The “Most Powerful Chevrolet Convertible Ever” is how the company describes its latest new model – a drop-top version of its headline-grabbing ZL1 coupé, which recently lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:41.27 minutes.

This is obviously something Chevrolet would like us to take note of, as it seeks to show that “There ain’t no substitute for cubic inches – and power”.

Like the coupé, the Camaro ZL1 convertible features a supercharged 6.2-litre “LSA” engine, producing 572 bhp and 556 lb-ft of torque (754 Nm). That compares ‘favourably’ with several well known performance icons, including:

2012 Aston Martin DB9 Volante – 463 bhp / 443 lb-ft
2012 Mercedes SL63 AMG – 511 bhp / 465 lb-ft
2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S – 522 bhp / 516 lb-ft
2011 Ford Shelby GT500 – 542 bhp / 510 lb-ft

Chevrolet announced yesterday that the 2013 Camaro ZL1 will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month, before going on sale in early 2012.

From Day One, the architecture for the fifth-generation Camaro was designed to accommodate a convertible model, which is said to give it coupé-like driving dynamics. Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to minimise the cowl and steering wheel shake common in convertibles. They include:

  • A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
  • A transmission support reinforcement brace
  • Underbody tunnel brace
  • Front “X” brace and stiffer cradle as well as rear underbody “V” braces.

Additional structural reinforcements in the ZL1 convertible are designed to improve noise and vibration characteristics, while also reducing unwanted ride and body motions. They include a hydroformed tube in the A-pillars, an inner reinforcement bracket in the windscreen header, a reinforced front hinge pillar and reinforcements inside the rockers.

The suspension of the ZL1 convertible uses the third-generation of Magnetic Ride. New, twin-wire/dual-coil dampers at all four corners enable faster response, with damping levels now adjusted up to 1,000 times per second making the system exceptionally responsive to changing driving and road conditions.

Chevrolet has also included its PTM system (Performance Traction Management) as standard which integrates magnetic ride control, launch control, traction control and electronic stability control, to enhance both acceleration and cornering.

The 2013 Camaro ZL1 (coupé and convertible) will premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month, then go on sale in early 2012.