2007 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Concept

Alex P

The creative designer for the Camaro's interior, Micah Jones, says that cars such as Audi's A4 Cabriolet were the benchmark for the Camaro--the Audi features a hinged tonneau that covers the roof once it's stacked in thetrunk. That's not a cheap solution, and as always, the final detail design for the Camaro's mechanism will be driven by cost.

Jones says the interior has been tweaked to reflect the car's open-topped mission: "We wanted a lighter, more airy atmosphere for the cabin, so we went for a light-on-dark color scheme. Jones also mirrors Peters in his assertion that the interior will reach production virtually untouched. It's gorgeous, at least as good a reinterpretation of a '60s theme as that managed by today's Mustang. Here, it's round gauges hiding in square binnacles, a treatment adopted by the first-gen Camaro. For the convertible, the instruments are white-faced with red needles, which is very cool indeed. And while cost will militate against the use of genuine aluminum for thebinnacle surrounds and switchgear, there are cheaper materials that can do a reasonable job of mimicking the effect.

Chevy isn't short of powertrains for the Camaro, and like its coupe sibling, the convertible will be offered with an entry-level V-6 and move up to big-displacement V-8s. It's very likely that high-performance variants to rival the Mustang's GT offerings will also be rolled out, perhaps wearing the legendary SS badge.

Cost will also determine how sophisticated the Camaro's chassis will be. At the moment, designers are specifying four-wheel independent suspension with a multilink rear end and progressive-rate coil springs with gas dampers. Again, this isn't the cheap option. And Chevy's bean counters will point out that the Mustang has managed to be a sales success in spite of its archaic solid rear axle.

That's true, but with two years to go before the Camaro goes on sale, buyers might expect something a bit more special. At least, those buyers who haven't already satisfied their hankering for American muscle with a Mustangor a Dodge Charger.

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