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Chevrolet Brings Peak Power in the Camaro ZL1 Convertible

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author photo by Nick Palermo October 2011

Chevrolet will debut its newest Camaro next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The ZL1 convertible is the most powerful open-top car in the brand's hundred-year history. Like its coupe counterpart, the ZL1 convertible is motivated by a supercharged 6.2L V8 producing an extraordinary 580 horsepower and 556 lb.-ft. of torque. A mainstay of powerful American cars, Chevrolet has been building vehicles with outrageous V8 horsepower and torque since before the 1960s.

But by 2009, the year this fifth-generation Camaro debuted as a 2010 model year, automakers found themselves able to deliver both huge power and acceptable tailpipe emissions. A horsepower war was in full swing, with automakers introducing the most powerful vehicles ever. Unlike their vintage predecessors, these modern muscle cars have handling to match their power, allowing drivers to enjoy performance driving in situations beyond the straight line drag race.

Since inception, the architecture of the current Camaro was intended to accommodate both coupe and convertible configurations. Adding further structural reinforcements to the ragtop version gives the convertible Camaro the stiffness and rigidity drivers expect from a closed-roof vehicle.

Although few potential buyers will likely compare a ZL1 to, for example, a $200,000 Aston Martin, Chevrolet is proud to point out that this Camaro represents a tremendous value among vehicles with comparable power.

Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, calls the car "one of the most powerful and most capable, convertibles available at any price. This is a car that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drop the top - or hit the gas."

Although pricing has not been released for the ZL1 convertible, it's almost certain to undercut most exotics. Chevy uses the aforementioned Aston Martin DB9 Volante as an example. The Camaro, like the DB9, is a 2+2 convertible. The British exotic's 470 horsepower V12 even looks weak compared to the monstrous ZL1. Potential buyers will likely compare the Camaro to vehicles like the Ford Shelby GT500. Interested parties will have to wait, though. While the ZL1 coupe will hit showrooms early next year, the convertible is not expected until late in 2012.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Chevrolet Brings Peak Power in the Camaro ZL1 Convertible - Autotrader