GM drops the top on its most anticipated new car
Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Concept Preview – 2007 Detroit Auto Show: General Motors took the wraps off the new Chevrolet Camaro concept during last year’s Detroit Auto Show and the response was clear: Build it. GM decided that’d probably be a swell idea, considering that even if a tiny fraction of that interest turns into sales, the 2009 Camaro will be a success. That’s even more likely to occur now that the Camaro Convertible Concept has debuted. The concept sported a soft top, but given the amount of pain GM has gone through to develop a retractable hard top roof, we’re betting that the actual 2009 production model will show up with a hard top.
As if there were any question that GM would build a convertible version of its Mustang fighter. Indeed, this concept is more about stoking the fires of Baby Boomer interest until the production version debuts next year. With a concept slathered in Hugger Orange Pearl tri-coat paint, they sure got everyone’s attention. What’s possibly more relevant about the Camaro Convertible Concept, however, are subtle body changes that indicate a move toward production status.
Can you hear the wind passing through the cockpit? If not, it’s probably because you’re listening to the sweet notes of a rumored Corvette-derived engine. That would be the 6.0-liter powerplant, making 400 horsepower and just as many smiles, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. There will be the now-common Active Fuel Management, of course, and the V6 engine/automatic transmission for those who can’t afford the V8 experience. And Mustang fans, take note: the Camaro is built on a four-wheel independent suspension system.
It looks like the most deliciously mean Creamsicle ever – with racing stripes – and the perfect complement to the concept that debuted last year. Highlights of the exterior design, which harkens back to the 1969 Camaro but with a fair amount of modern style, features a long hood, a short deck and wheels pushed out to the corners that measure 21 inches up front and 22 in back. Other highlights include that Hugger Orange pearl tri-coat color with gunmetal gray racing stripes. The original Hugger Orange, by the way, was offered in the 1969.
Inside, the Camaro convertible features a new, light-and-dark color scheme that is supposed to enhance the “airy” feel of the convertible. Seat fronts feature platinum-tone leather surrounding suede-like Alcantara inserts, with black, sculpted seatbacks. Tri-coat platinum paint is used to accent the door panels and instrument panel, lending a modern feel to the interior. As with the Camaro coupe concept, the convertible concept features an instrument panel inspired by the late sixties Camaro, including deep, three-dimensional gauges, with white faces and red pointers.
General Motors is loving this, to be sure. First, everyone goes gaga over last year’s Camaro Concept. Then, as the 2007 Detroit Auto Show approaches, so many automotive publications break the embargoed date for publication that is causes a wave of Camaro fever leading up to the biggest show of the year.
If they could build it sooner, they should. This time next year, when GM rolls out the production version, they’ll undoubtedly include the convertible to go with the coupe. We’re guessing that the production convertible will have a retractable hard top instead of the soft top pictured here.