Chevrolet lifts lid on Camaro drop-top

Chevrolet’s new Camaro Convertible is heading for the UK next year.

CHEVROLET has lifted the lid on the all-new Camaro Convertible which goes into production in January and will reach European markets, including the UK, later in 2011.
It includes an enhanced body structure and well-tailored top mechanism – a combination designed to deliver sports coupe-like driving fun and precise quality.
“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, at the cars unveil at the LA Auto Show.
“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.”
The convertible will be offered in similar model configurations as the Camaro coupe. For Europe, that means a 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 426 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with an optional six-speed automatic.
Camaro is now the best-selling Coupe in its segment in the US market, and its popularity is backed up by the fact that the right to purchase one of the first convertibles was recently sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction for $205,000, with all proceeds donated to charity. The 2011 Neiman Marcus Edition Camaro convertibles, a group of 100 exclusive cars with custom-designed elements and priced at $75,000 each, sold out in only three minutes.
The Camaro convertible delivers great refinement, along with uncompromising, coupe-like driving dynamics. Its enhanced body structure helps prevent cowl or steering wheel shake, for a strong, confident feel in all driving conditions. The top has a smooth, tailored fit, with acoustical foam in the headliner that helps deliver a quiet ride with the top up.
The Camaro’s architecture was designed to accommodate a convertible model, which means customers enjoy coupe-like driving dynamics. A telling example of the Camaro convertible’s strength is shown in its suspension tuning – specifically, the lack of changes between the convertible and coupe models.
“To compensate for the reduced structure of an open car, engineers often will make the suspension softer, making the convertible a boulevard cruiser,” said Oppenheiser. “Instead, we took the more difficult, but better path of bolstering structure rather than softening the suspension. We didn’t change a strut, bushing or spring rate from the Camaro coupe.”
The result is a convertible that preserves nearly all the acceleration, road-holding and performance capabilities of the Camaro coupe.
The structural changes to the Camaro convertible body give it superior bending and torsional stiffness than its closest competitor, and better torsional stiffness than the BMW 3-Series convertible.

Chevrolet’s Camaro Convertible has seats for four people.