Henry Payne Blog

CARtoon: Ford GT Future

Posted by hpayne on May 25, 2017

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Cartoon: Trump, Iran, Israel and Goliath

Posted by hpayne on May 24, 2017

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Cartoon: Ford Trump CEO

Posted by hpayne on May 23, 2017

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Payne: Ford GT tested at warp speed. Wow.

Posted by hpayne on May 23, 2017

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Stickering at half-a-million dollars, the 2017 Ford GT race car in street clothing is unobtainable, made-from-unobtanium, and unbelievably capable. As I folded myself into its cockpit for a test drive this month at Utah Motorsports race track, I couldn’t help but think of its old man, the legendary GT40.

My favorite racing encounter against the 1966 GT40 came in the mid-1990s at New York’s Watkins Glen race track. Vintage racing in those days brought together the finest sports racers of the 1960s: the GT40, Ferrari 330, Lola T70, Lotus 23, Chevron B16 … and Porsches like my 1966 906.

On this day I was cooking along in second place, locked in a race-long duel for first with a sister 906. But I knew a Ford GT was lurking. Beset by bugs in practice but skillfully manned, it started from the back of the pack — where it wouldn’t stay long.

My 220-horse, 1,350-pound Porsche had dominated the 2.0-liter class at the ’66 24 Hours of Le Mans. But the Ford was a different species — a 7-liter, 2,682-pound, 485-horsepower brute that had finished 1-2-3 overall that same year. Ford would repeat its win four years running.

As I scaled the Glen’s uphill esses with two laps to go, the GT40’s unmistakable, shark-like visage loomed in my mirrors. As we emerged onto the long back-straight, the Ford went by like a freight train, its huge center-mounted twin exhaust nearly blowing me off the road at 150 mph, the deafening V-8 rattling my eardrums.

Inside my helmet, I think I let out a “wow.”

That’s how racers feel about the GT, America’s most revered race badge. So you can imagine the anticipation for this year’s Ford supercar, the first GT in 50 years that’s purpose-built to go racing.

It’s different than the 2005 V8-powered GT made to celebrate Ford Motor Company’s centennial. Capable as it was, that model was meant for production only. The 2017 car was built from the ground up to reclaim the Le Mans title that old-man GT40 won in 1966 — while satisfying rules requiring that the race thoroughbreds be born from a production sire.

A year ago, the GT race car won Le Mans. Mission accomplished. Now comes the production version which I sampled in Utah.

With its state-of-the-art aerodynamics and electronic wizardry, it is 50 light years from its ancestor. Drivers concede that, for all its glory, the 1966 car was a handful. An engine strapped to four wheels. Heavy and cramped, it was a physical experience. The new GT is a 21st-century thrill ride.

Getting into the Ford, I felt like a Jedi pilot strapping into an X-Wing.

Just fore of the car’s signature sci-fi “flying buttress” air scoops, I lowered my 6-foot-5 frame under the scissor door and into a spartan carbon-fiber space capsule.

The cabin’s focus is the digital instrument panel and a steering wheel that contains every function — from driving modes to turn signals to huge batwing paddles that operate the car’s quick twin-clutch seven-speed tranny. Press the starter button and the old GT’s V-8 drama is gone, replaced by the purposeful grunt of a twin-turbo “Ecoboost” V-6. On Utah mountain roads the precision of the carbon-fiber chassis was reminiscent of the $60,000 carbon Alfa Romeo 4C’s scalpel-like precision. A 4C with 647-horsepower, 550 pound-feet of torque and 400 pounds of downforce, that is. Those numbers come into clearer focus at the track.

Thumb the Mode selector to “Track” and the car thunks to 75 millimeters off the ground like it was dropped from IndyCar air jacks. That’s race-car low, just shy of the Le Mans car’s 50 mm. From launch control, the car rockets forward, my right hand flicking off shifts as the car builds speed smoothly. There is no high-rev wail like a Corvette or Porsche flat-6. Just. Relentless. Thrust.

A rear-wheel drive racer with none of the all-wheel, rear-turn steer tricks used by some of its supercar peers (tricks that are illegal in racing), the GT’s handling is familiar to any sports car driver with understeer in low-speed turns and manageable oversteer under throttle as the 647 horses overwhelm the grooved Michelins (note to owners: buy slicks for the track).

Unfamiliar, however, is the tail’s tendency to step out as I brake from high speed into tight bends.

Aussie Ford ace Ryan Briscoe climbs into the cockpit for a few laps and explains. It’s caused by downforce washing off the back of the car as I scrub speed, shifting weight to the front.

All that downforce is the GT’s secret sauce: advanced, active aerodynamic design that makes this supercar at once both physically alluring and wicked quick.

Two years on from its dramatic introduction at the 2015 Detroit auto show, the Ford is still the most head-turning car on the floor. At this spring’s New York Auto Show, I ended a group floor-tour at a twin-striped red GT at the Ford stand. Jaws dropped. Strapped into a similar red car just inches off the track, the car’s beauty takes on a different meaning. It’s an aerodynamic tour de force headlining 50 years of fluid dynamics since a 1966 car that barely knew the term.

The shark nose is still familiar. But where the ’66 car used air largely to feed the hungry mid-engine V-8, the ’17 also uses air to press the body to the ground. My carbon-fiber cockpit is integrated into a narrow Formula One-style “nose and keel” chassis construction with shocks, springs, seats and engine concentrated in the middle of the car. Enormous, forged aluminum A-arms attach wheels to keel and open up huge tunnels between the chassis and rolling bits, which sucks the shark to pavement.

Air rushes out from under the car through a diffuser, working with a top-side wing rising hydraulically above the rear deck as the car gains speed. When I stomp on the huge carbon-ceramic brakes (more unobtanium), the wing snaps up at a 90-degree angle — WHAP! — helping to slow the ground missile.

My tester is only one of 1,000 GTs that will be built — the first rolled off Ford production-partner Multimatic’s Toronto line in December. Multimatic will produce one a day, 250 a year, for four years. Each car starts at $450,000 before options. Every one is spoken for. Unobtainable, yes.

But like its forefather, it represents America’s best.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.

2017 Ford GT

VEHICLE TYPE MID-ENGINE, REAR-WHEEL DRIVE, TWO-PASSENGER,

TWO-DOOR SUPERCAR

Powerplant 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V-6
Transmission Seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic with

paddles

Weight 3,000 pounds (est. for

Competition Series trim)

Price $450,000 base price
Power 647 horsepower, 550 pound-feet torque
Performance 0-60 mph, 2.9 seconds (Car and Driver est.)
Fuel economy EPA est: 11 mpg city/15 highway/14 combined

Report card

HIGHS GALACTIC STARFIGHTER DESIGN;

CARBON-FIBER EVERYTHING

Lows Wavy windscreen glass; only 1,000 made

Overall:★★★★(Do I hear five stars?)

Cartoon: Trump Fire Comey Aim

Posted by hpayne on May 16, 2017

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Cartoon: Media Rice Lap Dog

Posted by hpayne on May 16, 2017

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Cartoon: Democrats and Comey

Posted by hpayne on May 12, 2017

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The Ford GT was almost a Mustang

Posted by hpayne on May 12, 2017

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Salt Lake City, Utah –

Whether winning LeMans or wowing the automotive press at 130 mph on the Utah Motorsport Campus race track, the 2017 Ford GT has realized its lofty dreams.

Built to return Ford to glory 50 years after its fabled drubbing of Ferrari, the GT race car beat all production-based competitors last year at the world’s premier endurance race. This month, the production version debuted to members of the automotive media who came here from across the globe to sample the supercar’s twin-turbo thrust, active aerodynamics and sizzling track performance.

So it’s hard to imagine that the Ford GT might never have happened. Indeed, it was conceived as a Mustang.

When Ford’s Performance Team first plotted in early 2013 how to commemorate the GT40’s historic 1966 LeMans win, Ford’s pony car – no slouch in the performance department – seemed the perfect instrument. The LeMans 50th dovetailed with Mustang’s 50th birthday and Ford’s plans to take the iconic Yankee coupe global.

In the end, however, the GT would not be denied as Ford decided it was not only the best race car for the 24 Hours of LeMans, but also a chance to test Ford’s automotive know-how against the world.

“You can’t tell the story of the Ford GT without telling the story of Project Silver,” Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi said trackside in Utah. “It (started as) a Mustang. It was called Project Silver after the Lone Ranger’s horse.

“Everyone felt the need to celebrate that win in a very special manner. So we began thinking. Could we align these two anniversaries and use the Mustang to go back to LeMans?”

But as captivating the idea of the Mustang conquering Europe’s greatest race sounded, it soon ran into logistical hurdles.

A race car based on a $30,000 muscle car was a vastly inferior species to Ferrari’s exotic 488-based entry (like 50 years before, Ford eyed the prancing horse as its chief rival) with a much less aerodynamic shape than the low, wide, mid-engine Italian. Production-based cars compete in LeMans GTE-class, which includes Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, and others.

“We would have been at a significant disadvantage with the Ferrari,” Hameedi said. “We would have needed a few favors from the FIA [Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the LeMans organizing body] to be an aerodynamically competitive car.”

In the basement of Ford’s Dearborn development facility, Mustang models were sketched and run through powerful computer-aided design programs. Modifying a front-engine coupe to compete in the brutally competitive GT class is not unheard of. BMW, for example, is campaigning its big M6 this year – but it is barely recognizable in race trim with enormous fenders and a steroid-fed drivetrain.

Similarly, Project Silver’s Mustang was becoming unrecognizable.

“Little by little it was morphing into a car that didn’t look so much like a Mustang,” Hameedi said. “It was like fitting a square peg in a round hole. We went all the way up to [Ford CEO] Mark Fields and the project was canceled.”

The 50th anniversary of LeMans loomed and Ford didn’t have a car. Project Silver had burned a lot of time.

“We were were back to square one,” recalled Hameedi. Inevitably, the conversation turned to a mid-engine, GT40 successor. At least his team had an engine to build the car around: the ferocious, 3.5-liter Ecoboost that Ford’s competition partner, Chip Ganassi Racing, had been testing in another race series.

“Every year you get a question and a rumor about the next GT. That was always in the back of our minds,” Hameedi said. “Certainly GT and LeMans are a natural.”

A GT heritage car had been made once before – as a $150,000, 2005 model to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary. That car’s collector status – it is the only one of its peer group (Ferrari 360, Lamborghini Gallardo and McLaren SLR) that has appreciated in price – appealed to top Ford brass.

But a new GT would require a different level of effort. The 2005 car, powerful though it was, was not designed as a racer to beat thoroughbreds like Porsche and Ferrari. A new GT would have to meet that standard.

“There was some trepidation,” Hameedi said, as his team began GT feasibility studies. “This is such an icon in the company that there is also a fear of not going back. Anything less than a dominant victory would be seen as a failure.”

In December 2013 – just 30 months before the running of 2016’s 24 Hours of LeMans – Hameedi’s team got the green light.

“The timeline was the quickest for a production car that I have worked on,” veteran GT design manager Garen Nicoghosian said. “Even more remarkable when you factor in the co-development of the racer. I have been involved in quick programs, but they were pure race cars like the NASCAR Fusion.”

The result is breathtaking – the most technically advanced, most expensive car a Detroit company has ever made.

Unlike even the Ferrari 488, the $450,000 GT was conceived as a race car first and a production car second. That means it is inherently superior to every other production-based car in LeMans GT class.

It sports a unique “nose and keel” aerodynamic design that forces air through channels under the car. Working in tandem with a sculpted rear deck and wing, the GT’s aerodynamics literally suck it to the ground, generating an astonishing 400 pounds of downforce.

“The FIA had to really penalize the race car just to make the race fair,” Ford race jockey Ryan Briscoe says of the weight and power restrictions imposed on the GT.

Dancing around Utah Motorsport’s writhing, 2.5-mile track just 75 millimeters off the ground, the carbon-fiber 647-horsepower GT is brilliant, yet also surprisingly organic.

Where other supercar cyborgs are equipped with computer-assisted, rear-wheel-steer, all-wheel drive systems that are banned in pro racing, the GT’s rear-drive system was designed with FIA rules in mind.

After driving the race car for two years, Utah was Briscoe’s first taste of the production model.

“It has very similar tendencies (to the race car),” Briscoe says after a series of torrid laps. “(They) really reward smooth driving.”

Building a carbon car of this capability advances Ford engineering, just as the 2005 GT gave the company a headstart on aluminum construction that ultimately informed the aluminum-skin F-150 pickup a decade later.

“The GT creates an organic tech-bookshelf,” Hameedi said of the GT’s state-of-the-art engineering. “We didn’t keep anything out of this car for cost reason. One day someone at Ford will have a problem and say, ‘Didn’t they do something like that on the GT?’”

 

Payne: Kia Soul Turbo thinks outside the box

Posted by hpayne on May 12, 2017

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What do I call the boxy Kia Soul? Toaster on wheels? Shoebox? Beach cooler? Fridge?

Whatever. It never really interested me until now. Late to the toaster party that began early last decade, the Soul arrived in 2009 behind the Scion xB, Honda Element and Nissan Cube. How many beach coolers could you sell in the auto mall? Even Kia’s irresistible ad campaign — featuring hip hamsters — stereotyped Souls as an eccentric trend. Good luck selling that pet rock in five years.

But slowly the market shifted to Soul. Its competitors fell by the roadside even as the market demanded everything ute. Suddenly the quirkbox was a subcompact crossover in the hottest new space in autodom. All the corporate bigs — Chevy Trax, Honda HR-V, Buick Encore — flooded the space with their familiar badges and grilles. But if you wanted wee utility that marched to a different drummer … well, how about a little Soul music?

Saved from the trend-shredder by market demand, Kia also recognizes Soul sits at the intersection of hot hatch and utility. You had me at hot hatch.

Like the Mini Clubman, the Soul Turbo injects performance into the common box — a natural place to go given the proximity of compact utilities to sporty, five-door hatchbacks like the VW Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST. While those turbocharged animals are more playful and have a lower center of gravity than the hamster-mobile, the turbo brings plenty of pop. The Soul sports a racy flat-bottom steering wheel, and gets GTI-like red war-paint across the grille and rockers just to make the point.

If a GTI sees a Soul Turbo roll up next to it at a stop light, he’ll know it’s game on.

With 195 pound feet of torque — up from 118 and 150 in the Soul’s normally aspirated (yawn) 1.6 and 2.0-liter offerings — my Soul tester popped off the line, its torque-steer nicely damped. This is the same turbo workhorse found in the Hyundai Veloster and the Kia Forte5.

The Turbo is paired to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission which is, um … a bit of a disappointment. With the bit between its teeth on curvy lake roads, the box gets a case of the hiccups in gear changes; it lags in low gear, burps up a gear under throttle, then holds it for too long. I was able to dull this frenetic behavior by toggling “sport” mode, which seemed to act as a sort of Prozac.

Sadly for us hot hatch fans, the Soul doesn’t offer a manual transmission. But in manual mode, the automatic comes to the fore with quick shifts out of Woodward stoplights.

In the niche between hatchback and small sport ute, Kia’s toaster is not alone. Along with the Mini Clubman is the frog-eyed Nissan Juke I reviewed last year with the Veloster in the battle for Captain Quirk.

Now in its second generation, the Kia shows surprisingly mature design. With its bold shape, the grille and rear facias complement the overall design. The big rear lights and panel back are particularly artful. With a full-length sunroof so big the Kia would be a glass-bottom boat if you flipped it, the Soul is a thoroughly modern design. Contrast that with the Juke, which still looks like an alien from another planet.

I was particularly impressed with the Soul’s interior. Content that its exterior is statement enough, Kia made the interior practical, not quirky. This is in contrast to the Clubman with its cute-but-less-ergonomic dinner-plate console and hanger switches. Everything is where it should be in the Soul, from smartphone storage to an easy-to-use infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphones apps. The stereo system is an artful stack with round speakers at the top — indeed, the interior theme is more round than the outside box would suggest.

There is the obligatory ovoid “mixing bowl” shifter common to all species of quirkmobiles — but form doesn’t upset function. Only the round disco light, which pulsates colors at the passenger’s ankles, reminds you that rappin’ hamsters are this vehicle’s spokespersons.

Mrs. Payne, hardly a hot-hatch nut, echoed my comfort level with the design. The sunroof is a luxurious touch and the hatch utility swallowed any large item she might want to transport. In other quirk vehicles — the bumblebee-colored VW Beetle Turbo or pea-green Ford Fiesta ST come to mind — she felt compelled to explain herself to friends when we emerged, a pair of 50-year-olds apparently stealing one of the Backstreet Boys’ cars.

For all the Soul’s dexterity, Kia says it will come still out with a subcompact crossover to go head-to-head with more conventional members of the small SUV breed. So the Soul must continue to do its niche thing well from affordable shoebox to funky hot hatch.

It’s one cog in an intriguing Kia lineup separating itself from its corporate twin, Hyundai. Kia craves personality. Hyundai has adopted the mainstream for more design harmony from its Sonata and Elantra sedans to its Tucson and Santa Fe SUVs. The exception being the three-door Veloster, which seems more like a Kia that got lost in transit and jumped on the wrong ship.

Each Kia brings its own character. From the funky Soul, buyers can step across the showroom to the upscale-looking Sportage, which appears to be a Porsche Macan-wannabee.

And there’s the Stinger, the brand’s Audi A7-cloning sports sedan that came out of nowhere to star at this year’s Detroit auto show. No mainstream brand has done anything like it — its sleek, sporty lines establishing a performance halo.

No longer the odd relative at the table, the Soul Turbo offers a refined, sporty bot that makes more than a statement that it’s different. It’s a car that you actually want to drive.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News.

2017 Kia Soul Turbo

VEHICLE TYPE FRONT-ENGINE, FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE,

FIVE-PASSENGER HATCHBACK

Powerplant 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Weight 3,250 pounds as tested
Price $23,500 ($27,620

as tested)

Power 201 horsepower, 195 pound-feet

torque

Performance 0-60 mph, 7.6 seconds

(Car and Driver)

Fuel economy EPA (na)

Report card

HIGHS HOT, 201 HAMSTER-POWER; MATURE

INTERIOR

Lows Manual tranny, please;

transmission hiccups

Overall:★★★

 

Cartoon: Comey Fired

Posted by hpayne on May 10, 2017

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Cartoon: Fate of Furious Democrats

Posted by hpayne on May 10, 2017

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Payne: 650-hp ZL1 Camaro blows the roof off

Posted by hpayne on May 5, 2017

 

Ah, May at last. Oil temperatures are rising. Woodward Avenue is calling. Songbirds are calling.

We here at The Detroit News prefer a warble that sounds like King Kong gargling razor blades on Skull Island.

That would be the song of the Chevy Camaro ZL1 convertible, Motown’s latest, greatest droptop. The convertible is a sight for sore eyes and a roar for deafened ears. You probably felt it first, an earthquake that made your lights flicker when I stomped the throttle unleashing 640 pound-feet of torque on M1 Concourse’s Champion Motor Speedway just feet from hallowed Woodward ground.

After a long winter’s hibernation, the race track calls for the ZL1 like honey to a bear. It wasn’t always so. The ZL1 badge is the stuff of Camaro legend: rare “COPO” (Central Office Production Order) cars with huge, modified engines for drag racing. The ZL1 was Camaro’s quarter-miler, the Z28 its track star. But with Camaro’s marriage of Corvette’s 650-horsepower Z06 V-8 to GM’s Alpha chassis (shared by the apex-carving Cadillac ATS-V), the ZL1 coupe introduced last fall is an all-around athlete as comfortable in the twisties as it is in a straight line.

Call it a “Cormaro.” I shiver at the capabilities of the coming Z28.

But first, Camaro gives us the $69,135 ZL1 Convertible. How nice, you say. Another ragtop for Florida vacation rentals. But this is no rental-fleet floozy. It’s the coupe with a sun deck.

I first tested the hardtop at Willow Springs Raceway in December and it took to the big track like Kong to a banana grove. Put it on the small, 11/2-mile M1 and it’s like throwing Kong into a high school gymnasium. It can’t contain him.

Despite 12 inches of Goodyear F1 Supercar gummies on the rear, the ZL1 strains for traction when all horses are delivered through M1’s tight corners. I drift the beast across apexes on partial throttle, lest the 4,100-pound missile swap ends and start vectoring in the opposite direction. Even on M1’s curved front straight, I can’t bury the throttle (as I did in the AWD Audi R8 last year).

But M1’s Indy Lights-trained, Super Truck-racing, chief instructor Aaron Bambach is a wizard with the wheel. He takes the reins and drifts the beast at lurid angles.

“Very nice,” he observes after a string of laps. “Tight chassis and Goodyears really make this a nice track car.”

Um, Aaron, you know this is a convertible, right?

Like everything else about the sixth-generation Camaro, this one redefines the concept of muscle-car ragtop. Chevy leaves off the electronic, limited-slip differential (mechanical LSD is fine, thank you) and track timer (only crazy journalists will take it to the track, apparently). But still gets the coupe’s front splitter, magnetic shocks, rear airfoil, 11 heat exchangers — and the first application of GM’s Porsche-beating, 300-millisecond-shifting, manual-defying 10-speed automatic gearbox.

I’m a stick disciple, but the ZL1’s deca-tranny is a must-have.

Out of M1’s hairpin, I drop the hammer on the back straight and hang on. The 10-speed rips off shifts like rifle shots, while the quad-exhaust shatters windows in a 10-block radius. My jacket would have been torn off if M1 didn’t require that convertibles run with the top up. The end of the quarter-mile straight comes up in a heartbeat, the digital speedo clicking 125 mph before massive, 15.35-inch Brembos haul the ZL1 back to Earth.

“I could hear you all the way around the track,” says a pal back in the paddock. And in Ferndale, too, no doubt. The fun continues as we roll out of M1 and onto Woodward — going topless in 14 seconds up to 30 mph.

Stop at stoplight. Engage launch control: left foot floors brake, right foot floors throttle, tach steadies at 2,000 rpms. Release brake — and release the Kraken. Three-point-six seconds later we’re at 60 mph on our way to the moon.

Developed from the ground up to be convertible, the ZL1 soft top, like a Porsche Boxster, gives you aural thrills without chassis compromise. Gone is the cowl tremble of the fifth-generation Camaro convertibles. The Alpha chassis is a rock.

I cruised Woodward with the top down no matter what the temperature (hey, 48 degrees is a balmy Michigan April, no?) just to get the full audio experience. At low revs it’s a quiet cruiser. Put the throttle to the mat and it’s a glorious symphony. The rhythm of wind noise, the supercharger’s rising whine, the quad-pipe brass section — BRAAAAAPPPPP!

The soundtrack makes you forget the interior’s inconveniences.

Console storage is virtually non-existent and the door pockets are nearly in the child-sized backseat. The window ledges are so high that even your 6-foot-5 scribe’s elbow hangs awkwardly by his ear. And, unlike its cousin the Corvette, air vents are low in the console, so when I turn up the fan to keep the open cabin warm, most of the air gets blown on my knees.

But I rationalize the slights. Going topless eliminates the Camaro’s notorious visibility problem. And the rear seats are big enough to accommodate the neighborhood kids who pour from their homes for rides.

My friend Rick gave up his 2012 ZL1 for an Audi S4 a couple of years back. After a run in the Cormaro, he’s ready to go back. The convertible doesn’t come cheap at $7,000 more than the $62,135 coupe — and $8,500 north of a four-door ATS-V. But the Cadillac doesn’t come topless and the ZL1 will blow its doors off out of a stoplight.

“The new ZL1 is a different car than the fifth-gen,” Rick said after ripping off a couple launch-control starts from Woodward stoplights. It’s not the power — the old ZL1 had a healthy 580 horses — it’s the refinement (“the old car was loud all the time”) and the Alpha chassis (“noticeably firmer”). While the convertible is 200 pounds heavier than its coupe stablemate, that still makes it 37 pounds lighter than his old ZL1 coupe.

Rick is inclined to the sleek hardtop and its cheaper sticker. I’ll take the convertible for the audio experience.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

VEHICLE TYPE FRONT-ENGINE, REAR-

WHEEL DRIVE, FOUR-PASSENGER, TWO-DOOR CONVERTIBLE

Powerplant 6.2-liter supercharged V-8
Transmission Six-speed manual; 10-speed automatic
Weight 4,100 pounds (est.)
Price $69,135 ($72,325

as tested)

Power 650 horsepower, 640 pound-feet torque
Performance 0-60 mph, 3.6-3.8 seconds

(Car and Driver est.)

Fuel economy TBD (EPA for coupe: 12 mpg city/20 highway/

15 combined)

Report card

HIGHS TOPLESS V-8 SYMPHONY;

FIRM CHASSIS DESPITE ROOF LOSS

Lows Micro interior-storage;

insane V-8 will wake up the neighbors

Overall:★★★★

Cartoon: Little Sisters Freedom from Obamacare

Posted by hpayne on May 5, 2017

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Cartoon: Obamacare Repeal House

Posted by hpayne on May 5, 2017

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Cartoon: Comedian Escape

Posted by hpayne on May 5, 2017

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Cartoon: Trump 100 Days

Posted by hpayne on May 3, 2017

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Cartoon: Obama Speech Fees

Posted by hpayne on May 1, 2017

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Cartoon: Berkeley Speech

Posted by hpayne on April 28, 2017

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Cartoon: Trump Steel Imports

Posted by hpayne on April 26, 2017

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Cartoon: Clinton O’Reilly Pigs

Posted by hpayne on April 26, 2017

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