The Camaro ZL1 Convertible will share the Coupe’s 580-hp supercharged V-8.
Opening up will take on a double meaning when Chevrolet brings the new Camaro ZL1 Convertible to market sometime in mid-2012. The cabriolet version of Chevy’s most powerful pony car ever will feature both a fast-opening top and a 580-horsepower V-8.
Here is a first good look at the Camaro ZL1 Convertible during a background session at the General Motors Design Dome, the styling complex where every version of the Camaro family has been designed since the original rolled off the drawing boards nearly a half century ago.
The ZL1 Coupe, which comes to market next April, is the latest in what we’re told will be a continuing series of updates to the latest Camaro iteration. Not a bad move if Chevy hopes to maintain momentum after gaining the sales lead over long-time rival Ford Mustang for the first time in decades. Coupe and Convertible share key powertrain and design elements, starting with that LSA V-8, a supercharged package that turns out 580 horsepower – 30 more than the current Mustang Shelby GT – and 556 lb-ft of torque.
The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible is lower and wider than the SS-badged ragtop.
To ensure you can hear it coming, the ZL1 will be equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system that delivers a full-throated roar at wide-open throttle but quiets down when you’re cruising the neighborhood streets.
Named in honor of the limited-edition 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the new king-on-the-hill sits lower and wider than the SS model — about 1.5 inches closer to the ground, according to Tom Peters, the design executive overseeing Chevy performance vehicles, with an extra inch of rear track and about ¾ inch of front track.
The ZL1 makes use of that with 285×20 front rubber and 305×20 performance tires in the rear stuffed under the widened wheel wells.
A significant amount of work went into maximizing aerodynamics, with a new front splitter, rockers and diffuser “working as a system to balance downforce,” according to Peters.
The Camaro ZL1 grille, meanwhile, was redesigned to improve both engine breathing and cooling. A tunnel has been added to the aluminum hood to make room for the supercharged V-8, with quad vents helping exhaust air from under the hood. The concept version we were shown features a one-piece carbon fiber hood insert. In production, that will be made of impact-resistant plastic though an optional carbon fiber piece will be available in the Chevy performance catalogue.
To slow the galloping pony down, Chevy will migrate to 6-caliper Brembos on the ZL1.
The convertible top is essentially the same as the one used in the standard-issue Camaro Convertible.
While Chevy isn’t ready to set a hard date the introduction of the Camaro ZL1 Convertible will likely follow several months after the launch of the ZL1 Coupe…..
article compliments of the detroit bureau.com
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