The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible launched Wednesday night at Kennedy Space Center with nearly a dozen astronaut-Corvette owners in attendance. Like the hardtop coupe Corvette launched in July, it has a midship-mounted V8 engine and double-clutch eight-speed transmission. This is a hardtop convertible, not fabric-roof, with six motors that raise or lower the roof in about 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The folding panels store above the engine with no impact on the cargo-carry capacity that equates to two golf bags plus what you can fit in front.
The convertible weighs 77 pounds more than the eighth-generation coupe. That reduces the 0-60 mph acceleration to about 3 seconds versus “under 3 seconds.” The convertible costs $ 7,500 more than the coupe, making it $ 67,495 plus shipping ($ 1,095) — plus options that, if you check every box from a higher-performance engine to camera/data recorder to premium seat belt colors, it puts the C8 Corvette convertible very close to $ 100,000. The first deliveries will be in the first quarter of 2020.
With the top down, there remain buttresses behind the seats. They are a styling element, a receptor for rear window glass to make for a quieter top-down ride, and a measure of additional protection in an accident. The cockpit is essentially the same as the coupe, with a line of switches set in a rail separating driver from passenger and taking a bit of space from the passenger.
Since 1953, the Corvette has been known as America’s sports car. The eighth-generation — C8 — aims to make it the world’s sports car, too. Chevy has said that before, but now with the engine just behind the two seats, it’s more plausible. Even though the V8 gets its prodigious horsepower from a pushrod rather than an overhead camshaft engine. The car is loaded with technology standard or optional, including constantly adjusting MagneRide shock absorbs, a self-lifting nose that uses GPS to recall speed bumps and sharply angle driveway entrances, a data-recording camera, and a 12-inch LCD instrument panel.
Buttresses set apart the convertible version of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Convertible
The three trim lines are:
1LT, $ 68,590, with Bose 10-speaker audio, eight-way power GT1 seats, Driver Mode selector, and all-season performance tires.
2LT, $ 75,390, front curb-view cameras, Bose Performance Series 14-speaker audio system, heated/vented seats and heated steering wheel, and available GT2 seats in Napa leather.
3LT, $ 80,400, with 13 interior color options, custom leather-wrapped instrument panel and door, suede-microfiber upper interior trim, and standard GT2 seats in Napa leather.
The engine is the LT2, a 6.2-liter pushrod V8, producing 495 hp and 470 pound-feet of torque with a rev limiter set to 6,000 rpm. Some key options packages are the Z51 higher-performance package with summer tires, magnetic ride control in conjunction with the handling package that adjusts to road conditions every 10-15 milliseconds, a performance data recorder for track or back roads, a front lift kit that raises the car two inches in 2-3 seconds, and a head-up display. Essentially, if you can get it on the hardtop, you can get it on the convertible.
C8 Corvette buyers can even customize the last five digits of the vehicle identification number for $ 5,000, according to CarsDirect; the first 12 are generated by Chevrolet.
Astronauts James Irwin, Alfred Worden, and David Scott (L-R) with their 1971 red, white and blue Corvettes, and the Lunar Roving Vehicle to be used in the Apollo 15 mission. This Independence Day, we’re celebrating the freedom to explore and American ingenuity. The sky was never the limit. Credit: NASA