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Tag – Camaro Convertible News

Meet the new Bumblebee Camaro

GM Showcases Their Transformers Cars at SEMA 2013

 

GM has reinforced their dedication to product placement marketing by dedicating three vehicles to the new Transformers film, which Michael Bay is currently in the process of filming. Ahead of the film’s release, Chevrolet has been showing off these vehicles, and put them–a special prototype Camaro, a beautiful new C7 Stingray, and an interesting new rally edition Sonic RS–on major display at the SEMA show this weekend.

The new Camaro Bumblebee is maybe the most interesting vehicle of the trio, too. Unlike in the films past, the new Bumblebee has foregone its traditional bright yellow color for a little meaner shade of yellow-orange. This is a risky move, as Bumblebee has been one of the biggest and most important figures in the films thus far, since it messes with the Bumblebee Camaro identity a bit; however, it seems like a safe move due to the actual beauty of this new, special edition color.

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In addition to the special paint job, the new Bumblebee Camaro also sees other changes. Chief amongst them is a unique front fascia and squintier front blue led headlights. The rear also features unique squared LED tail lamps which are similar to the current Camaro ones, but, unique in their own way as well. The over-all look is one that’s definitely exciting. Even for people who aren’t fans of the shallow robot-explosion films, this Camaro is worth some degree of excitement ahead of its release.

In addition to the Camaro GM also showed off a very aggressive green C7 Stingray. The Corvette features an extra large rear wing, which appears to be taken from a F1 racer or similar vehicle, and a very eye-popping custom paint job.

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The last vehicle is an interesting one. It’s a special edition of the Chevy Sonic RS. The Sonic has built up a reputation as a fantastic little car–even as it has had to do so against the poor reputation history of Chevy’s past few years of small vehicle entries–and the RS has added a good deal of sportiness to that line. This white, black, and purple Sonic RS is considered a Rally edition, however. This doesn’t mean it offers more power or AWD, which seems counter-intuitive for a Rally edition of a vehicle, but maybe hints at Chevy’s desire to increase the vehicle’s performance profile moving forward.

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Strong August Sales Keep Camaro in the YTD Lead

Camaro Posts Strong Sales Raises in August and Build Larger Lead in the Pony Car Sales Race

The number one competition for the pony car industry doesn’t take place on any track: it occurs in a battle of numbers from showroom to garage floors. Vehicle sales are the number 1 indicator of which car in each segment is the best, as they’re based not only on the track numbers vehicles produce, but also the public popularity–an indicator of success in design and marketing far beyond what any writer could tell you.

That being said, the Camaro is king in its class, and further proved so this August.

The Camaro saw a 33% increase over August of last year to total 8,875 deliveries (deliveries are completed sales). These totals put the Camaro’s YTD deliveries at 59,156. This number is good for a sizable lead over the Mustang and Challenger. The Mustang had come close, pre-August, in YTD totals, but a 22% decrease in sales from last year left their August total at 5,866 and their YTD numbers lagging behind the Camaro with 54,745. The Challenger has the fewest sales of the three, but is also the only vehicle to post consistent sales increases over the last two years. While just two years ago the Challenger held an almost invisible portion of the market share, today they account for 4,392 deliveries in August (also a 33% increase) and 38,645 sales for the entire 2013 year.

Full charts and numbers below. All infographics courtesy of Camaro5 forum member Enator:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

 

 

2014 Camaro Convertible Unveiled

First Photos Released of the 2014 Camaro Convertible

Even with the Camaro getting a big facelift for 2014, there was never any doubt about the convertible’s future. That the Camaro would be available in both hardtop and droptop configurations for 2014 was as sure as the sun rising tomorrow, but still, we’ve been waiting for it to be made official. Well, not only is it official now, but Chevrolet has also released images of what the 2014 Camaro Convertible will look like.

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The 2014 Camaro Convertible will inherit all of the same exterior modifications and upgraded sheetmetal that its coupe counterpart was gifted, and, the combination of those changes–which have been widely praised since their unveiling–with the droptop looks fantastic. That being said, however, only one of the new optional extras for 2014 will be made available to convertible buyers. The 7-inch infotainment with standard back-up camera is available for the 2014 convertible Camaro, but, the new Recaro sports race seats are not optional for the vehicle. The 1LE package remains coupe only, and, Chevrolet has indicated that a convertible Z/28 will not be made available.

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Prices edge upwards for 2014, and with the Camaro convertible heading to dealers soon, y0u can get yours starting at $31,950 for the base 1LT–a price bump of $390 over the 2013 1LT. The SS Convertible will see a $365 price hike for a base price of $39,950, and the ZL1 will see its sticker rise by $705 for a price of $62,450.

Camaro Conversation with Chief Vehicle Engineer Al Oppenheiser

 

TheBlock’s full interview and conversation with Al Oppenheiser about all things Camaro related

Any time Al Oppenheiser–the main man behind the fifth generation Camaro–speaks us Camaro fanatics listen. Recently, automotive publication TheBlock was able to have a full conversation with him. Al divulged lots of information about the Camaro’s production past and future, some of it new and some of it old, and gave a genuinely charismatic recounting of his involvement in the vehicle itself. Oppenheiser is clearly a brilliant and interesting individual, and his conversations are always worth a read, as they’re both enjoyable and informative.

The full text of the article, as well as a link to the original posting, are below. Pay special attention to Oppenheiser’s answer about why the ZL1 is the greatest car on the planet, as I found a great deal of entertainment in that posting. Also of note is Al’s love for all Camaros, including his mention and directed praise for the first generation. Enjoy!

 

If you’re a diehard Camaro fanatic, there’s more than a good chance you’re familiar with the name Al Oppenheiser. For those perhaps not yet acquainted with Mr. Oppenheiser by name – it’s a good bet you’ve seen his work. Whenever you roll up to a stoplight and see the new, 5th generation Camaro next to you, yep, that’s Al’s pride and joy. As chief vehicle engineer for the 5th gen Chevy Camaro, Al and his team were at the forefront of bringing this iconic American sports car back to its loving public after having gone out of production for nearly a decade.

However, being the chief vehicle engineer for the 5th gen was hardly his first rodeo.

Al has been a part of the GM engineering family for over 25 years, and in the process has worked on some of the coolest production and performance car projects imaginable.

In 2008, his team worked on the legendary 1957 Chevy Bel Air named “Project-X.” And together with David Ross, GM Design Manager Styling at GM, and many others, brought this bright-yellow star of innumerable magazine appearances back to the future with the first-ever Chevrolet Performance 50th Anniversary 427 Big Block crate engine. This build featured prominently in the pages of Popular Hot Rodding, which seems fitting for what’s arguably the most popular ’57 Chevy on the planet.

While serving as Director for what was then the GM Performance Division, Al also oversaw several other high-profile build projects for some pretty well known folks from the sports and entertainment worlds.

A driving force behind turning Tom Peter’s vision of the next generation Camaro into a functional car, Al has remained the captain of the Camaro engineering team since the car’s unveiling at Detroit NAIAS back in 2006.

With those things in mind, it should come as no surprise that we were pretty ecstatic to be able to catch up with Al recently and ask him a variety of Camaro-related questions.

We touched on everything from the accolades the award-winning 5th gen Camaro has garnered, to his thoughts on the drag strip-dominating COPO, and on down the line to track titans, the ZL1 & 1LE – as well as the news of the first Camaro-specific parts Chevrolet has produced in over forty years!

So, join us as we cordially invite you to ride along as we talk with a guy who is as genuinely passionate about the legacy of Camaro as he is about its promising future.

 

The Camaro won SEMA’s “Best in Show” two consecutive years, did you ever expect that the 5th gen would have the success it’s had to this point?

Al Oppenheiser

I don’t think any of us expected it. We knew it was going to be a hot car. It had been out of production for 8 years, so there was a lot of pent up demand and passion for it. But the fact that we had the stroke of genius to work with Michael Bay and the Transformers Movie transformed the car “literally” and connected it with a younger generation. It really took off on a much greater trajectory than we ever imagined.

 

Talk to us a bit about COPO. How do you feel about reigniting that flame and transforming the 5th gen into the modern-day incarnation of its legendary drag racing namesake? 

Al Oppenheiser

We were asked by a lot of drag racing fans when we would have a 5th gen Camaro for them. Because basically, they’ve done everything they can to the 1st gens but couldn’t get them any faster. So in order to compete with Mustang and Challenger, who have their drag racing kits and versions, it was a thrill to be able to bring the COPO back. We just had to wait for the right time and the right formula. And it’s taken off as well, just like the other Camaro versions. It’s been a hit, and so much so, that we’re proud to bring it back for another run of 69 in 2013.

 

From a personal standpoint, what drew you to Camaros early on? 

Al Oppenheiser

I was a kid, and grew up in the era of late 60s muscle cars, and I fell in love with the First Gen. My first car was a Camaro, I bought a 70 ½ RS/SS, and planned on keeping it forever. I’ve always been a Camaro guy, always been around it. In my career I’ve worked in the Camaro and Corvette performance divisions. But the thrill of being able to be part of the concept when we first decided to bring the Camaro back in 2006 for the Auto Show, literally gave me goose bumps. Then they asked me to be the Chief for it. It’s a dream come true, I don’t call it “work.” I refer to it as a “Thank God it’s Monday Job.”

 

Generally speaking, what’s the first Chevrolet Performance part and/or modification you’d recommend to a new Camaro owner?

Al Oppenheiser

Usually, it’s our ground effects kits, splitters, and spoilers, things that help the aerodynamics of the car. I’m really happy that we’re getting to work with the Chevrolet Performance Parts guys now to release parts such as the 1LE, so that anyone with a prior year’s car can build theirs up similar to the production 1LE for 2013.

Anything we can do to help out owners of prior year cars is a great step. These are cars that will last, and you’ll see people auctioning off 5th gens at car shows 40-50 years from now.

 

What do you think of the whole new suite of Camaro-specific parts?

Al Oppenheiser

Every Camaro show I go to, and I go to several of them per year, everyone wants to bring me over and show me how they’ve individualized their car. They took our car and did something to personalize it. Usually it’s exterior, and then it’s under-hood mods. Everyone wants an air box or a smaller pulley. It’s great that now consumers are going to have such a broad complement of parts to choose from to truly personalize their vehicles.

 

Why is the ZL1 the best car on the planet?

Al Oppenheiser

Because we had a passionate group of engineers and designers put everything we knew about performance technology in the car. From the aerodynamics – the car makes down force – which is rare for a production car, down to the supercharger. To all the features and functions in the performance traction management, such as the magnetic ride control. One of the great things about the magnetic ride control is that it’s a peripheral benefit for us, because the car is so set up for the track. It’s over a 1G-capable car.

Most people don’t get to take the car out to Road America, but even still, just driving the car around town on rough roads — take Michigan roads for instance –that MR really comes into play in “tour mode.” It’s outstanding. So what’s generally designed to enhance performance on the track is also a great feature just driving around on regular roads. The ZL1 literally has every technology trinket you could put on a car – and it’s all standard.

 

Do you own a Camaro?

Al Oppenheiser

Sure do. A ’68. I’m the second owner. It’s a black convertible, and I did a complete ground-up restoration on it. I kept the parts original, so I sandblasted everything. And then I put new bushings and things on it. I played around a bit under the hood; it’s a Small Block that makes about 360 hp. I have a 10-bolt in the back still. It’s plenty of capability in a convertible – I can chirp the tires in every gear. It’s actually got a one-foot paint job, but the remarkable thing is I drive it all the time. People are amazed, they think it’s a trailer queen, but I built it to drive. I love spending time in it.

 

Sounds like you’ve got serious passion for the Camaro.

Al Oppenheiser

You know, there was a time I was working on the 2010 Camaro, during the day, and I’d come home and work on the ’68 at night. So I was working on Camaros ’round the clock. Occasionally I’d fall asleep on the garage floor about 2 o’clock in the morning. My wife had a series of shoes at the back door she’d throw to wake me up. She’d say “You gotta get up and go to work on the new one!” I live and breathe it. And that’s why I’ve got a dream job.

 

There was certainly an assortment of killer Camaros at SEMA 2012. Out of all them, which one would you most like to take home?

Al Oppenheiser

This one (points to the ’67 Hot Wheels Camaro). I was a Hot Wheel collector. In my youth I had over 300 Hot Wheels cars, and every track. When we got to work with the Mattel guys it was so cool. I got to see their development lab; they have their little mini Proving Grounds like we have for the big cars. So it was really cool. The idea to do a tribute car like this is phenomenal. As much as I love the Fifth Gen., I’ve always been a 1st gen guy, and I’d take this home in a heartbeat!

TheBLOCK.com would very much like to thank Al for taking time out of a very busy schedule to chat Camaro with us. While we’re on the subject, we want to know: What’s been your favorite 5th gen Camaro build? Drop by the Camaro forum and start sharing pics and stories!

Original Story

 

Popular WindRestrictor Coming for Camaro Convertibles

Extremely Popular Corvette WindRestrictor Product Coming Soon for Camaro Convertibles

The etched acetate and LED lit Convertible WindRestrictor Product that has taken the Corvette world by storm will be available for Camaro Convertible owners as well. (1/21/2012)

The Corvette community has fallen in love with the WindRestrictor convertible wind screen by King Penn Industries, and with good reason. While browsing through their YouTube channel I stumbled across a video yesterday that shows, without question, that they’re about to release a new version of their popular Camaro WindRestrictor for the Camaro Convertible as well.

The product sets itself apart from other wind screens–a common product for the Corvette line and one I’m sure to see begin picking up popularity in the Camaro line as well–by combining the incredible functionality and wind buffering of others, but with a gorgeous and stylistic visual design. The piece is made from high quality materials that are certain to retain their look and finish for quiet some time, and which are finished with your choice of GM official licensed engravings/etchings, and LED light options. The lights provide a fantastic look, and are able to be turned on and off. If you want even more show from them, also, there’s also an option for a special LED package that includes remote control and availability of switching between all color options, with dimmer and fader functions.

Here’s the video for you to check it out for yourself:

And their press release concerning the new product:

“Introducing the brand new, patent pending Windrestrictor for the Camaro Convertible from King Penn Industries Inc. No we do not own rights to this song but it is All American just like the Chevy Camaro so we hope you enjoy! This product is now available through our online shop at www.KingPennIndustries.com or simply give us a call at 972-487-5987. The all new Camaro Windrestrictor is an official licensed product of GM. Our product will fit the SS Super Sport, and all other models of the Camaro Convertible. Our patent pending design is the only product in the world that you can fully customize. You can choose from multiple color options. We offer Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple and Pink LED illumination systems. Or, if you prefer, we offer an “Extreme Lighting Kit” with remote control. This option allows you to choose whichever color you want at any given time. It also has a fading option that is HOT for car shows. Our product will be featured at the world of wheels show in the Grabiac Chevrolet Booth as make sure and stop by and check it out! Our windscreen for the Chevy Camaro is also customizable with different graphics options. You can choose from multiple GM licensed graphics or you can use your own and make it custom! Don’t do another burn out without having one of these hot, head turning products on your Camaro. It’s the best personalized accessory for the Camaro that is available today. Also, it’s brand new so be the first in your city to have one! There is no comparrison between our version and others on the market. We also have this awesome product available for the Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac XLR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Crossfire, Mercedes SLK, Honda S2000 and the Porsche Boxster. If you were to do a side by side review ours would wind hands down every time! The Windrestrictor for the Camaro is already highly reviewed by owners! This is the only personalized Camaro Windscreen in the world! Windrestrictor is a registered trademark of King Penn Industries Inc. All GM Trademarks are used under licencse to King Penn Industries Inc. If anyone knows about GM coming out with a convertible model of the Camaro ZL1 please let us know! Don’t wait another day to add this product to your wish list of Camaro Accessories!”

Reigning Champ Camaro Wins the Sales Battle Once Again

2010′s Pony Car Sales Champion Camaro Moved the Most Units in 2011

88,249 Camaros sold in 2011 give it a decisive sales victory over direct muscle car competitors Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger

In sports, when a team or competitor dominates for the majority of the match and coasts to a decisive over-all victory by the very end, the term “blow-out” is typically used. In the case of the battle for most popular American muscle car in 2011, you might say that a “blow-out” victory was exactly the type that the Chevrolet Camaro enjoyed.

Following the vehicle’s break-out success in 2010, 2011 saw the Camaro continue its dominance. For 11 of the 12 months the Camaro moved the most vehicles–and did so, in many of those months, with a considerable cushion of multiple thousand units. The only month that the Mustang took the sales crown was the month where Ford was moving all of its prior model year vehicles at a severely discounted price to make way for the new model year, and even in that month the Mustang only managed to move 400 more units than the Camaro.

In December alone 6754 Camaros were sold, which was good for a 20% increase over December of 2010, and a 1697 unit lead over the second place Mustang for that month. On the entire year, the Camaro’s 88,249 units sold took a commanding victory over the Mustang at 70,438 and the Challenger at 39,534.

So, there you have it, the Camaro is the victor in its sector for a second straight year, and with the ZL1 hitting showroom floors–and the sales for both the coupe and convertible models of the Camaro continuing to climb–it looks like a safe bet to take home the crown on a threepeat.

A History of Greatness: GM Produces 100-Millionth Small Block Engine

GM Produces 100-Millionth Small Block Engine

A ZR1 LS9 Engine just produced by Chevrolet was the 100-Millionth manufactured by the company.

In the past 56 years, since Chevrolet began producing small block engines, the bowtie emblazoned automotive company and the small block engine has been synonymous with one another. In that time, every iconic car produced by Chevrolet has been known and linked to their famous small-block engine design in some manner. Most recently, the fifth generation Camaro has become a small block powered icon on both road and track, much like it’s LS small block powered big brother, the Corvette.

The sheer number there–100,000,000 for those who like lots of zeroes–really highlights the durability, reputation, and potential of the small block and speaks to the iconic nature of the GM engine. It is fitting then to also consider that the first small block, introduced in 1955, was built for the first generation Corvette and the 100-millionth produced was a hand-crafted work of art LS9 made specifically for the sixth generation Corvette’s special edition ZR1–the fastest Corvette ever produced.

Chevrolet 1955 Small Block V-8 Engine

Of course, the transition from the first small block to the modern pinnacle LS9 is a long one, filled with numerous exciting and memorable engines. In 1992 Chevrolet first introduced its second-generation Small Block, known as the LT1, in to its Corvette. This engine became an absolute staple on tracks across the globe, and adorned various vehicles from that Corvette, to the F-Body Camaro and Firebird, and the B-Body Impala SS and Caprice Police car. The LT1, which featured a newly developed reverse cooling, is still being used in races all across the globe today.

Chevy LT1

Following the second generation, Chevrolet then introduced their first LS Engine in 1997. This third generation small block, which was first placed in the C5 Corvette, was an even greater step forward. The LS engines are all-aluminum small blocks, and the first of them, the LS1, was rated a naturally aspirated 350HP and 365 lb ft of torque–numbers that, today, are still incredibly impressive for a naturally aspirated 5.7L engine. The LS engine was then featured, in some form, in numerous different vehicles and even had a more powerful, LS6 version introduced in the C5 Z06 Corvette in 2001. This LS6 featured the same 5.7L displacement as its LS1 brethren, but put out a stomach churning 405HP and 400 lb ft of torque.

Corvette LS6 Small Block V8 Engine

Those numbers were fairly mind-shattering for a naturally aspirated engine of the LS6′s size and weight, at least, until 2005 when the first of the fourth generation small block was released. In 2005 the Corvette went from its fifth generation vehicle to the now current sixth generation, and with the change in body also came the biggest change: the introduction of the Chevrolet LS2. The LS2 was almost identical to the LS6 engine in performance and displacement, but also featured a much more even Torque curve through-out the RPM range, and had the potential to be modified for incredible gains. It was from this base LS2 that the LS7–the now revered 505HP and 470 lb ft torque monster–was produced and introduced to the 2006 Corvette. Just one year after the update of the small block, this engine seemed to be where everything was building, and the Z06 became the undeniable greatest performance bang for the buck on the globe. Within the year, there were Z06′s running against quarter-million dollar European exotics on racetracks all across the globe, and each one came with the distinctive sound and tone that only a Chevrolet small block V8 can deliver through the exhaust.

Of course, Chevrolet wasn’t finished there (thankfully, they’re dedicated to the production of envelope-pushing performance machines) and we saw such engines as the 430HP LS3 (now outfitting the base-level C6 Corvette and the Chevrolet Camaro SS), the LSA (a 556HP Supercharged monster that can be found in the world’s fastest production sedan, the Cadillac CTS-V and will also hit the streets in the body of the new super-Camaro ZL1 this year), and the engine that would be made as number 100,000,000–the LS9.

Corvette ZR1 LS9 Small Block V8

The LS9 is an absolute marvel worth talking about as well, especially considering that everything before it brought us to this point. The LS9, which can only be found in the top of the line Corvette ZR1, produces an amazing supercharged 6.2L engine based on the LS3 block and putting out a ferocious 638bhp and 604 lb ft of torque. Those numbers, in combination with the Corvette’s lightweight body and wide, aggressive stance, have produced a vehicle that runs track times that best it’s $250,000+ competitors. Today, the ZR1 is the undeniable greatest bargain on wheels that exists for the performance minded consumer, and, as such, is the only engine fitting to be given the designation as number 100,000,000 of its kind.

Of course, Chevrolet’s not stopping at 100,000,000 and the future of the small block engine holds a great deal of excitement. Already, official reports have come out that Chevrolet is updating their engine for the seventh-generation of their Corvette, and we may see the introduction of such features as direct injection and an upgraded combustion chamber design, as well as the improved performance and efficiency numbers to match. GM enthusiasts should expect to see the next small block engine first hit the streets in the C7 Corvette, scheduled for release some time in 2014.

Video: The Camaro Convertible explained by Chevrolet Engineers

It’s a short video, but a great one worth watching. So interesting to me, in fact, that I decided to give it its own blog entry today (instead of making it an afterthought to the Camaro in India news). The video gives a quick glimpse in to the durability testing and design that went in to the Camaro, and some discussion from the Camaro engineers themselves in relation to it. If you’re a Camaro nut like I am, it will be a very worthwhile two minutes.

GM to Focus on Chevrolet, and the Camaro, for Superbowl Marketing

Typically GM buys a few Superbowl ad spots and distributes them amongst their various vehicle lines(even though they took a 2-year hiatus during the economic recession while they rebuilt their company’s economic standings), but this year the Chevrolet will be their only focus. Chevrolet has purchased five 30-second commercial spots during the big game (and an additional 30 second post-game spot), and will use that time to advertise their Cruze, Volt, Silverado HD pick-up truck, and their new Camaro Convertible. As for what these commercials will be is still a mystery, as Chevrolet has not followed the suit of some competitors who have begun sharing their Super Bowl ads on websites like Youtube. Being the biggest marketing stage in the country (and, arguably, the globe), you can be certain that new advertisements are being made for each of the vehicles to highlight their most desirable aspects. In addition to these commercials, Chevrolet has also put together a deal with the Super Bowl itself, and will be handing over the keys to a brand new Camaro Convertible to the MVP of the big game.

This specific advertisement spot, the Super Bowl MVP gift, may be an even bigger deal than the commercials, honestly. The commercials have to be fantastic to really stand out from the Super Bowl crowd–which will be littered with other vehicles, as well snack foods, paper products, website services, and other items–but by giving the keys to the Super Bowl MVP, Chevrolet is allowing the Camaro Convertible to stand alone, separate from the crowd, and be judged less on the commercial and more on the beauty of the vehicle. Also, knowing that the Super Bowl MVP will be driving a Camaro will certainly raise interest towards it among that team’s fanbase, who will undoubtedly view either that Steeler or Packer as a bit of a hero.

Of course, the decision to advertise Chevy products only (and ignore Cadillac, Buick, and GM) is the most interesting aspect of this entire deal. It makes business sense, as Chevrolet makes up over 70% of GM sales, but also leaves some of the company’s most desirable vehicles (most notably, for me at least, the Cadillac CTS-V) out of the lurch. While the majority of the Cadillac, Buick, and GM line-up lacks the press and popularity that really necessitate a Super Bowl ad spot, a few of their vehicles could really benefit from such, especially again the CTS-V which has gotten lots of press for its style, luxury, and incredible performance. Whatever the case, GM is approaching the Super Bowl with a renewed excitement after their hiatus away from it (a hiatus that broke up a 15-year run of Super Bowl advertisement), and you should expect the Camaro Convertible to compete against the Budweiser Clydesdales, Doritos snack explosions, Hyundai sheep, GoDaddy’s half naked women, and others for being amongst the big events most memorable commercials.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

Camaro Convertible Named Indy 500 Pace Car

Continuing the tradition that has been founded since the Camaro returned for its 5th generation iteration, the Indy 500 pace car will once again be a Camaro. Only, this year, there’s a bit of a difference. The 2011 Indy 500 Pace Car will be a Convertible SS Camaro special edition, done up specifically for the event itself, in white and orange with leather interior trimwork, built specifically to hearken back to the 1969 Camaro pace car model. In addition to the pace car, another 50 special edition Chevrolet Camaros will be created for the Festival Commission, as this year’s Indy 500 will act as the 100th anniversary for Chevrolet and the Indy 500.

Here’s the official press release concerning the Indy Pace Car:

DETROIT – A special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible will serve as the official pace car of
the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials made the
announcement at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic auto auction, where a bidder will have
the opportunity to purchase the first of 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee cars.
The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet chosen to pace “The Greatest Spectacle In
Racing®” and the seventh Camaro. Adding to the rich heritage is the fact that 2011 will mark the
100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500, as well as the centennial year of Chevrolet.
Chevrolet will donate full proceeds of the auction to the David Foster Foundation, a charity
devoted to supporting families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. David
Foster, the 15-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter, founded the organization
in his native Canada.

The pace car, along with the matching festival cars, features a Summit White exterior accented
with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front
seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument
panel trim. The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes.
The color combination is similar to the design used on the 1969 Camaro Indy pace car –
replicas of which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.
“It’s an honor for Chevrolet to pace the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, especially
during this landmark year,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “This is also
a great opportunity for us to build on Camaro’s strong momentum, while supporting an important
charity.”

The auction for the commemorative edition pace car takes place Saturday evening, Jan. 22,
during SPEED’s live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson event. The vehicle carries lot number
1284 and bids can be submitted at the auction in person or online by clicking this link for a 2011
absentee bidder registration packet:

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet name have long been associated with
one another beginning with Arthur, Louis and Gaston Chevrolet’s participation as competitors in
the Indianapolis 500,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus. “It is
fitting in this 100th year for both brands that we reinforce that relationship through this year’s
Camaro pace car, which resembles what many argue is the most famous pace car in IMS
history, the 1969 Camaro. We are looking forward to seeing this car on track, pacing the
greatest 33 drivers in the world on May 29.”

Pace car details

Equipped with a 400-horsepower (298 kW) V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission,
the actual pace car for the race requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in
front of the racing field.

All 50 of the Festival Committees cars will be SS convertible models fitted with the 2SS
equipment package, offering the following standard features:

  • – Four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers and hydraulic assist
  • – StabiliTrak electronic stability control
  • – Competitive/sport mode that enhances on-track performance
  • – Performance Launch Control (with the manual transmission) that optimizes hardacceleration
  • launches for quicker, more consistent performance
  • – Twenty-inch polished aluminum wheels and performance tires
  • – Head-up instrument display
  • – Center console with auxiliary gauge package.

Along with the 2SS equipment, the cars feature the RS package, which includes HID headlamps
and unique tail lamps.

Convertible refinement

The Camaro Convertible delivers coupe-like driving dynamics, with the unmatched fun of open
air driving. The Convertible model contains an enhanced structure designed to eliminate the
traditional compromises of open cars, such as cowl or steering wheel shake. The goal is a
convertible that drives like the coupe. All the powertrain and suspension elements of the existing
Camaro Coupe carry over unchanged in the convertible. The top has a smooth, tailored fit, with
acoustical foam in the headliner that helps deliver a quiet ride with the top up.

Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to eliminate common
convertible maladies of cowl and steering wheel shake. They include:

  • – A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
  • – A transmission support reinforcement brace
  • – Underbody tunnel brace
  • – Front and rear underbody “V” braces.

The power-folding top retracts in about 20 seconds. It is built in partnership with the same
manufacturer as the Corvette convertible top, and operates in a similar manner. That means it
folds in a simple “Z” pattern and latches with a single, convenient handle located at the center of
the windshield header. Other convertible models in this segment still offer convertible tops with
dual latches, forcing drivers into two-hand operations reaching across the car.

The regular-production versions of the 2011 Camaro Convertible will begin arriving in Chevrolet
dealerships in February, opening a new chapter in the Camaro’s ongoing 21st century rebirth.
Even before the introduction of a convertible model, Camaro ended 2010 as the sales leader in
its class in the United States for the first time since 1985.
Chevrolet’s pace car heritage
Louis Chevrolet, who founded the brand with William “Billy” Durant in 1911, was a racer,
mechanic and pioneering engineer. He raced in the early years of the Indianapolis 500, which
also started in 1911, and served a luminary of the event in the years after he retired his racing
helmet. That included driving the official Indianapolis pace car, which was developed by Indy
500 founder Carl Fisher, who believed a rolling start was safer than a standing start. The first
Indianapolis 500 featured a pace car driven by Fisher.
The first Chevrolet selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car was the 1948 Fleetmaster Six.
The brand would go on to lead the racing pack more than any other manufacturer.

The list of
Chevy pace cars includes:
- 1948 Fleetmaster Six
- 1955 Bel Air
- 1967 Camaro
- 1969 Camaro
- 1978 Corvette
- 1982 Camaro
- 1986 Corvette
- 1990 Beretta
- 1993 Camaro
- 1995 Corvette
- 1998 Corvette
- 1999 Monte Carlo
- 2002 Corvette
- 2003 SSR
- 2004 Corvette
- 2005 Corvette
- 2006 Corvette
- 2007 Corvette
- 2008 Corvette
- 2009 Camaro
- 2010 Camaro
- 2011 Camaro

Camaro Convertible

Indy 500 Pace Car

Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car

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