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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible test drive review

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Few cars spark the interest of enthusiasts like the Chevrolet Camaro. And when there are changes, even a cosmetic refresh, it makes news. Enter the 2014 Camaro SS convertible. This version has the first significant styling enhancements since the Camaro concept car debuted in 2006. But this is still the bold, brash muscle car that so many have come to know and love. The Kansas City Automotive Examiner recently had the chance to test drive the car in the picture. Let’s take a look at the Camaro overall, as well as some of the changes for the new year.

The most obvious additions to the 2014 Camaro are the sinister, squinty grille treatment and wraparound taillights that loosely recall those from 1969. This SS also has a new hood insert, ditching the little hood slot that looked like the scanner light on the Knight 2000. The 20-inch wheels were also slightly altered, and exhaust burbles through four dual-mode outlets instead of two.

And that burbling sound isn’t just ear candy. It is caused by a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 that blasts out 426-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. This car is a freaking animal. Chirp the tires at will with the first four gears in the six-speed manual transmission. Scare your friends. Scare yourself. It is like a box of dynamite, ready to explode when you light the fuse. If you ever uttered the phrase, “a Prius might be a nice car,” do not even bother to test drive a Camaro SS. But if you're someone who can handle this much car, you’ll become addicted.

This test car was loaded to the gills. The centerpiece was a large touch screen that housed Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system. This is how you controlled your 245-watt Boston Acoustics sound system, XM radio, navigation, and much more. The backup camera now lights up here instead of the little mirror display they had a couple of years ago. It isn’t a particularly difficult system to operate, which is good on a beast like this because you want to worry more about keeping the car under control than how to change the radio station.

The power convertible top is super nice too. It fits with laser precision, and the headliner really finishes off the interior. Unlike rag tops of the past, no water dribbles in, even going through an automatic car wash. A turn of a crank and the push of a button is all it takes to open the cabin up to the world. If you’re really particular, or putting your Camaro in a car show, you will have to get out and manually install the top boot, however.

The compromises on a car like this should be obvious. The back seat is small, so your kid’s going to complain. It makes a lot of noise, so your spouse is going to complain. It’s cool looking, like a concept car, so it’s harder to see out the back than on some other things. It’ll run like 180-mph, so it only gets a combined 19-mpg. Buy it for what it is intended for—a fast cool car with an opening roof—and none of these little criticisms matter anyway.

The MSRP for our test car was $46,360. That’s not an insignificant amount of money, but you’re getting a huge amount of style and performance in return. Plus, Camaros tend to hold their values well in the used market, so if you need more justification to spend that kind of jack, there you go.

To see a complete photo album of our 2014 Camaro SS convertible test car, click this link.

For more about the new Camaro, visit www.chevrolet.com/camaro.

And for more from this author, including Kansas City car event coverage, automotive history, and more auto reviews, visit www.hovermotorco.com.

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