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Camaro Convertible Has Completely New Antenna

The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertible that debuts in February will have a completely new antenna. It’s the result of consumer outcry about the AM/FM whip antenna positioned on the rear deck lid in the pre-production model.

Chevrolet listened (in itself an amazing feat for such a large automaker) and put the task in the hands of Don Hibbard, an antenna test performance engineer. Hibbard and colleague Gregg Kittinger came up with a novel approach – hide the antenna inside the rear spoiler (see photo). No one had tried that on a Chevrolet before because of the hit to radio reception.

“We weren’t sure that it would be possible,” said Kittinger. “Typically antennas are hidden in a vehicle’s rear window, but with a retractable soft-top roof, that’s not an option.”

Hibbard, in a press release, said the unorthodox placement of the antenna within the body of the vehicle created a number of technical challenges, such as balancing form by preserving the car’s styling and function of unimpeded audio reception. “Where other automakers have tried and failed, Chevy succeeded,” said Hibbard. “We hope to take what we’ve learned with the Camaro Convertible, build on it and apply it to future vehicles.”

While the shark fin antenna that transmits XM Satellite Radio, OnStar and cellular signals is still present on the car's deck lid, the built-in spoiler antenna eliminates the need for a longer, separate whip antenna to receive AM and FM radio signals.

The 2011 Camaro Convertible arrives in dealer showrooms this February.