For the 2011 Camaro Convertible, Chevy was looking for a new antenna design as many Camaro enthusiasts had hugely criticised the proposed whip antenna positioned on the rear deck lid.
GM engineers were faced with a challenge as antennas are normally integrated in the vehicle’s rear window, but this is not an option on a retractable soft-top roof as in the new Camaro.
However, thanks to Ham radio enthusiasts within the engineering team, GM has created a new solution – by hiding the antenna inside the rear spoiler.
While a 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.
Don Hibbard, Antenna Performace Engineer and a lifelong Ham radio enthusiast, says 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.”