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Chevrolet Unveils Camaro Convertible Indy

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indy

Last night Chevrolet unveiled the Camaro Convertible Indianapolis 500 at the Barrett-Jackson auction. The car is in fact a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible that has a style inspired by the 1969 Camaro pace car. This will be the seventh time for a Camaro to pace this race which this year will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Chevrolet will be auctioning off the first of 50 replica pace cars this Saturday night and all the money will go to the David Foster Foundation which is a charity that supports families with children that need organ transplants.

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indy

The cars are equipped with a V8 power unit that outputs 400 hp (298 kW), linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

All of the 50 cars are SS convertibles fitted with the 2SS equipment package that offers as standard the following features: 4-wheel disc brakes with Brembo 4-piston calipers and hydraulic assist; StabiliTrak ESC – Electronic Stability Control; Sport/Competitive mode that improves the on-track performance; with the manual transmission, a Performance Launch Control that will enhance the hard-acceleration launches for a quicker response; 20-inch aluminum rims wrapped with performance tires; head-up instrument display and center console with auxiliary gauge package.

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indy

Besides this 2SS equipment package, all the cars come with the RS package that adds HID headlamps and unique tail lamps.

In Depth – Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

After a couple of annoying delays, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible is finally available and the wait was worth it.  Four years ago Chevrolet showed us the Camaro Convertible Concept, a year later after the original Camaro Concept. They planned since then a convertible version but due to bankruptcy issues, the production model was unfortunately postponed.

After the crisis has passed, sun worshipers can now enjoy the Camaro Convertible if they can afford it, of course. Taking the recipe from the standard Camaro, the convertible version sounds better, is better and is more fun to drive than the original model. It was a risky business for Chevrolet to remove the roof of the Camaro and at the same time maintain the car’s eccentric look, but somehow they did it. In the coupe version, the roof of the car is pulled in tight over the massive flat rear fenders while for the convertible model, the roof meets the haunches in a more natural way and fills the space on the rear deck better.

A neat trick is the AM/FM antenna which hides in the rear spoiler, maintaining the smooth look of the roof. At the moment the roof is available in black and tan, but later on the manufacturer will introduce other colors as well.

Of course, driving without the roof improves the driver’s visibility greatly and even more interesting is that with the roof up; the Camaro convertible is easier to see out of than its coupe sibling. Just as you have might expected, the rear window of the car is considerably smaller, but in actual visibility you wouldn’t notice it that much. The downside is that from the windshield forward, the convertible is identical to the coupe which means that those huge A-pillars are still there and you will have some trouble looking through the corner. The visibility is quite low but those A-pillars are necessary for the rollover protection.

You will forget about this downside once the wind is in your hair. In order to remove the roof, you need to grab the single center-installed latch, then pull it down and twist it to the right. After that, you need to push and hold the roof-control switch which is conveniently located nearby and let the car take care of the rest. It should take about 16 seconds to go topless. In order to have the necessary space for all of the roof parts, the trunk space has been lowered to 10.2 cubic feet in comparison to the 11.3 offered by the coupe version. If you decide to fold the roof, you will only have 7.9 cubic feet of space. A similar feature that you can find in the Cadillac XLR is the pull-out screen that is capable of protecting the soft roof from your cargo.

A more difficult chore is putting the roof back on the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible. If you have got the $200 optional tonneau cover in place, it must go back in that tiny trunk. After that, the roof needs to come up and it will do so in about 25 seconds.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

The Camaro Convertible uses a front suspension consisting of struts, coil springs and an anti-roll bar while for the back it has coil springs and also an anti-roll bar. To stop it, Chevy engineers equipped the Camaro with 14-inch vented discs in the front and 14.4-inch vented discs for the back wheels. The car rolls on 8×20-inch wheels in the front and 9×20-inch rims in the back, covered by Pirelli PZero 245/40ZR20 103Y / 275/40ZR20.

People over at Chevy claim that their Camaro Convertible is stiffer than the highly-acclaimed BMW 3-Series Convertible; we will let you decide that. The Camaro packs new V-braces under the front and rear of the vehicle, a new front shock tower brace, a new transmission brace and a new sheer panel situated below the driveshaft. All of the additional parts, including the ones for the folding roof, added 253 pounds to the overall weight of a car that was already quite hefty. The good side is that the weight distribution is now closer to the 50:50 magic ratio.

Driving the car you will not notice the extra weight of the convertible and it feels just about the same as the coupe model. People over at Chevrolet said that they have been working very hard at improving the car’s handling for both of the configurations. Both models benefit from updated damper settings for less understeer and better on-center feel. The downside is that this additional weight is felt in the engine performance because the SS V8-powered model will do the 0-60 mph sprint in 4.9 seconds which is 0.2 more than the coupe version.

The good thing about the added weight is that the car feels more planted while driving in comparison to the coupe and it is more deliberate while cornering. This confidence during driving always allows a better driving experience.

Although the Camaro Convertible might be fashionably late in this segment, the timing is just perfect for it. We are very curious to see how well this new model will sell if we take into consideration that it will only be available in the LT and SS trims and not in the entry-level LS. This means that the base price of the car will be $30,000 for the one powered with the V6 engine and $37,500 for the more powerful V8 engine. This means that the Camaro convertible is $2,000 more expensive than the Ford Mustang convertibles. Probably this difference in price tag will not affect sales, taking into consideration the fact that Camaro coupe buyers are already paying $500 more in comparison to Mustang buyers.

According to the EPA ratings, the 2011 Camaro Convertible it will do 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. CO2 emissions stand at 1.03 lb/mile. All things considered, it is without any doubt one of the most interesting convertibles of this year.

PIECHA Mercedes E Class Convertible

PIECHA Mercedes E Class Convertible

PIECHA Design just revealed their take on the already beautiful Mercedes E-Class Convertible, but unfortunately the car did not receive any extra power, just aesthetic improvements. PIECHA Design is a Mercedes-Benz tuning specialist based in Rottweil and with their latest program, they wanted to give the E-Class Convertible a fresh new look further enhancing the elegant lines of the car.

In the front of the E-Class Convertible, they installed a spoiler lip that supplements the standard AMG styling, increasing the sporty look of the car. At the back, the same successful recipe was applied and the new tail diffuser has perfectly integrated a four-pipe sports exhaust system, replacing the original one developed by Mercedes-Benz. By adding a 3-part spoiler lip on the boot lid, it further increases the beauty of the car and at the same time improves aerodynamics. The new side skirts of the car are now equipped with integrated a LED lightning system, a feature that can be installed on all Mercedes-Benz models, according to the official press release published by the tuner.

As far as the emission control aspect is concerned, the guys over at PIECHA Design installed their own Quadro series system. Their 4-pipe exhaust sub-systems can be fitted for all 4, 6 and 8-cylinder power units, for coupe and convertible models alike. Also available is an exhaust system conversion kit which permits the two oval chrome tail pipe sections to be welded onto the regular sound absorbers.

With this new styling of the Mercedes E-Class Convertible, the engineers installed the 19-inch dp2 Phantom rims. These 8-spoke wheels feature a high-gloss polish stainless steel base and a multi-element look. At the front, the car is equipped with 8.5 x 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/35 R19 tires while at the back, the E-Class rolls on 9.5 x 19-inch rims covered by 275/30 R19 tires.

PIECHA Mercedes E Class Convertible

For the convertible model and also for other cars produced by Mercedes-Benz that have an electronic accelerator, PIECHA offers a power convertor that is capable of fully canceling out any sort of slow reaction time. With this system, the car is able to accelerate more powerful even when it is at an idling speed. The system has a separate control that can be switched between standard mode, sports mode and urban-driving mode. In addition, the system features a potentiometer which allows the driver to tweak the system in order to adapt it to match the particular type of vehicle as well as the driving style.

For the roof, PIECHA installed the Vario module, a simple plug-and-play solution for the Mercedes E-Class Convertible. With this module, the driver of the car has the ability to open or close the roof of the E-Class while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h, using only the standard key, without the need to hold the switch or car key pressed all the time.

Here is a price list published by PIECHA in their press release:

CS RC power convertor, 357 Euros; dp2 Phantom rim set, 1,690 Euros; Quadro exhaust sub-system, 1,385 Euros; Comfort Vario roof, 359 Euros; Side skirt LED lightning, 370 Euros; Rear spoiler lip, 430 Euros; Rear diffuser element, 785 Euros and Front spoiler lip, 750 Euros.

2012 BMW 1 Series Coupe And Convertible Announced

2012 BMW 1 Series Coupe And Convertible

After the launch of the 1-Series M Coupe, BMW will add two new models to its least expensive range of cars. The two models are the coupe and convertible versions of the 128i and 135i which will receive mild styling updates and a brand new powertrain (only for the 135i). As an optional feature, the 128i can be fitted with Xenon headlamps which come as standard on the 135i, and for the 2012 model, they feature a horizontal LE eyebrow that complements the corona running lamps. In the back of the car, BMW equipped both models with LED running lamps that are similar to the rest of the lamps found on the other BMW cars. Standard on the 135i and optional on the 128i is the tweaked M Sport package which consists of an aero kit, an increased top speed limiter and more sporting suspension geometry. As an optional feature, the car can be equipped with M-branded interior trim components and sport seats.

Similar to its bigger brother, the 3-Series, the 135i from BMW is equipped with the N55 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger that is capable of outputting 300 hp and 300 pound-feet of torque. As standard, the engine is linked to a manual 6-speed gearbox, but can be fitted to a 7-speed DCT gearbox that was first available on the beautiful Z4 roadster. With this transmission, the car needs 5.1 seconds for the 0-100 km/h sprint and with the standard gearbox, it will reach 100 km/h from start in 5.4 seconds.

The cheaper 128i will be fitted with the naturally aspirated 3.0-liter power unit that equips the outgoing generation. This engine produces 230 hp and a 200 lb-ft and can be linked with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or with a Steptronic transmission.

Both of the cars benefit from a complex suspension system that features aluminum double-pivot suspension in the front and a 5-link fully independent rear suspension made out of lightweight steel. Both cars are equipped with the proprietary DSC technology – Dynamic Stability Control, which includes DTC – Dynamic Traction Control, a function that provides electronic intervention in order to avoid loss of automobile control, but at a higher threshold before activation. The driver has the possibility to disable both systems if he wants to take full control of the car. As an optional feature only on the 135i Coupe, is the Active Steering which is a variable ratio steering system. The electronic rear brake management simulates a differential lock for allowing a stronger acceleration in low-traction conditions and in turns.

The rear differential of the 128i and the 135i is from a new generation of final drives that were designed and optimized in order improve fuel efficiency and smoothness of the ride. For the first time, the differential sports double-helical ball bearings which allow it to run at lower temperatures which are reached more quickly due to the reduction of the fluid required in the differential. The front suspension of the car features a double-pivot spring and strut front suspension that has an anti-roll bar, made out of aluminum, and is capable of offering the perfect balance between low weight and stiffness. In order to improve the dynamics of the 1-Series, the German engineers at BMW updated the stable stack control arms and thrust rods, along with an almost perfect wheel positioning.

The pricing for the 2012 BMW 1-Series will be published at the beginning of 2011, closer to the launch of the cars. The outgoing model has a basic price of $29,450 (for the 128i model) and $36,350 (for the 135i model). Our guess is that these two prices will not be very different for the 2012 model.

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Released

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

After a couple of years of teasing, Chevrolet finally allowed the world to see the 2011 Camaro Convertible, ahead of its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The car maintains its roots with the coupe model but the trunk lock cylinder is now positioned on the rear seat area and the antenna is now placed on the deck lid.

Of course, the most important change is in the top which is made out of a very durable canvas material and comes with a glass rear window with a defogger and an acoustic headliner. The top of the Camaro can be lowered in just 20 seconds or so, when the single-locking latch is opened. Just like other convertibles, the luggage area had to suffer a great deal, measuring now only 10.24 ft (290 liters) and decreases to 7.85 ft (222 liters) if the roof of the car is lowered.

The engineers at Chevrolet had to install a strut tower brace in order to guarantee that the chassis remains rock solid. Furthermore, the car is equipped with underbody “V” braces, a transmission support bracket as well as other reinforcements that eliminate cowl shake. Thanks to all of these significant modifications, the Camaro Convertible has better torsional stiffness in comparison with the 3-Series convertible from BMW.

As far as the engine compartment is concerned, the situation is just about the same in comparison with the coupe model. The entry-level engine will be the V6 3.6-liter that is capable of outputting 312 hp (232 kW) and 278 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque. For those of you concerned about fuel consumption, this engine allows the car to consume only 17 mpg city / 29 mpg highway (manual) and 18 mpg city / 29 mpg highway (automatic).

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

For those of you that want more muscle, the Camaro Convertible can be equipped with a 6.2 L99 V8 massive engine that produces 400 hp (298 kW) and 410 lb-ft (556 Nm) of torque. The engine is available only with a modern six-speed automatic gearbox and eats up 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The latest and greatest engine available for the Camaro Convertible is the 6.2 V8 that offers no more than 426 hp (318kW) and an incredible torque of 420 lb-ft (569 Nm). Connected to a sporty six-speed manual transmission, it will do 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

The car will be available at GM / Chevrolet dealers starting with February 2011.

Volkswagen Golf VI Cabrio production to start next year

In a recent press release about the Osnabrück plant future plans, Volkswagen announced that the Golf VI Cabrio will be manufactured here. With the introduction of the Eos, the previous generation Golf didn’t get a convertible version too, but things look like they’re gonna change with the Golf VI. Not sure what VW is up to with the new Golf Cabrio, because it would basically rival the Eos, but perhaps they’re going to place it a little more down-market and make it a little more affordable than the Eos.

“Over the decades, some of the most beautiful models in the automobile world have left the assembly line in Osnabrück. We will be carrying on this tradition from 2011 with the new Golf Cabrio,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen said during the tour of the site.

Lower Saxony’s Minister President David McAllister said “Many people dreamt of the Beetle Cabrio, the Karmann Ghia or the Scirocco. It is wonderful to see this tradition being continued now and to know that automobile production in Osnabrück has a future. The new Golf Cabrio will be a great car. The extensive expertise in cabriolet construction that is available here is being harnessed.”

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Chevrolet Camaro T-Top Convertible to be on show at SEMA

Drop Top Customs, the Florida-based custom car arm of Convertible Builders LLC is a builder focused on creating exclusive convertible models is presenting their latest product, a T-Top conversion for the Chevrolet Camaro, which will be unveiled at the upcoming SEMA Show in November.

According to Company President Jeff Moran, “The installation utilizes our exclusive convertible understructure reinforcement. Most of these T-top Camaros will come supercharged, so there is no need for concern when you want to let your pony run.”

The conversion kit costs $6,500 and will be available starting with mid-November.

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2012 BMW 6 Series Convertible spotted at photo shoot

The first photo of the new 2012 BMW 6 Series Convertible showed up on the internet, on online edition of Autobild. There are no details how the photo got to them or when it was taken, but another photo showed up afterwards, the original one it seems, and it shows a camera guy working around the car, so it was probably taking during a photo shooting of the car, somewhere near a lake or a sea.

The new 6 Series is scheduled to go on sale next summer or fall with pricing starting at 72,000 Euros (a little over $100,000), while a four-door version will compete the Audi A7 and the Mercedes CLS starting with early 2012.

Check out the original photo after the jump. (more…)

RAGGTOPP Natural Horse Hair Convertible Top Brush

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Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible to appear at the LA Auto Show


After the launch of the refreshed 2011 Nissan Murano, the Japanese company decided that the crossover needed something a bit more strange added to the lineup.

As such, it has now confirmed that the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible will be added to the crossover range.

The new model is billed as the world’s first four-seat, all-wheel drive convertible crossover. It will have two doors, with a folding cloth top, judging from initial rumors.

No other details are known as of yet, but we will get to see the open-top convertible at the upcoming 2010 LA Auto Show, taking place at the end of the year in California.

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Convertible Cadillac CTS finally pictured by Drop Top Customs


It seems that the rumors were true about a convertible Cadillac CTS Coupe. The experts at Drop Top Customs are in fact working on such a project, and will reveal the topless Caddy at the SEMA Show later this year.

We now have the first official sketches, above and below, showcasing the new Cadillac CTS Coupe with a folding cloth top instead of its angular roof.


For those not in the know, Cadillac has denied that a convertible will appear in the already impressive CTS range (sedan, wagon and coupe), so the guys at Drop Top Customs decided to try their hands on the popular Caddy.

Expect more details as we approach the start of the SEMA Show on November 2 in Las Vegas.

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Pagani Zonda HH convertible revealed


Last week we reported on the teaser website Italian supercar manufacturer Pagani launched for yet another one-off Zonda model.

The Pagani Zonda HH was detailed a bit, promising to blend equal parts Zonda F with the Cinque, as well as borrow some elements from the beast which is the Zonda R.

Now, the car has finally been pictured, and as you can see, it is a convertible. Besides the fact hat it has a chopped roof, no other details were revealed. Still, expect the same carbon titanium chassis, with the massive AMG V12 in the back, capable of pumping out 680 HP, with exhaust going through a titanium assembly.

Until the car is officially delivered to its mysterious American owner though, we’re still in for a long wait.
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Audi reveals R8 Spyder with 4.2-liter V8 engine


Audi made a lot of rich people with seaside homes extremely happy when it revealed the R8 Spyder V10 model (pictured above).

After a lot of rumors though, the Ingolstadt company has finally decided that poorer rich guys also deserve the R8 Spyder, and has revealed a V8 version, powered by the 4.2-liter engine, found in the original R8, and boasting the same folding cloth top as its V10 brother.

The less-powerful R8 Spyder will be able to provide adequate thrills, as the V8 engine is still capable of 430 HP, which are sent through either the R-Tronic semi-automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual, to all four wheels, thanks to the quattro system.

Among the differences between the V8 and V10 Spyder we can find conventional dampers as opposed to the magnetic ones, 18-inch wheels as opposed to 19-inch ones, but you will be able to order those V10 options for a price, of course. The same goes for the braking system, as a ceramic upgrade is optional.

The Audi R8 V8 Spyder will go on sale this fall in Europe, but nothing has been announced about US availability just yet.

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