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Chevy Camaro Convertible

Chevrolet made for a lot of happy consumers when they rolled out a new Chevy Camaro for the 2010 model year.  The all-new Camaro marked the return of affordable (compared to the Corvette) rear-wheel-drive performance at Chevy.  The new Camaro has a retro theme that borrows from previous models.  As much as the Camaro was an instant hit many are still waiting for the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, due out by 2011.  The Camaro convertible was originally introduced at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show; since then the release date has been pushed back from 2009. The official GM line is that Chevrolet had always planned to introduce the Camaro convertible about a year after the coupe's introduction. A 2011 Camaro convertible launching about April '10 will be able to take advantage of the summer ragtop-buying season.

Camaro Convertible Power

The powertrain, suspension, and brakes will be unchanged from what is on the coupe.  The Camaro Convertible will likely carry a base trim V6 and a 6.0-liter small-block V8 which makes 400 hp, six speeds and rear-wheel drive. The suspension is all-independent and is based on an Australian-designed Holden platform.  

Driving the Camaro Convertible

The Chevrolet Camaro is simply fun to drive. It cruises through town, down the highway, and around back country roads.  Suspension responds immediately, with little roll. Steering is communicative and responsive. This is a car with an exceptionally agile feel. Compared to the Ford 2010 Mustang's performance, the Chevy Camaro Convertible's independent rear suspension simply drives better and smoother.

Inside the Camaro

The cabin of the Camaro Convertible continues the retro theme.  The Camaro's steering wheel, radio unit and climate controls are unique and not shared with another GM vehicle.  The white interior color scheme somehow finds a feeling of both modern and retro touches at the same time.  The interior on the convertible is basically the same as in the coupe.  But on the Convertible the deep-dish, retro-unreadable gauge faces are white instead of aluminum and are trimmed with blue light. And to make room for the top mechanism, the rear bucket seats are squeezed nearer each other. There's nothing under that black hard tonneau cover.

Chevy Design

The convertible is not exactly a unique vehicle when compared to its coupe sibling; you could almost say it is the coupe with its top chopped off.  The Camaro Convertible is 190.4 inches long and 75.5 inches wide, with a 112.3-inch wheelbase, placing it in between the Mustang and the larger Challenger.  What is different with the Camaro convertible is the upper rear half, which is all new. If you measured down 2 inches from the top of the rear fenders, everything above that line is new.  The rear spoiler on the convertible is shorter and is set at a different angle to the rear deck.  The convertible concept's body is covered in retina-searing orange paint. This is more officially referred to as Hugger Orange pearl tri-coat. "Hugger" was the Chevy marketing department's nickname for the Camaro in 1969, because it "hugs" the road. Hugger Orange first appeared on Camaros in 1969, the model year that inspired the current concept and was the color of the stripes on the Camaro convertible that paced the 1969 Indianapolis 500.  There's also more retro in the wheels' orange pinstripe that mimics the look of old red-line tires. To temper the coupe's malicious mien, the designers added a few more shiny bits to the body. The convertible's tail lamp surrounds are now highly polished as is part of the exposed racecar-style fuel filler. The windshield, which is about 10 millimeters shorter than that of the coupe, is also cove red in bright anodized metal.

Chevy Camaro Convertible Features

To be competitive, all Chevy Camaro models are well equipped with air conditioning, power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a rear-window defroster, and a capable audio system. The three trim levels include increasingly more equipment: the base LS, the uplevel LT, and the V-8-powered SS. The "RS" option group can be added to the LT or SS models, and it gives the Camaro a more aggressive look with HID headlamps and "halo" rings, a rear spoiler, unique tail lamps, and 20-inch aluminum wheels.

Safety Features

The Chevrolet Camaro Convertible was designed to be a safe vehicle.  Four front airbags are standard. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, and dynamic stability control are also standard. Because the Camaro Convertible is an all-new vehicle, it has not yet been crash-tested by the government or the IIHS.  All Camaros receive OnStar, with one free year of GM's Safe and Sound Plan, which features services like monthly email alerts, automatic crash response and roadside assistance.

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