by Michael Butler
Nothing shouts freedom louder than a 650-horsepower V8 convertible, especially if it's wearing a bowtie. The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible is the forgotten freedom fighter that has been overshadowed in the media by hardtop competitors such as the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, but none of those can lose their heads quite like this Camaro can. Under the hood, you'll find a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 650 hp and 650 lb0-ft of torque. The Camaro might be showing its age, but the ZL1 convertible is just too much of a laugh and a performance bargain to ignore.
Very little has changed for 2021, although rumors abound that an altogether new, seventh-gen Camaro is in the works. For this year, the rest of the range (which we review separately) gets a few decent updates to the features list, while the 2-door ZL1 drop-top only gains wireless smartphone integration and a new Wild Cherry paint option.
See trim levels and configurations:
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
It's all about brute force here. Chevrolet has taken a 6.2-liter 8-cylinder gas engine and strapped a supercharger to it for a total of 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. All that power is sent to the rear-wheel drive via a 6-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed auto. The 0-60 mph time is around 3.5 seconds, and the top speed is set at 195 for anyone brave enough to chase it. We love the fact that the 2021 Camaro ZL1 Convertible is still available with an old-school manual transmission, which adds significantly to the overall engagement of the vehicle.
The Camaro ZL1 Convertible might be getting on in years, but that doesn't detract from its performance credentials in the slightest, and the fact that this machine offers 650 horsepower, a drop-top, and a price tag of only $71,600 makes us wonder why not more people are buying them. There has only been a partial review of the 2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible by the safety rating organizations in the USA, where it scored four out of five stars for frontal crash. Chevy also doesn't have the best reputation for reliability.
Chevrolet has done its best to keep up with the times, and the addition of wireless smartphone integration is a good sign, but the interior design and quality are starting to fall behind that of its competitors. Thankfully it still looks great and does what it says on the packaging: it goes really, really fast. The fact that this car still comes with a six-speed manual transmission should say it all. Brutally fast and capable, but not too serious, this is a great recipe for fun.
There is only a single model in the 2021 ZL1 Convertible range, but you still get to choose how it looks and drives. If we had the pleasure of buying one of these party-starters, we'd go for one in Shadow Gray Metallic and stick with the manual box. That's about it. Chevrolet doesn't exactly give you a ton of options except for stuff like the $535 Protection package that includes all-weather floor mats and the like. Luckily, this helps keep the cost down, so the final price of a 2021 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible should be only $72,795, including the $1,195 destination charge and $1,700 gas-guzzler tax.