GM revealed today a special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, which will be the official pace car of the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Limited to just 50 units, the first car of this edition will be sold at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic auto auction. Moreover, GM will donate full proceeds of the auction to the David Foster Foundation, a charity that supports families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants.
Regarding the new car, this will feature a design inspired by the 1969 Camaro Indy pace car, known as one of the most popular Camaros in the collector world.
Under the hood, you will find an impressive V8 engine delivering 400-horsepower (298 kW) and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All 50 of the Festival Committees cars will be SS convertible models and will feature the 2SS equipment package.
For those who don’t know, the 2SS package includes four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers and hydraulic assist, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, competitive/sport mode that enhances on-track performance, launch control, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels wrapped in high performance tires, head-up instrument display and center console with auxiliary gauge package. Moreover, the car will also be fitted with the RS package, which includes console with auxiliary gauge package.
The new Camaro Convertible offers customers the dynamics of a coupe and the pleasure offered by open-air driving. It is built with an improved structure designed to get rid of the usual tradeoffs of open cars, like cowl or steering wheel shake.
To achieve this, Chevrolet provided the Camaro with four strategic reinforcements, including a tower-to-tower brace under the hood, a transmission support reinforcement brace, underbody tunnel brace and front and rear underbody “V” braces.
Since Chevrolet was aiming to create a convertible that drives like the coupe, it decided to have the Camaro convertible inherit all the powertrain and suspension elements of the current Camaro Coupe. Moreover, the top of the convertible features a smooth, tailored fit.
Additionally, the headliner comes with acoustical foam to allow the convertible to offer a quiet ride when the top is up. Its power-folding top is built in cooperation with the manufacturer that produced the Corvette convertible top, and even operates in a similar manner.
The top could retract in just 20 seconds and folds in a simple “Z” pattern. It then latches with a single handle at the center of the windshield header – for easier one-hand operation. This is in contrast to other convertibles in this segment which have tops that feature dual latches that require two hands to be operated.
Chevrolet will commence shipment of the 2011 Camaro Convertible at its dealerships this month. This should further boost Camaro’s sales leadership in its class in the United States. Every Chevrolet of today features a pace car heritage. Engineer, mechanic and racer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the brand along with William “Billy” Durant in 1911.
Chevrolet competed in the younger years of Indianapolis 500, which coincidentally also commenced in 1911. He has driven the official Indianapolis pace car that was developed by Indy 500 founder Carl Fisher, who considered a rolling start as safer than a standing start. Fisher drove the pace car in the first Indianapolis 500.