The 2020 Corvette Convertible debuted at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex just last month, offering a new retractable hardtop roof for the Bow Tie brand’s latest mid-engine sports car. This is a major change for the Vette nameplate, with the Chevrolet Corvette C8 Convertible offered as the very first Corvette to sport a retractable hardtop roof – all previous-generation convertibles used soft tops. We asked Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter directly if the team considered doing a soft-top roof during development of the C8. Here’s what he had to say.
“We looked at a convertible soft top early on, but most of our competitors are doing retractable hardtops,” Juechter told GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft in an interview. “In fact, one of the reasons that the C7 Convertible didn’t sell as well is that it didn’t look as cool,” Juechter added.
Indeed, styling was one of the main drivers behind development of a retractable hardtop for the 2020 Corvette Convertible.
“The canvas tops are starting to look a little old-school,” Juechter said. “You couldn’t keep the same sort of racy upper and quarter vents, so pretty early on in the development of the C8 we said we gotta do a retracting hardtop.”
Juechter also mentioned NHV (noise/vibration/harshness) as a major factor in developing a retractable hardtop roof over a canvas top.
As we covered previously, the C8 Convertible is a bargain compared to the competition, offering big power and a quick 0-to-60 mph time, all for very little outlay.
The 2020 Corvette C8 Convertible is priced at $67,495, $7,500 more than the $59,995 starting price for the Coupe model. Customization options include three color combos for the roof and rear nacelles.
In terms of availability, the 2020 Corvette C8 Convertible will launch after the C8 Coupe. For reference, the 2020 Corvette Coupe will launch in February following delays incurred during the UAW strike.