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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.

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This is one of those moments when I want to be Kid Rock although I really don’t understand why he is famous. Why? Because Chevrolet and NASCAR racer Jimmie Johnson collaborated to make Kid Rock’s birthday party one that he will never forget. The famous rocker turned 40 this week and had a celebration concert where Johnson gave him a new and very cool Chevrolet Camaro on behalf of the Bow Tie brand. Kid Rock seemed very surprised and quite grateful for this great gift. More than that, he asked if he is being punked.

Ironically, his 40th birthday celebration that Kid Rock organized for himself took place at Ford Field. This special one-off Chevrolet Camaro came with some special graphics that were slathered over the back glass, doors and the hood. In addition, the car has a rather childish “BADASS” license plate.

Needless to say, I really don’t enjoy seeing how rich people like Kid Rock get great gifts like this cool Camaro. I would rather prefer that he bought one for himself and gave this one to the rest of us, not as fortunate as he is. Anyway, the car looks very cool with that matte black paint and those massive black-painted rims. I for one would remove that “40”logo and the license plate.

Post tags: Tags: camaro, Chevrolet, kid rock

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.

Post tags: Tags: camaro, Chevrolet, convertible

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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.

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