Originally sold in 1969 as a special dealer-sourced special request under Chevrolet’s COPO (Central Office Production Order) group, the Camaro ZL1 maintained a rather low-key appearance in the General Motors pony car line-up. Helped by the fact that only 69 examples of the 1969 Chevy Camaro were produced with the pricy ZL1 package, the mystique of this high-performance 427 cubic-inch big block car became a legend despite its limited numbers.
A performance line so powerful, General Motors chose to use the ZL1 name over the more recognized Z28 when identifying their 580 horsepower Chevrolet Camaro. While the 2012 return of the Chevy Camaro ZL1 arrives in coupe form, much like its first incarnation, the bowtie brand is already creating a more sizable wave prior to the latest announcement regarding the super pony car. Even ahead of the coupe’s early 2012 arrival to customers. Chevrolet is blowing the roof off the Camaro ZL1 starting in the 2013 model year with a drop top convertible.
Making its first public showing in California’s sunny, convertible-loving climate of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible presents the unique attributes of the upcoming performance car with the open-air rush of the daily breeze. The unique ZL1 front-end treatment and hood adorn the convertible version as space is made for the LSA 6.2 liter V-8 engine. For the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible, all 580 SAE Certified horses provided on the coupe model will usher the rear wheels. To emerge in the 2013 model year as Chevrolet’s most powerful production ragtop, the Camaro ZL1 Convertible will exceed the momentum of the open-air Corvette Grand Sport.
Having recently introduced the Camaro Convertible to the wider line of Chevrolet’s pony car stable, the ZL1 version will receive the appropriate engineering adjustments for the ZL1 to go topless without compromise. Additional structural support within the windshield including hydroformed tubing is installed to preserve the lasting convertible shape. Cross bracing under the hood between suspension towers, transmission support as well as underside reinforcements insure the 2013 Camaro ZL1 Convertible is rigid and maintains a quiet ride.
Crossing over with the LSA V-8 engine, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s standard Performance Traction Management system will also be found on the convertible. Allowing for driver-adjusted handling for street and track optimized performances, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible will offer magnetic ride, launch control and electronic stability technology working in concert.
Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show starting November 18th, many will be awaiting the first opportunity of taking the 580-horsepower 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible to the streets. As a drop top performance machine, Chevrolet already touts the upcoming Camaro ZL1 Convertible as a fighter against other more expensive open-air sports cars. Said to retain much of the sport handling of the coupe model, the nature of the 2013 convertible will be evident when the Camaro ZL1 arrives last year.
Information source: General Motors
Photo source: General Motors, Lee Anderson for Chevrolet