vehicle included all of the available option packages, including the notable Convenience and Lighting Package. Starting at a price of $32,900 for a base Camaro Convertible and ending up at an as-tested price of $45,480 for my 50th Anniversary Edition Camaro Convertible V6, the Chevy sports car is a compelling buy for its segment.