LA Auto Show 2011: Camaro ZL1 drops its top

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Only in the rarefied world of auto shows would a 184-mph car seem just a touch slow, but that’s what Chevrolet faces with the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 — until it drops its top.

The latest salvo in the revival of GM’s muscle car, the ZL1 convertible and coupe draw their force from a 6.2 liter supercharged V-8, capable of 580 hp and 556 lb.-ft. of torque. Equipped with a six-speed automatic, the ZL1 can make 60 mph in 3.9 seconds — a time that only gets slower with a manual transmission option.

While it's 70 hp shy of the Ford Shelby Mustang, and a little lower in status than the $135,000 Jaguar XKR-S convertible, the Camaro does offer the punch of a relatively low sticker price — $54,995, before any options. It’s a massive amount of money, and yet paying more for a more expensive vehicle wouldn’t guarantee any better performance, or the ability to enjoy it with the top down.