2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible: First Look

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  • Competes with: Ford Mustang convertible 
  • Looks like: The Camaro is just as sexy with the top down 
  • Drivetrain: 312-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine; 400-hp to 426-hp, 6.2-liter V-8; six-speed manual or automatic transmission 
  • Hits dealerships: February 2011 

GM has been teasing the public with a convertible body style for the Chevrolet Camaro since, oh … 2007, but today, we finally received all the specs and a few more photos of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertible, which debuts at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Update: We’ve added pictures with the canvas top in place below.

The Camaro convertible is defined by one major change — the absence of a metal roof — with only some minor mechanical and safety changes to compensate for the droptop. Besides that, trim levels and powertrains are the same as those found on the coupe, which means there are LT and SS trims levels.

The Camaro convertible features a standard 312-horsepower V-6, which is still capable of 29 mpg highway. The SS trim’s 6.2-liter V-8 is capable of 400 hp with an automatic transmission and 426 hp with a manual. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with an optional six-speed automatic on all trims. Every Camaro convertible also comes standard with rear park assist.

The droptop’s roof is only available in cloth — there are no vinyl or hardtop options mentioned by GM — in either black or tan, depending on the exterior trim color.

The roof can retract in about 20 seconds and features a simple single-handle lock at the top of the windshield header to complete the process. This is unlike the dual-latch system found in many convertibles. There’s also acoustical foam in the headliner of the cloth top to keep out road noise. When the top is down, the convertible’s cargo capacity drops to 7.85 cubic feet from 10.24 when the top is up. A rear folding one-piece tonneau cover comes standard on the 2LT/2SS trim levels and will be optional on the 1LT/1SS trim.

Oftentimes, the transition from a coupe to a convertible plagues a car with body squeaks, rattles and body shudder due to decreased integrity, but GM says it’s addressed most of these common issues with its convertible. The Camaro convertible features several structural reinforcements such as a tower-to-tower brace under the hood and “V’ braces in the front and rear underbody that have given the model better torsional stiffness than a BMW 3 Series convertible, according to GM.

The suspension tuning hasn’t changed in the transition from coupe to convertible, either.

The Camaro convertible will start at $29,150 for the V-6 1LT, excluding an $850 destination charge. Overall, the Camaro convertible should offer the same performance chops as the coupe, but we’ll have to test GM’s claim ourselves once the model goes on sale in February.

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