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The Muscle Wars Continue: Camaro Convertible First Look

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author photo by Autotrader October 2010

Since its resurrection in 2009, the Chevrolet Camaro has been busy duking it out with Ford's brawny Mustang for the title of America's favorite muscle car. Comparison tests and sales figures have produced varying results, but the Mustang has always held one important trump card: a convertible bodystyle. According to Chevrolet, however, the Mustang won't have that advantage for much longer.

Chevrolet recently announced the addition of a convertible to the sporty Camaro line. The automaker says we'll get our first in-person glimpse of the new Camaro at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, with sales to begin in February – just in time to ring in a long top-down driving season. Trims should mirror the hardtop Camaro, meaning the choice of either a 312-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 or a 426-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, mated to either a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.

Those numbers are nice, but faced with stiff competition from the Blue Oval, the most important number is price – and according to Chevrolet, the Camaro convertible will start at $30,000, or about $6,500 more than the cheapest coupe. That's good value for a convertible with more than 300 horsepower, but still around $2,000 more than Ford's least expensive droptop Mustang.

So, advantage Mustang? Maybe not. The Camaro can boast a little more power than the Mustang, and offers a few more standard features, such as side curtain airbags, automatic headlights, and an MP3-ready audio system. Also, word on the street is that many enthusiasts think the expressively-styled Camaro has more road presence – for better or for worse.

Regardless of the details, we know one thing for sure: come February, the hottest rivalry in the business is heating up. And we're glad that after a nine-year hiatus, the Chevrolet Camaro convertible has returned to play its part.

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The Muscle Wars Continue: Camaro Convertible First Look - Autotrader