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Car and Driver: 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible vs. 2012 BMW M6 Convertible

Car and Driver delivers a somewhat unusual comparison. While the BMW M6 Convertible is often compared to the Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG or Maserati GranTurismo, this time, the high-end premium cabriolet goes against the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible. Here is the reasoning behind it, as C&D describes it:

“But why these two, here, together? Because aside from their highly divergent sticker prices, these two are like members of a common species whose evolution was separated by an ocean. The M6 and the ZL1 are both sedan-based, rear-drive, four-seat droptops powered by blown V-8s; one a very German take on the concept, the other quintessentially American. Both live to display.

By pairing it with the Camaro ZL1 convertible—base price, $61,745—we aim to see how much of the M6’s strut can be had for less. Much less. As tested, the ZL1 costs $552.50 less than half of the M6’s sticker.”



Here is an excerpt from the review:

“That the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 so easily shrugs off its burden also makes those pounds easy to forgive. Here we have a Camaro with 580 horsepower competing against a car that waltzes away from it—despite hauling more weight with less horsepower. We didn’t see that coming. The BMW hits 60 mph in four seconds flat—0.4 ahead of the Chevy—and holds that advantage through the quarter-mile, which takes just 12.3 seconds.

The ZL1 handily beat the M6 on the skidpad, 0.97 g versus 0.92, but the BMW took the slalom honors. Credit the suspension tuning enabled by its more rigid structure and consequent body-control advantage. At its limit, the M6 feels vastly lighter than it is and maintains an immediacy and balance superior to the ZL1’s.”

Which one takes the win?

“The ZL1’s greatest joy is its LSA supercharged V-8. Every combustion stroke is a chest thump, and the quad tailpipes bellow a rally cry for redline shifts. The heavy, snappy clutch feels appropriate. In comparison, the BMW’s synthesized warp-drive soundtrack is just weird. Thanks to its boisterous engine and clutch calibration, driving the ZL1 feels like more of an event. The M6 isn’t engaging until you’re flat-out, when its superb balance (for such a big, heavy car) reveals itself. The ZL1 is always engaging, if for no other reason than the exhaust roar drowns out all thoughts except a Jacob Silj–like Now we’re going faster! BMW builds a fine car, but for mere bantam-rooster money, the Camaro is the better peacock.”

Full review can be found here

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