The Los Angeles Auto Show this week will see the long-awaited 2011 Camaro Convertible getting its first public outing before going on sale in February of 2011 with an estimated starting price $30,000. Today, General Motors released more photos and details as well as a couple of new videos of the soft-top variant of the Camaro, which has been in the works ever since the introduction of the coupe model but was constantly delayed due to the firm's financial troubles.
GM says the conversion from coupe to convertible comprised of four strategic reinforcements to enhance the body structure including, the addition of a tower-to-tower brace under the hood, a transmission support reinforcement brace, underbody tunnel brace and, front and rear underbody "V" braces. The company's goal was to match the coupe as closely as possible in ride quality, handling and overall performance.
Additional safety structural reinforcements include a hydrofromed tube in the A-pillars, an inner reinforcement bracket in the windshield header, a reinforced front hinge pillar and reinforcements inside the rockers.
"To compensate for the reduced structure of an open car, engineers often will make the suspension softer, making the convertible a boulevard cruiser," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. "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."
According to GM, the result of the structural changes to the convertible body give it better torsional stiffness than the BMW 3-Series convertible.
The Camaro Convertible comes equipped with a standard power-folding top that retracts in about 20 seconds. Furthermore, a folding, one-piece tonneau cover is standard on 2LT and 2SS models and optional on 1LT/1SS.
Other changes over the coupe model include the relocation of the radio antenna to the boot and the trunk lock cylinder from between the taillamps to an area between the rear seat back cushion and driver's side interior panel.
The soft-top four-seater will be offered in similar model configurations as the Camaro coupe, meaning buyers will have a choice of two engines, a 312HP 3.6-liter V6 delivering 29 mpg highway and an 6.2L V8 with 426 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with an optional six-speed automatic.
Finally, nine production exterior colors will be available available, with tops offered in black or tan. All models will be equipped with rear parking assist as standard.