Camaro Convertible: Testing the Top

According to Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, some of the engineers on his staff had the great opportunity to use development Camaro Convertibles for their daily commute to work.

According to Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, some of the engineers on his staff had the great opportunity to use development Camaro Convertibles for their daily commute to work. Who wouldn’t want a Camaro to drive on a daily basis, right?

Well, it may not have been always all good.

That is, Oppenhesier explained: “This past winter we even had our engineers driving 80 of these convertible back and forth to work every day here in Michigan. They had to open and close the top five times each day no matter what the weather was like.”

And if you live in Michigan, you know that last winter was one when you wanted the HVAC set to max temp and the seat heaters warming your posterior more often than not.

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The development of the ragtop (it is a three-layer construction, with a rubber acoustical liner sandwiched by an outer acrylic square-weave fabric and an inner reinforcing cotton layer) included opening and closing more than 22,500 times, which is calculated to be more than someone would likely cycle it over 10 years of use.

And the opening and closing took place under rather extreme climactic conditions (even worse than last winter’s Michigan weather): from -22°F to +170°F, and at humidity up to 95%.

Testing for the production Camaro Convertibles includes a water test for all of them and a random sample undergo an eight-minute test that involves more than 7,200 gallons of water that are applied at more than 900 gallons per minute.

And here’s something that you might want to take into account if you’re considering a career in automotive test engineering: How do you feel about spending time in enclosed spaces, as you’ll see if you watch this: