The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 loses its Top

Chevrolet’s most powerful convertible ever.

The fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro was at the forefront of the muscle car revival in Detroit. The Camaro’s fresh, modern design and classic rear-wheel drive V-8 formula effectively brought the car out from hiding and into the spotlight. But Chevrolet didn’t stop there. A new Camaro ZL1 performance model was introduced for 2012 and now has lost its top to become the most powerful convertible Chevrolet has ever produced.

“The Camaro ZL1 convertible will be one of the most powerful and most capable, convertibles available at any price,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro Chief Engineer. “This is a car that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drop the top – or hit the gas.”

The new Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible is powered by the same 6.2-liter supercharged “LSA” V-8 engine that the ZL1 coupe uses. The output for the supercharged V-8 is an incredible 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft. of torque, making a sub four-second 0-60 mph time easily within reach. Compared to other 2+2 super car convertibles such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, Aston Martin DB9 Volante, and Ford Shelby GT500, the Camaro ZL1 convertible has at least 30 more horsepower than each model. This sets the ZL1 at the top of the super car convertible food chain.

Unlike most convertibles, the Camaro ZL1 doesn’t sacrifice handling for the sake of a cloth top. The car was originally engineered by Chevy to accommodate a convertible model; therefore numerous reinforcements were made to the chassis including a transmission support brace, underbody tunnel brace, front cross brace, rear underbody “V” brace, and tower-to-tower engine bay brace. Chevrolet also installed A-pillar hydroformed tubes, inner windshield reinforcement brackets, and rocker and front hinge reinforcements for all Camaro convertibles. The modifications made to the chassis and body of the ZL1 convertible make it similar in terms of stiffness and handling as the ZL1 coupe and reduce unwanted noise and vibrations.

The Camaro ZL1 convertible utilizes the latest chassis and suspension technology from GM to make it a superb handler. For the ZL1 convertible, Chevrolet uses its third-generation Magnetic Ride with twin-wire/dual-coil dampers on the front and rear axles. The system adjusts the damping levels at a rate of 1,000 times per second, which translates to one-inch of distance traveled at 60 mph. This ensures that the suspension is properly suited and responsive to any road conditions it may encounter. Also standard on the Camaro ZL1 convertible is GM Performance Traction Management, which integrates all of the electronic management systems to improve vehicle launches, cornering, and handling.

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible will be sold as a 2013 model and be available for purchase in late 2012. The new ZL1 convertible will be presented at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Pricing has not been announced by General Motors.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible Specifications:

Type: LSA
Displacement: 6.2 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Aspiration: Supercharged
Maximum Horsepower: 580 (432 kW)
Maximum Torque: 556 lb-ft. (754 Nm)

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible Gallery:

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[Source: Chevrolet]

This article was contributed by our car tuning media partner Motoring Exposure. For more Chevrolet related topics visit

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