Chevrolet might’ve brought big changes to the Corvette with the introduction of a mid-engine layout for the new C8, but the automaker isn’t about to abandon all traditions. Like a convertible version.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible makes its debut today, with a new two-piece folding hardtop mechanism similar to that of a Ferrari 458. It’s the first hardtop convertible in Corvette history, and Chevy promises it doesn’t compromise the car in any way. The composite top folds down under a tonneau cover above the engine, which means rear trunk size isn’t impacted. That wasn’t the case with previous Corvette convertibles. Chevy also says the hardtop helps reduce interior noise—unless, of course, you roll down the electric rear window to hear the C8’s 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 a bit more clearly.
The C8 derives much of its torsional strength from its central tunnel, so chopping off the roof shouldn’t affect chassis rigidity significantly. Additionally, a Chevrolet representative told R&T that the convertible will be less than 80 pounds heavier than the coupe, which is a remarkably low weight gain. You can blame most of that on the top itself, and the six electric motors that raise and lower it.
As a result, we don’t expect the convertible to drive all that differently from the coupe. Apparently, the drag figures of the two are identical, and the convertible receives its own spring and damper tuning so it can match the performance of the coupe.
The C8 convertible loses the coupe’s glass engine cover, but gains two flying buttresses that blend the roof into the rear deck. Buyers can pick between having the top and buttresses painted body color, or in black for added contrast.
Chevy says C8 convertible production will start towards the end of the first quarter of 2020. Stepping up from coupe to convertible will cost $7500, $3000 more than the difference between the C7 coupe and convertible. Still, at $67,495, the C8 convertible costs less than a Porsche 718 Boxster S and at about the same as an Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.
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