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Drop Top Dream Boat: 2012 Camaro ZL1 Convertible

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On: Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:27AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Drop Top Dream Boat: 2012 Camaro ZL1 Convertible

When it comes to performance cars, let's face it: Having a fixed roof sucks. You know it and I know it—when you're a car guy, you want to be involved with the driving experience. You want to shift the gears for yourself, listen to the engine roar, and become one with the car as you turn down one unknown road after another just to see where they go. But there is a big difference between rolling down the windows and dropping the entire roof. Anyone that has owned, or at least ridden in, a convertible on that first warm day in April or May knows that there is nothing like it. Anyone that believes otherwise more than likely has spent most of their life rationalizing their way away from every convertible option they have ever encountered, and are probably driving a very practical car this very minute. 

Thankfully, Chevy has learned a thing or two about the hearts and minds of their potential customers. They know that, sure, they have to make simple practical cars for the masses, but when it comes to the fun powerhouses, don't screw around—make them as fun and powerful as they can be. Having just introduced the most powerful Camaro to have ever been built to a brand new generation (and reintroduced it to an older one), Chevy really could have stopped there. But they didn't, and we couldn't be happier. Chevy has just announced that there will be a drop-top version of the sickest Camaro ever.

Figure a little less than a year from now there will be one of the baddest convertibles in the world available on Chevy showroom floors. The ZL1 'vert will be every bit the high-powered Pony the coupe is, replete with a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8 borrowed from the CTS-V producing the same chassis-twisting 580-horsepower and 556-lb-ft of torque, a wider rear track than the lesser Camaros, control systems for traction, launching, and stability, as well as the never-able-to-be-pronounced-properly magnetorheological shocks. Also included will be ZL1-specific front and rear facias, as well as a ZR1-derived louvered cowl hood. What the ZL1 convertible has added, however, are some substantial reinforcements to help bolster the chassis and make up for the lack of a roof. Reinforcements have been added inside the front hinge pillar, inside the rocker panels, as well as hydroformed tubes inside the A-pillars, while braces have been added to the transmission and shock towers, as well as front and rear underbody.

Now all of this extra armor will do more than make the undercarriage of the ZL1 look a lot like Barry Bonds getting up to bat in his latter days. Obviously there will be a not-so-slight weight penalty attached to choosing the topless Z. There is no specific figure as to exactly how much the extra mass will tack onto the scale, but figure at least another 100 pounds would be an easy, early estimate. That extra poundage will no doubt affect the performance figures of the ZL1. But then, a couple of tenths and a few pounds (and a few thousand dollars extra) might be a very cheap price to pay in order to truly enjoy driving the ultimate Camaro without any regrets.

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Stephy21 | 9:19AM (Thu, Nov 3, 2011)

A convertible Camaro nice! Its about time and its going to have more horsepower than the other Camaro's man people are going to love that. Hopefully the price isn't to bad!!

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