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Goodbye summer, hello Corvette Stingray convertible
Chevrolet's C8 Corvette drop-top is questionably timed but thoughtfully developed
You may have noticed summer has made a sudden disappearance. So what better time to show off a convertible sports car, huh? Meet the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible, the completely inevitable addendum to the new, eighth-gen ‘Vette revealed earlier in 2019.
The big news is its folding metal roof, a first for a Corvette and a slight surprise given the rest of the industry seems to be turning its back on such heavy, complex tech. Still, if it’s good enough for a Ferrari F8 Spider…
Chevy says the car was developed as a convertible from the very beginning, helping cancel out the wobbliness a closed- to open-roof conversion can bring. It’s probably been a bit more complex to squeeze the mechanism in now that the 6.2-litre V8 has moved behind the passenger compartment, mind, but worry not: the ‘Vette’s versatility has not been affected.
“The team engineered the hard top to stow seamlessly into the body, maintaining the Stingray’s impressive ability to store two sets of golf clubs in the trunk even with the top down,” says Chevy. “The convertible also keeps the coupe’s front storage compartment, which can fit an airline-spec carry-on and a laptop bag.”
And there was you thinking a switch to a mid-engined layout might make Corvette buyers suddenly switch to Nomex-wearing trackday goers. The Stingray cabrio should still be pretty handy to drive, mind, with a 495bhp/470lb ft V8 still driving the rear wheels and some suspension tweaks to account for the extra weight on board. We’re promised “nearly the same performance as the coupe.”
Only “nearly”? That roof isn’t the simplest, see, with six electronic motors flipping its two parts into the space above the engine in 16 seconds (at speeds below 30mph). There are heat shields to protect those panels from the V8. It’s painted in the body colour as standard, but you can have it in carbon if you want passers-by to spot your Corvette’s an open-top more easily.
Oh, and you can independently drop the glass window at the back if you want to keep your bonce protected but still have all of the V8 aural goodness around your ears.
The convertbile’s $7,500 more than an equivalently specced Stingray coupe, with prices starting at $67,495. Which is around £55,000 at current conversion rates, putting it in the same ballpark as an Audi TT RS Roadster (395bhp), a Porsche 718 Boxster S (345bhp) or a generously specced up BMW Z4 M40i (335bhp) should you enjoy dropping phrases like ‘bang per buck’ and ‘no replacement for displacement’ into conversion. It’s a bit of a bargain, in other words.