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First look: Holden flips Camaro’s wig

Bronzed Aussie: Open-top Camaro was also designed by Holden.

Convertible version of GM's Australian-designed Camaro coupe surfaces, via Facebook

16 Apr 2010

CHEVROLET’S long-awaited Camaro Convertible, which like the coupe it is based on was created by GM Holden in Port Melbourne, has officially broken cover on General Motors’ Facebook web page.

Although GM has released only a pair of full frontal and rear-end images of the topless Camaro - which will enter production alongside the coupe at the company’s Oshawa assembly plant in Ontario, Canada in early 2011 - the production version looks identical to the concept revealed at the 2007 Detroit motor show.

Like the VE Commodore-based Camaro coupe, the convertible version of the two-door hard-top – which was this month named as the World Car Design of the Year by a panel of international judges - will be available with 3.6-litre V6 and 6.2-litre V8 petrol engines in North America next year.

137 center image2007 Camaro Convertible concept.The soft-top Camaro was due to have been on sale in the US this year but GM announced in March 2009 that it would suspend work on further derivatives of the Camaro - including a right-hand drive version - to cut costs.

Despite being designed and engineered by Holden Design in Australia, where the Camaro coupe is available in RHD by Queensland-based conversion company Performax, neither the coupe nor convertible has been formally approved for release in Australia.

“As with the Camaro coupe, all of the design and engineering work for the production version of the Camaro Convertible was done here by us, but no at this stage there is no business case for either model in Australia,” said Holden spokesman Jonathan Rose.

Chevrolet has sold more than 80,000 examples of the fifth-generation Camaro coupe since it went on sale in the US in April 2009, far exceeding GM’s sales and profit forecast for the iconic American muscle-car, which had been out of production since 2002.

The latest incarnation of the 41-year-old Camaro pony-car is based on the same global large rear-wheel drive platform, which GM dubs Zeta, that underpins the VE Commodore.

The 2007 Camaro Convertible concept shared its exterior dimensions with the Camaro coupe, measuring 4730mm long, 2022mm wide and 1344mm high, but the drop-top’s windscreen surround, which featured a bright anodised finish, was changed slightly to accommodate the convertible top.

Other unique design cues included a tonneau cover over the folding top, ‘halo’ headlights, LED tail-lights, a race-inspired fuel filler, a front bonnet scoop inspired by the Corvette Z06 and rear mudguard ‘gills’.

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