The history of the Chevrolet Corvette is inextricably linked with top-down motoring.
In 1953, the first year the Corvette was available, the sportscar was available only as a convertible, and that lasted all the way until the introduction of the second-generation “C2” model for 1963.
Now that we’ve put that into context, say hello to the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible. Revealed just this week, the new Stingray convertible is the drop-top counterpart to the new rear-mid-engine Corvette coupe that debuted earlier this year. It’s the first-ever factory hardtop Corvette convertible; previous iterations, from C1 all the way through C7, have all relied on foldable fabric tops. The rigid roof panel means less cabin noise, and better security when the car is left unattended.
Chevrolet was adament that customers not have to sacrifice much of anything for the privileges of open-air freedom, and in fact, the company says, the new rear-mid-engine Corvette was engineered from the get-go to be a competent convertible.
To that end, the center tunnel that lends the coupe version much of its chassis rigidity performs the same function here, limiting the chassis flex that so often comes with chopping the roof off of a typical car. The top is fully motorized, slipping into a tonneau cover in the rear of the car in as little as 16 seconds, at speeds of up to 30 mph.
What’s more, the area into which the roof panel stows is designed so that it doesn’t encroach upon the Corvette’s trunk space, meaning you can still fit two sets of golf clubs in the boot, and the tonneau cover has been designed with a pair of aerodynamic, fighter jet-inspired nacelles that retain the car’s exotic profile.
“Our goal from the beginning was to make sure customers didn’t have to sacrifice any functionality, performance or comfort when choosing the hardtop convertible,” says Corvette Program Engineering Manager Josh Holder. “We managed to keep the same design theme as the coupe, as well as the exceptional storage capacity and track capability.”
The new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible will enter production a bit after the coupe, late in the first-quarter of 2020, at GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant.
The starting price for the new Corvette Convertible will be $67,495 representing a $7,500 increase over the base 1LT coupe.