After a long teasing campaign, including the limited edition Neiman Marcus Convertible Camaro GM finally revealed the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, which will make its global debut at the upcoming 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. To be honest, a lot of people were expecting the car, including me, especially with the Camaro being an extraordinary car. And it looks like the ‘topless’ version won’t be disappointing.
“The launch of the new convertible opens Camaro design and performance to a new set of potential customers,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “The 21st century revival of Camaro is tremendously popular, so it’s a natural to now expand and elevate the product range in new directions.”
So let’s see the car’s obvious new feature, the open top driving. To make sure the convertible offers the same level of performance and safety of the coupe, Chevrolet engineers made a set of changes to the car’s structure, including “a tower-to-tower brace under the hood, a transmission support reinforcement brace, underbody tunnel brace and front and rear underbody “V” braces” as mentioned in the press release. Also, Chevrolet made some tweaks to the suspension, which is now softer to compensate for the reduced structural rigidity, plus another set of structural reinforcements to decrease noise and vibrations.
As for the materials used for the soft top, Chevrolet fitted the Camaro Convertible with a thick, soundproof canvas (offered in black or tan colors), the whole top retracting in about 20 seconds. In addition, a one-piece, folding tonneau cover is standard for the 2LT and 2SS models and optional on the 1LT and 1SS.
“Our goal in development was to make the convertible match the coupe as closely as possible in ride quality, handling and overall performance,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer.
The convertible Camaro will come in the same model configurations as the coupe version, which means the Camaro LT convertible will come with a 3.6-liter V6 delivering 312 hp (232 kW) and 278 lb-ft (370 Nm) peak torque and the Camaro SS will get two 6.2-liter V8s, the L99 with 400 hp (298 kW) and 410 lb-ft (556 Nm) and the LS3 with 426 hp (318 kW) and 420 lb-ft (569 kW). As for transmissions, customers will be able to choose between six-speed manual or Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic gearbox.
The Chevrolet Camaro Convertible production will start in January and market launch is scheduled for February 2011, at a starting MSRP tag of $30,000 (including $850 destination).