Chevrolet today revealed the 2016 Camaro convertible in an event in Detroit, Michigan. Based on the redesigned Camaro coupe (obviously enough) that made its debut in mid-May, the new drop-top’s convertible roof is the most advanced folding top in its segment, says Chevrolet.
If we read between the lines, GM wants us to know the Camaro’s roof has and does stuff the Mustang’s soft-top doesn’t: that stuff includes fully-automatic windshield header latches; opening and closing at speeds up to 48 km/h; remote opening via key fob; and a hard tonneau cover that hides the folded roof for a sleeker top-down appearance. Chev also says that with the top up, the Camaro casts a nearly-identical shadow as the coupe.
Camaro’s chief engineer, Al Oppenheiser, says the car was designed for convertible duty from the start with a stiff structure to help reduce the cowl shake and body quivers endemic to convertible cars. To us, though, those characteristics are part of the convertible compromise, and there’s no way to completely eliminate those quirks without undoing the new coupe’s nearly 100-kg weight reduction.
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible goes on sale early next year, after GM moves production from Oshawa, Ontario to Lansing, MI.
Read on for Chevy’s press release:
DETROIT (Wednesday, June 24, 2015) – Let the sun shine in. Chevrolet will offer a convertible model of the all-new 2016 Camaro, featuring the segment’s most-advanced top.
The 2016 Camaro is the only convertible in the segment to offer all of the following:
Fully automatic operation with latches that automatically release and secure the top
Capability of opening or closing at speeds up to 48 km/h (30 mph)
Remote opening with the key fob
A hard tonneau cover that deploys automatically, providing a more refined, finished appearance when the top is lowered and stowed.
The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – designed for a comfortable, quiet driving experience in all seasons. The top emulates the sleek silhouette of the Camaro coupe.
“The 2016 Camaro coupe will set the benchmark for the segment in terms of technology, performance, and design,” said Shane Peever, Chevrolet brand manager for Canada. “Adding the most sophisticated top in the segment brings another level of refinement, and driving enjoyment, to the Camaro convertible.”
The new Camaro convertible arrives in early 2016.
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 architecture also enables the Camaro convertible’s sleek design, allowing the top to fold down completely beneath the belt line. The hard tonneau cover automatically covers the folded top, creating a finished appearance.
“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.”
About the 2016 Camaro
The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro offers higher levels of performance, technology and refinement and is designed to maintain the sporty car segment leadership earned over the past five years in North America.
Offered in LT and SS models, it provides a faster, more nimble driving experience, enabled by an all-new, lighter architecture – at least 90 kilograms (200 lbs.) lighter than the current model – and a broader powertrain range.
Six all-new powertrain combinations are offered, including a 2.0L Turbo rated at an SAE-certified 275 horsepower, an all-new 3.6L V-6 producing and SAE-certified 335 horsepower, and the LT1 6.2L V-8, assembled at GM’s St. Catharines, Ontario engine plant, which is SAE-certified at 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque – the most powerful Camaro SS ever. Each engine is available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
Camaro’s leaner, stiffer platform and slightly smaller dimensions are accentuated by a dramatic, sculpted exterior. Meticulously tuned in the wind tunnel, the exterior contributes to performance through reduced aerodynamic lift for better handling while enhancing highway fuel efficiency.
Inside, the driver-focused cabin integrates class-leading control technologies, including a new Driver Mode Selector, configurable instrument cluster and a customizable ambient lighting feature.
The 2016 Camaro coupe and convertible will be produced at General Motors’ Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Lansing, Mich.
FAST FACT: In 1967 – Camaro’s first model year – the available convertible model came with a manually operated top. A power-operated top was a $52.70 (US pricing) option selected by 47 percent of buyers.