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Future models - Chevrolet - Camaro - convertible

First look: Chop-top Camaro set for production

Colourful: The bright orange duco is a throwback to the 1970s.

GM completes its Camaro lineup with a soft-top convertible

8 Jan 2007

LAST year the Chevrolet Camaro concept was the celebrated star of the American car show circuit.

Now Detroit has revealed a new star rising: the Camaro convertible concept.

Chevrolet already has announced production plans for the Camaro, which will go on sale in North American in 2009.

A production convertible will arrive a year later.

Using the underpinnings of the VE Commodore, the convertible concept is based on the original Camaro concept, with only minor changes required to accommodate the convertible body style.

It shares exterior dimensions with the Camaro concept, being 4730mm long, 2022mm wide and 1344mm high, although the convertible’s windscreen surround, which features a bright anodised finish, is changed slightly to accommodate the convertible top.

The convertible is powered by a torquey V8 engine driving the rear wheels via a manual transmission.

It also features a four-wheel independent suspension system and four-wheel disc brakes.

GM vice president, global design, Ed Welburn, said the best follow up to last year’s Camaro concept was a convertible concept.

“The Camaro convertible concept instantly evokes an emotional response - it's a vehicle that you want to make room for in your garage,” he said.

Like its hardtop sibling, the convertible blends a dramatic, forward-looking design that is mindful of the brand’s heritage.

That design includes classic long bonnet and short boot and a wide, wheels-at-each-corner stance.

Additional design details include a tonneau cover over the folding top, “halo” headlights, LED tail-lights, race-inspired fuel filler, and front bonnet scoop inspired by the Corvette Z06 and rear mudguard “gills”.

The convertible’s Hugger Orange pearl tri-coat colour is a contemporary update of the classic hue, which was originally offered in 1969.

It is complemented with twin gun-metal gray sport stripes.

The convertible concept rides on 21-inch front wheels and 22-inch rear wheels. The wheels have a deep-dish, five-spoke design and feature charcoal center sections with bright outer edges and an orange outline on the wheel edge.

Inside is a simple yet purposeful interior inspired by the muscle car era that delivered the first-generation Camaro.

A new, light-and-dark color scheme enhances the airy feel of the convertible, particularly when the top is lowered.

The seat fronts feature platinum-tone leather surrounding suede-like Alcantara inserts, with black, sculpted seatbacks.

137 center imageThe use of light color only on the seating surface is reminiscent of vintage hounds tooth interiors, while a matching, tri-coat platinum paint is used to accent the door panels and instrument panel, giving a modern, bold feel to the interior.

As with the Camaro coupe concept, the convertible concept features an instrument panel inspired by first-generation Camaros (1967-1969), including an intricate “round-gauges-in-square-holes” design.

The gauges have a deep, three-dimensional appearance, with white faces and red pointers.

Attention to detail is evident throughout the interior, including the smoke satin aluminum finish on trim plates, vents, seat handles and safety belt buckles.

The shifter and pedals are made of billet aluminum.

The steering wheel has a detailed, deep-dish three-spoke design and the front seats are hinged at the center - rather than the sides - for an integrated appearance.

A separate ignition button is used to start the engine and the speedo and tachometer needles complete full-sweep indexing when the engine rumbles to life. A “spine” motif runs through the center of the vehicle and on the seatbacks, including a prominent centre console that stretches to the rear seat.

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