Sabtu, 13 Oktober 2012

2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible Manual

An All-Arounder, on the Track and around Town The manual, however, is the car we took to the test track. The 0-to-60-mph sprint was dispatched in 4.4 seconds, 0.4 second behind our best time in a ZL1 coupe. The massive, 20-inch 285/35 front and 305/35 rear tires were good for 0.97 g of skidpad grip, again just behind the coupe’s number. A set of 14.6-inch two-piece rotors and six-piston Brembo calipers handle braking in front; four-pot calipers squeeze 14.4-inch one-piece rotors in the rear. We recorded an impressive 150-foot stop from 70 mph. A decade ago, cars capable of posting numbers this striking were generally single-minded, temperamental beasts that would bite back with the slightest provocation. Standard Performance Traction Management plays a big role in maintaining the ZL1’s affable nature by integrating the various electronic systems—the fancy suspension; launch, traction, and electronic stability controls—into a well-rounded suite of safety and performance enhancers. Even the most ham-fisted drivers will have a hard time embarrassing themselves when exiting the drive-through at Hardee’s.
There’s a smidge of tramlining on the highway, which is understandable, considering the huge rubber. This and any other mild imperfections are easily managed by the well-calibrated variable-ratio and variable-effort electric power steering. We’re still on the fence about the recent influx of electrical units, but this application’s performance is relatively transparent and offers real feedback. Sunshine Day, Everybody’s Smilin’ With the top down and windows up, there’s little wind buffeting up front. The coupe’s much-maligned outward visibility is mitigated in topless mode, but the long hood’s Coke-bottle curves still keep the exact position of the car’s front corners a secret, making it difficult to place on the road. Top up and at speed, road and tire noise seem more prevalent here than in the coupe. Curiously, our measurements don’t support this conclusion. At 70 mph, we recorded a sound level of 68 dBA in the convertible, one decibel less than in the coupe. If it’s not louder, it’s more harsh and coming from a different place with the soft roof.
The faux-suede dash (which is not a track and field event for hipster fashionistas) and steering wheel make for soft and fuzzy interior appointments; we wonder how well they’ll hold up in the hands of sun worshipers who leave the top down 24/7. The stereo is loud enough to overcome wind noise and exhaust note, but with its basic controls and middling tonality, it’s not going to win over any hard-core audiophiles. The head-up display remains bright and legible even with the top down in bright sunlight, and the retro rearview mirror is a nice touch. Even with the recent lineup-wide upgrades, the Camaro’s dash/infotainment/console area is slightly out of tune with and not as finished as the rest of the car. The real story isn’t simply the ZL1 convertible’s prodigious power, how loud the exhaust barks through the two-stage exhaust (pretty darn), or how quick it can get from a standstill to extra-legal speeds. The truly remarkable bit is how composed and docile the ZL1 is when you’re not hammering it. That’s welcome behavior in the coupe but even more so for the more-relaxed-by-nature convertible, and it’s that balance that separates it from a Camaro SS convertible or Ford’s Mustang GT500 droptop.

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