2011 LA Auto Show: 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 17, 2011

Chevrolet's 2013 Camaro ZL1 has been launched at the vehicle show in Los Angeles. It is the company's most powerful convertible in its history. The vehicle will go on sale late next year, delivering more technology and performance compared to many exotic automobiles and ultra-luxury convertibles.

Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser commented that the ZL1 convertible will be "one of the most powerful and most capable convertibles available at any price.” He further stated that the model is "guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drop the top – or hit the gas.”

The convertible’s power is matched by innovative powertrain and chassis technologies made to provide exceptional performance on track or on the road. As a matter of fact, it is the same balance of acceleration, ride quality and handling that allowed a Camaro ZL1 coupe to recently lap the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife course in 7:41.27 minutes.

Structural enhancements in the ZL1 convertible are made to improve vibration and noise characteristics while reducing unwanted body and ride motions. The enhancements include an inner reinforcement bracket in the windshield header, a hydroformed tube in the A-pillars, reinforcements inside the rockers as well as a reinforced front hinge pillar.

ZL1 convertible's suspension utilizes the third-generation Magnetic Ride. New twin-wire/dual-coil dampers at all four corners allow for a faster response. Damping levels are now adjusted up to 1,000 times per second, which is around one adjustment per inch of vehicle travel at 60 mph. This makes the system exceptionally responsive to changing road and driving conditions.

The Camaro ZL1 convertible also comes with the Performance Traction Management, which is exclusive to General Motors and first introduced on the Corvette ZR1. It is an advanced system that combines magnetic ride control, traction control, electronic stability control and launch control to improve cornering as well as launch-acceleration performance.

Aside from the newly tuned suspensions, Chevrolet used the Magnetic Ride System on the new Camaro ZL1. This highly advanced system provides the Sport and Tour driving options for a more compelling driving performance. The same exclusive Magnetic Ride Control unit employs the innovative magneto rheological science for optimum shock damping on any road condition.

A few selected components on the chassis have been redeveloped to meet the high performance standards of a supercar. Examples of these are the adjustments on the rear stabilizer bar as well as on the outboards. These features let the driver gain superior control when doing a sharp turn.

The new Camaro’s body colour highlights the black carbon fibre at the centre. Similarly, the ZL1 features the reconstructed fascia with carbon fibre inserts along the hood. For brake cooling, the air intakes are placed near the new HID fog lights while the mounted air extractors on the aluminium hood maximize the airflow. The redesigned front end bears the new Camaro’s vertical fog lamps and splitters. Other than the air extractor, the diffuser and spoilers at the rear are essential in providing the necessary down force and aerodynamics for efficient performance.

On the other hand, the Camaro ZL1’s braking system is developed with the help of Brembo’s engineering experts. The ZL1 features the chunky 14.6inch 6-piston calipers with 2 rotors at the front. The rear rotors measuring 14.4 inch are equipped with 4-piston brakes. Meanwhile, Chevrolet introduces the new electric power steering system on the new Camaro ZL1. With its highly responsive features, the new steering system is designed to adapt to high performance driving.

Press Release

2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

Chevrolet's most-powerful convertible ever - the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible - made its debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. When it goes on sale in late 2012, it will deliver more performance and technology than many exotic cars and ultra-luxury convertibles.

"The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible will be one of the most powerful and most capable, convertibles available at any price," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. "This is a car that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drop the top - or hit the gas."

Like the coupe, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible features a supercharged 6.2L "LSA" engine, SAE-rated at 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm). That's enough to exceed the output of 2+2 convertibles of many performance icons, including:

2012 Aston Martin DB9 Volante - 470 hp / 443 lb.-ft.
2012 Mercedes SL63 AMG - 518 hp / 465 lb.-ft.
2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S - 530 hp / 516 lb.-ft.
2011 Ford Shelby GT500 - 550 hp / 510 lb.-ft.

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible's power is complemented by advanced powertrain and chassis technologies designed to deliver exceptional performance on the road or track. In fact, it's the same balance of acceleration, handling and ride quality that enabled a Camaro ZL1 coupe recently to lap the Nürburgring's Nordschleife course in 7:41.27 minutes.

From Day One, the architecture for the fifth-generation Camaro was designed to accommodate a convertible model, which gives the ZL1 convertible coupe-like driving dynamics. Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to quell the cowl and steering wheel shake common in convertibles. They include:

A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
A transmission support reinforcement brace
Underbody tunnel brace
Front "X" brace and stiffer cradle as well as rear underbody "V" braces.
Additional structural reinforcements in the ZL1 convertible are designed to improve noise and vibration characteristics, while also reducing unwanted ride and body motions. They include a hydrofoamed tube in the A-pillars, an inner reinforcement bracket in the windshield header, a reinforced front hinge pillar and reinforcements inside the rockers.

The suspension of the ZL1 convertible uses the third-generation of Magnetic Ride. New, twin-wire/dual-coil dampers at all four corners enable faster response, with damping levels now adjusted up to 1,000 times per second - about one adjustment per inch of vehicle travel at 60 mph - making the system exceptionally responsive to changing driving and road conditions.

The 2013 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible will also offer Performance Traction Management as standard equipment, which is exclusive to General Motors. First introduced on the Corvette ZR1, it is an advanced system that integrates magnetic ride control, launch control, traction control and electronic stability control, to enhance both launch-acceleration performance and corning.

The result is a convertible designed to preserve nearly all the acceleration, road-holding and performance capabilities of the Camaro ZL1 coupe, which goes on sale in early 2012.

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