First Drive: Chevrolet Camaro Convertible at Goodwood
Goodwood's Moving Motor Show gave members of the public a special chance to tackle the famous hillclimb in a variety of new cars.
Not wanting to miss out on the action, Autoblog managed to grab the keys to a new Chevrolet Camaro Convertible for a very brief blast – and what a ride it was.
Featuring a monstrous 6.2-litre V8 engine pumping out a whopping 426bhp, the Camaro can hit 60mph in a frankly very believable 4.9 seconds.
But what's really special about this American brute is the fact you can enjoy top-down motoring – letting you enjoy the thunderous sound of that incredible engine.
Acceleration is astounding and, as you can hear on our video in between our school boy laughs, the sound track is glorious.
It may seem like a long time since the Camaro first appeared on our screens in Transformers and that's because it is. "Bumblebee" had children and adults alike desperate to get behind the wheel back in 2007. Now the series is a trilogy and we're still waiting for the Camaro to arrive in the UK.
But thankfully the wait will soon be over. The coupe arrives in Chevrolet showrooms towards the end of the year and the convertible follows soon after.
Behind the wheel, the Chevy does feel like a big American car. That sounds obvious, but the heavy steering is instantly apparent and when you put your foot on the brakes for the first time, the bulk really makes itself known. The pedal has a fair bit of travel and needs a hefty prod to get any action – the first corner of our Goodwood test certainly put a lump in our throats, that's for sure.
Chevrolet says it has worked hard on increasing structural rigidity in the convertible, something that's often lost when roofs are lopped off cars. We're inclined to agree with the maker that it's just as much fun to drive as the hard top. Having tried one in the States on holiday, I can confirm the lack of metal above your head hasn't seen the Camaro lose any character.
It looks simply stunning too. Instantly recognisable thanks to its starring roles on the big screen, the convertible visually sings sans roof and really stood out amongst the collection of new metal at the Moving Motor Show. A bulging bonnet and flared wheel arches both pointed to what lies beneath that engine, while massive 20-inch alloys and wide tyres have real visual impact.
Unfortunately, Camaros will only be available in left-hand drive guise here as the cost of making a right-hand drive derivative was deemed too much.
Although that may put some buyers off, it's likely the cult following, top specification and awesome performance will be enough to shift the 200 Camaros heading for these shores every year and with prices at least at £34,995 for the coupe and £39,995 for the convertible, Chevrolet certainly hopes so.
We'll be testing the Camaro fully at the end of the year at the official launch. Stay tuned to Autoblog for a full road test then.