Chevrolet likes to say the only way it could top its 2006 Camaro concept car was to literally – well, figuratively anyway – blow its top off.
Which is what it did on the eve of the 2007 Detroit motor show, wheeling out a strikingly-painted convertible version of its next-generation pony car.
Chevy doesn’ttalkmodestly about its next Camaro. It says, without even the hint of a blush, that the Camaro concept was “the celebrated star of the 2006 auto show season.”
Chevy debuted the ragtop Camaro the night before the Detroit show at GM Style,
a fashion-splashed event combining celebrities, clothing and cars.
The convertible concept wore Hugger Orange pearl tri-coat paint with twin gunmetal gray sports stripes.
Chevy calls the orange “a contemporary update of the classic hue, which was originally offered in 1969.”
The convertible is based on the 2006 Camaro concept which itself was based on the Holden-developed rear-drive body architecture of the VE Commodore – a fact that should gladden the heart of anyone waiting for a new Monaro or the first-ever Monaro droptop.
Chevy will start selling the Camaro hardtop in 2009, and the convertible later that year.
If the production cars reflect the passion Chevy and General Motors’ executives gave in their descriptions of the two Camaro concepts, they’ll be cars worth queuing for.
GM’s global design boss Ed Welburn showed no false modesty when he termed the convertible the “best follow-up to last year’s award-winning Camaro concept.”
“The Camaro convertible concept instantly evokes an emotional response,” he said. “It’s a vehicle that you want to make room for in your garage.”
Chevy is also playing the heritage card at the same time as bidding to appeal to a new generation of customers seeking a car that makes a distinctive statement.
“For some of us, an emotional bond was formed when we introduced the Camaro coupe last year,” says Chevrolet general manager, Ed Peper.
“It is magnificent. But now this year, if this Camaro convertible doesn’t make your heart beat faster, you should see either your optometrist or your cardiologist, because you have a problem.
“There’s an undeniably fun spirit with the Camaro convertible concept,” Peper continued. “The promise of fun made by the convertible top is reinforced with the Camaro’s ‘let’s go’ stance. It’s a car that begs to be driven.”
Exterior designer Brian Smith says the Camaro convertible concept has been styled to resonate with a generation of younger car buyers influenced by tuner cars and imported sports cars.
“Youthful buyers want a car that makes a statement in its design as much as its performance. The new Camaro concepts bridge heritage with contemporary style (in) a design that is simultaneously
admired among import-influenced youth and traditional enthusiasts.
“Camaro has always represented the American ethic that style and performance don’t belong exclusively to the wealthy. Camaro has always been everybody’s sports car, and these new concepts demonstrate its spirit is relevant for a new generation.”