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Chevrolet Camaro soft-top breaks cover

Soft option: The Chevrolet Camaro was designed from the ground up to be a drop-top, and it shows.

Ragtop version of Chevy’s Camaro hero car unveiled just a month after hardtop

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Chevrolet logo25 Jun 2015

CHEVROLET has released the first details for its all-new Camaro drop-top, 49 years after the very first version came out back in 1967.

While there is still a faint glimmer of hope that the Camaro will make it to Australia as GM Holden’s promised performance hero, the odds are lengthening by the day, with the car-maker remaining non-committal in a statement today.

“We have no announcements to make regarding our future product today, but we will continue to leverage GM’s global portfolio and as promised will deliver a true sports car as part of this strategy,” the statement from Holden read.

Previously, the company said that it will “take a very close look” at the Camaro, but no plans exist in the GM framework to produce a right-hand-drive version.

The previous-generation Camaro was built atop a modified Zeta platform that was also used under the VE and now VF Holden Commodore, and it was designed at the GM Australia design studio in Melbourne.

The latest model is constructed around an all-new aluminium-based Alpha structure, and senior GM officials have made it clear on several occasions that right-hook configuration is unlikely.

Conceived from the outset to be the recipient of a drop-top, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will feature a completely automated folding roof that can be lowered remotely via the key fob.

Raising and lowering the lid is completely automated, with no latches to unlock or windows to lower. The top can be activated in either direction at speeds of up to 50km/h, and is made of multiple layers for better acoustic damping.

A hard tonneau cover secures the top when retracted, with the electro-hydraulic mechanics stowing down below the belt line of the Camaro for a clean, resolved look.

It will go on sale in the United States next year, and will parallel the coupe’s specs. This means three engines will be on offer a 205kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, an all-new 250kW/385Nm 3.6-litre V6 and a range-topping 339kW/617Nm LT1 6.2-litre V8.

All engines will be available with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Camaro uses a multi-link MacPherson strut front suspension with a double-pivot design up front, while at the back, a five-link independent suspension is said to reduce squat on acceleration, thereby improving traction.

While no final weight figure was supplied for the convertible, Chevrolet said that the latest version mimics the coupe by being “up to” 90kg lighter than the previous car, putting the V8-powered car in the 1730kg weight range.

“The 2016 Camaro coupe will set the benchmark for the segment in terms of technology, performance, and design," said Camaro marketing manager Todd Christensen. “Adding the most sophisticated top in the segment brings another level of refinement, and driving enjoyment, to the Camaro convertible.”

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