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Camaro Convertible to Join Coupe in ’09

The Camaro Convertible is nearly identical to the Camaro coupe concept that premiered last year in Detroit.

DETROIT – Chevrolet’s Camaro Convertible concept, to be unveiled for the automotive press here Saturday, won’t stay a concept for long, as General Motors Corp. plans to build the pop-top variant for ’09.

The car will be revealed at GM Style, a glitzy pre-North American International Auto Show inaugural party that will combine celebrities such as Carmen Electra, fashion and cars.

The Detroit show’s official media preview begins Sunday and will open to the public Jan. 14.

Unlike last year’s show, when GM introduced the widely popular Camaro concept but held off on announcing its production for eight months, Chevy says a production convertible will be added later in ’09, following the coupe’s launch.

Dressed out in “hugger orange” paint with a pair of gunmetal gray sport stripes, the Camaro Convertible concept is based on the original Camaro concept with only minor changes to accommodate a convertible body style.

The rear-wheel-drive Camaro Convertible will share a V-8 engine and a manual transmission with the coupe, which also will offer an automatic transmission and V-6 powertrain.

The convertible will include a 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, 21-in. front wheels and 22-in. rear wheels.

Camaro coupe output is to start at the end of 2008 at GM’s Oshawa, ON, Canada, plant. The muscle car is a low-volume vehicle, with initial sales pegged in the 100,000-unit range.

But the platform on which it rides, GM’s Global RWD Architecture, also known as Zeta, will underpin at least four additional GM models that appear as potential ’08 and/or ’09 models.

These include the next-generation Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, new Pontiac G8 performance sedan and a likely replacement for the Buick Park Avenue.

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