What kind of chemistry do you have with your car? Love it? Loathe it? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

Chevrolet lifts the lid on the Camaro Convertible

Chevrolet has unveiled the first pictures and details for the Camaro Convertible - and this one is coming to the UK in 2011.

Aside from the soft-top (and it is a soft top, not a metal folding roof), it's set to be similar to the Camaro coupe. For Europe, that means a 6.2-litre V-8 engine producing 426 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with an optional six-speed automatic.

"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."

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's architecture was designed to accommodate a convertible model, which means customers enjoy the fun of top-down cruising with coupe-like driving dynamics. Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to eliminate common convertible maladies of cowl and steering wheel shake. They include:

  • A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
  • A transmission support reinforcement brace
  • Underbody tunnel brace
  • Front and rear underbody "V" braces.


"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.

"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."

At the outset, designers and engineers sought to eliminate the common appearance of convertible top support ribs and they succeeded, using composite knuckles rather than aluminium ones, as well as extending the top material below the belt line and revising the top's stitch lines. The result is a top that has a smooth, taut and carefully tailored appearance that also retains the sleek roofline of the coupe.

The power-folding top retracts in about 20 seconds. It is built in partnership with the same manufacturer as the Corvette convertible top, and operates in a similar manner. That means it folds in a simple "Z" pattern and latches with a single, convenient handle located at the center of the windshield header. Other convertible models in this segment still offer convertible tops with dual latches, forcing drivers into two-hand operations reaching across the car.

Once the latch is turned to the open position, the push of a single button lowers the windows and activates the top. The car doesn't have to be parked for the top to be activated, allowing for spur-of-the-moment lowering while stopped at a stoplight.

The top is made of thick, durable canvas and it features acoustical headliner material that provides a quiet, coupe-like ride when the top is up. It also incorporates a glass rear window and rear window defogger.

A folding, one-piece tonneau cover is standard on 2LT and 2SS models and optional on 1LT/1SS. It covers the folded top for a finished appearance. An accessory windscreen is available from Chevrolet dealers. It installs behind the front seats to limit wind buffeting when driving with the top down.


SPECIFICATIONS (Please note, these refer to US Specification models)


Models: Chevrolet Camaro convertible
Body style / driveline: four-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive convertible
Construction: unitized body frame, one- and two-sided galvanized steel
Manufacturing location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada


  3 6.2L V-8 (LS3, L99)
Type:   6.2L V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc):   376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm):   4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material:   cast aluminium w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners
Cylinder head material:   aluminium
Valvetrain:   overhead valve; two valves per cylinder; roller lifters; Active Fuel Management (L99)
Ignition system:   coil near plug ignition
Fuel delivery:   sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio:   10.7:1 (LS3); 10.4:1 (L99)
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):  

426 / 318 @ 5900 (LS3)*

400 / 298 @ 5900 (L99)*

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):  

420 / 569 @ 4600 (LS3)*

410 / 556 @ 4300 (L99)*

Recommended fuel:   premium recommended not required
Maximum engine speed (rpm):  

6200 (L99)

6600 (LS3)

Emissions controls:   evaporative system, close-coupled catalytic converters, positive crankcase ventilation, electronic throttle control
EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy) US Measurements:  

16 / 25 (auto)

16 / 24 (man)


Chassis / Suspension

Front: double-ball-joint, multi-link strut; direct-acting stabiliser bar; progressive-rate coil springs; fully adjustable camber, caster and toe
Rear: 4.5-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; stabiliser bar; fully adjustable camber and toe
Steering type: variable-ratio rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio: 16.1:1
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.5
Turning circle, kerb-to-kerb (ft / m): 37.7/11.5


Type: four-wheel disc w/ ABS; ventilated front and rear discs; single-piston front callipers and single-piston alloy rear callipers (LS, LT); four-piston fixed Brembo aluminium front and rear callipers (SS)
Disc diameter, front (in / mm): 14 / 355
Disc diameter, rear (in / mm): 14.4 / 365
Disc thickness, front (in / mm): 1.26 / 32
Disc thickness, rear (in / mm): 1.1 / 28

Wheels / Tyres

Wheel size and type:     20 x 8-inch aluminium (front)
20 x 9-inch aluminium (rear)
Tyres:     P245/45ZR20 summer (front)
P275/40ZR20 summer (rear)



Wheelbase (in / mm):   112.3 / 2852
Overall length (in / mm):   190.4 / 4836
Overall width (in / mm):   75.5 / 1918
Overall height (in / mm):   54.7 / 1389
Track, front (in / mm):   63.7 / 1618
Track, rear (in / mm):   64.1 / 1628 (LT)
63.7 / 1618 (SS)
Kerb weight (lb / kg):   3986 /  1808 - LT w/ automatic
3995 /  1812 - LT w/ manual
4168 /  1891 - SS w/ automatic
4116 /  1867 - SS w/ manual
Weight balance (% front / rear):   52 / 48


Seating capacity (front / rear):   2 / 2
Headroom (in / mm):   front: 37.8 / 960
rear: 35.7/ 908
Legroom (in / mm):   front: 42.4 / 1077
rear: 30 / 760
Shoulder room (in / mm):   front: 56.8 / 1444
rear: 42.4 / 1079


Cargo volume (cu ft / L):   10.24 / 290 (top up)
7.85 /  222 (top down)
Fuel tank (gal / L):   18.8 / 71.7
Engine oil (qt / L):   6.2L: 8.9 / 8.5

*SAE certified.




Add a comment


Ask Honest John

Value my car