Get out the sunscreen because Chevy’s just taken the top off its all-new 2016 Camaro.
A month after revealing the sixth-generation muscle car in Detroit, the automaker is now showing off the redesigned convertible version. One thing is for certain, too, Chevy’s come a long way since 1967, the Camaro’s first model year, when the available convertible model came with a manually operated top. Back then, a power-operated top cost an extra $52.70 and was selected by 47 percent of buyers.
Chevy hopes the new drop-top will trump rival the Ford Mustang by offering the segment’s first, fully automatic, stowed roof. Its fully automatic operation has latches that automatically release and secure the top. (Conventional, semi-automatic soft tops on the current Camaro and Mustang operate only when the vehicle is stationary and require some manual muscle to decouple from the roof.) You can also open and close the top while traveling at up to speeds of 30 mph, plus use a key fob to open it remotely.
“The 2016 Camaro coupe will set the benchmark for the segment in terms of technology, performance and design,” said Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager. “Adding the most sophisticated top in the segment brings another level of refinement – and driving enjoyment – to the Camaro convertible.”
In the looks department, the biggest thing to note about the Camaro convertible is that it now gets a hard tonneau cover that deploys automatically over the folded roof. So everything just looks, shall we say, cleaner.
“With many convertibles, you have to affix a tonneau cover manually – if it’s done at all,” said Tom Peters, design director. “The Camaro convertible’s automatically deploying hard tonneau not only makes it easier to enjoy convertible driving when the inspiration hits, it ensures the car always looks its best.”
The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction, including acoustic and thermal barriers, designed for a comfortable, quiet driving experience in all seasons.
Like the Camaro coupe, the convertible benefits from a stiffer, lighter structure that helps reduce total vehicle weight by at least 200 pounds compared to the model it replaces. Consequently, the Camaro convertible retains the coupe’s sharp chassis tuning and nimble reflexes.
“From the beginning, the Camaro’s architecture was developed to incorporate a convertible with uncompromised driving dynamics,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Customers will appreciate what they don’t feel: quivers, cowl shake or an under-damped chassis typically found in a four-seat convertible.”
The new Camaro convertible arrives in early 2016. Both the coupe and convertible will be built at General Motors’ Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Mich.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet