It’s little surprise that Chevy has decided to offer its new Camaro ZL1 as a convertible, it just wasn’t expected to arrive so soon. Out-powering the Shelby GT500 by 30-hp, the 580-hp ZL1 drop top is the most powerful convertible model Chevrolet has ever built.
In fact, Chevy is touting the car’s power and capability, even comparing it to vastly more expensive (but less powerful) European models like the 530-hp Porsche 911 Turbo S, the 518-hp Mercedes SL63 AMG and the 470-hp Aston Martin DB9 Volante.
“The 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.”
Much like the standard Camaro drop-top the ZL1 Convertible gets numerous chassis reinforcements, including a strut tower brace, a transmission reinforcement brace, an underbody tunnel brace, plus a front “X” brace and rear “V” braces. Beyond those upgrades, Chevy reinforced the A-pillars, the top of the windshield, and the rocker panels. To help deliver maximum performance, the ZL1 Convertible gets GM’s Magnetic Ride shock absorbers, as well as the Performance Traction Management system from the Corvette ZR1.
Set to go on sale next year as a 2013 model year car, look for plenty of photos with the car’s official debut planned for the LA Auto Show next month.
GALLERY: 2012 Camaro ZL1 Convertible