General Motors unwrapped the drop-top version of the newest Chevy Camaro Wednesday, showing off a roof that can go down while the car is in motion. That’s a big improvement over today’s convertible version, which is overly complicated and can only function when the car is stopped.
The carmaker teased the convertible earlier this week, showing a 15-second video of the car driving down some desert roads, promising “There’s only one button between you and the sky.” Chevy says it will be the only convertible available that is capable of opening and closing its roof at speeds up to 30 mph. You can also open the top remotely with your key fob.
Leaked images of the convertible showed up on Chevy’s site Tuesday, according to fan site Camaro6.com, which posted the photos on its home page.
The new convertible Camaro will be available in early 2016, weighing some 200 lbs. less than the previous version. As with the hardtop, fans will have a choice of three engines — a four-cylinder turbo, V-6 and 455-hp V-8, each available with either an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
“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.”
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 option selected by 47 percent of buyers.
The Camaro left the market in 2002, and came back in 2009. Since its rebirth, the muscle car has annually outsold the Ford Mustang and attracted scads of buyers who had never been GM customers before.