Spy Shots Suggest Mid-Engine Corvette Will Offer Hard-Top Convertible Variant19
Days ago, we showed you that, like most of the previous Chevrolet Corvette generations, the upcoming mid-engine Corvette will feature a removable roof panel, otherwise known as a targa top. Now, a closer analysis of the most recent spy pictures gives us a very clear indication that the upcoming mid-engine Corvette will also be offered in a hard-top convertible variant.
The most recent spy shots, taken in very close proximity to Germany’s famed Nurburgring track, show not one, but two mid-engine Corvette prototypes.
The camo does a great job at covering up both vehicles, tricking many into believing that the two units are identical. But a pixel-level analysis performed by GM Authority reveals that one of the models is a coupe with a removable targa top, while the other features a hardtop convertible configuration.
Looking at the two prototypes side-by-side reveals three key differences.
1. The treatment of rear window: notice how the convertible model (on the left) has a notably different rear window configuration than the coupe model (on the right). The vert seems to have a different rear glass design with what appears to be more engine venting or heat extraction hardware. The dark gray/black shield is undoubtedly part of the camouflage meant to conceal the hardware for removing and stowing the roof.
2. The position of the camera for the Rear Camera Mirror: probably the biggest difference between both mid-engine Corvette testers is the position of the rear-facing camera that captures the video feed for the Rear Camera Mirror.
Whereas the camera on the coupe is affixed to the roof, its counterpart on the hard-top convertible is mounted below the roof, slightly above the rear window. The necessity to relocate the camera on the convertible makes sense, since convertible operation would result in the lens being stowed and therefore inoperable. As such, engineers moved the camera for the digital rear view mirror downward, so as not to interfere with the operation of the convertible hardtop.
3. More prominent cut lines: there are also more prominent cutlines on the roof of the hardtop convertible. Both models feature three cutlines running transversely across the roofline – one at the very front and two towards the rear. But the last cutline on the coupe, which is immediately before the aforementioned camera, appears to be fake.
We say this for one very specific and important reason that’s noteworthy to this discussion. Since we are quite certain that the roof panel on the coupe variant of the mid-engine Corvette will be removable, we expect the panel to detach at the top of the A-pillars as well as at the second cutline, rather than the third (counting from the front of the vehicle). Removing the roof panel at the third cutline would also result in the removal of the camera for the Rear Camera Mirror, which is not a great solution. Hence, the rear-most cutline on the roof is either fake or is not a cutline at all, instead being part of the roof design.
A hardtop convertible variant of the mid-engine Corvette is significant for various reasons. For starters, we were not sure what kind of drop-top configuration would be used on the mid-engine model. Notably, a convertible variant is of significant importance to the Corvette lineup, with roughly half of all C7 sales being convertibles.
More importantly, this will be the first time time ever that the Corvette is offered with a hardtop convertible setup. It also doesn’t look like the mid-engine model, potentially called Zora (see more on Corvette Zora), will be offered in a soft-top convertible variant, which also will be a first for the Corvette.
All in, we expect the mid-engine Corvette to be offered in two roof variants – a coupe with a removable roof panel/targa top (much like the present Corvettes Coupe) and a hard-top convertible.
Stay tuned to GM Authority for ongoing coverage of mid-engine Corvette news and Corvette news.
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When do you think this is going to debut?? I almost wanna say LA auto show, but I don’t really know how much development is left.
My money would be in Detroit. Or maybe a stand-alone event right before Detroit? The way this thing is shedding its camo it’s only a matter of months
A special event immediately prior to NAIAS/Detroit 2019… just like the C7 🙂
That’s exactly what I had in mind….. I remember that like yesterday lol that red Z51 was earth shattering
Great to see the USA sticker on the back. I am sure the American engineers, machine and tooling people, along with manufacturing/ union are happy GM didnt farm everything out to Mexico or China.
Good job, GM.
Folding hard top in Mid engine is much easier to store with no stack. Ferrari’s has gone this way.
Awesome news since Mercedes and BMW are dropping their convertible hardtops after 2020. I’ll be a new corvette customer if there’s a convertible hardtop.
I’m a little lost here. Two cars are pictured. One obviously has a visible black panel where the glass would be on today’s car’s rear hatch. It could be glass that’s been blacked out with a decal or it could be made of another material. Either way, the cutlines and venting are very intricate.
The other car that’s been identified as “coupe” has this area covered with some sort of camouflage.
If you look at this same area in the linked article following this story–the “What Is This Small Black Circle On The Roof Of The Mid-Engine Corvette?” article–you’ll see that there’s clearly no glass hatch or panel back there at all.
So I understand that, yes, there could be two cars with two rear hatch designs, or we could be looking at variations on some camouflage, but the latter is pretty unlikely considering the obvious venting and overall intricacy on the car identified here as “convertible.”
I guess I’m just not following exactly why one has been labeled a convertible and another a coupe and not the other way around. Maybe it’s my ignorance when it comes to mid engined cars, but I don’t get it and I don’t really spot any differences between the two cars other than what I’ve outlined.
I do notice also that the car labeled “convertible” has an indention in the middle of roof just above the driver and passenger seats (easiest way to describe) and the same area on the car labeled “coupe” is flat across. (Maybe the flat one is glass???)
So you’re obviously on to something. I’m just not following after reading the story or the comments though.
so according to all the other sources I’ve seen, you’ve got your labeling backwards. Coupe is on the left and HT convertible is on the right.
After taking a second look now I believe your right. The coupe has the camera fixed on the roof right behind the targa too. The convertible has the camera on a sanction lower down away from the roof.
Also I think you guys labeled a coupe as a convertible on your last pic of the article. The covertible seems to be hiding a flat engine cover and buttress’s with that fake panel.
Guys, there are two models here.
The one with the camera on the roof is the coupe.
The one with the camera below the roof and with the fake vents on the black engine cover is the convertible.
I believe I have labeled it correctly…
Oh ok now I think I got it… the convertible will have the angled glass and the coupe will have the flat engine deck and the buttresses. The picture you have labeled coupe is clearly this coupe model that you posted about before….
Right, that’s what it seems like, as of right now. The angled glass for the vert requires venting that the coupe doesn’t need because its rear glass will not be backed, but instead be vertical.
On this photo, the country identification plate (horizontal oval) with “USA” in it is seen — These oval country identifcation signs date back to an international conference in Paris in the year 1909, when the automobile was still a new phenomenon, and the governments felt the need that they could trace the owner of an automobile by a licence plate, and then to make that traceable back to the car’s owner beyond national borders.
Since these Corvettes are seen riding on a public road, they need such a country identification plate in addition to the national licence plate. This is not needed if they only make rounds on the Nürburgring, which is a private, not a public road.
Let’s see if the problem suppressing comments from my part also works on this thread.
Great to see this level of engineering and development out of GM.
Having both the targa coupe and convertible should equate to a goal of a combined higher sales volume.
Porsche sells 30,000 units of 911 per year, although not a mid engine.
Ferrari sells around 8,000 units per year, all models.
Ford sells under 100 units per year of GT 40
Maybe a base price of low $100,000 range, would turn into 4,000-6,000 units per year? (just guessing)
But can it convert into something we can afford?
A Corvette isn’t supposed to be affordable, and it hasn’t been purposely affordable for almost 40 years. It’s supposed to be cutting edge and representing the best GM engineering efforts, and as always, good things cost good money.
If you want affordable, you’ll have to lower your sights and settle for a Dodge, and with that you won’t get anything cutting edge.
If one is looking for affordable, they can always go to the Camaro. That’s twice as affordable as a Corvette.
The hardtop convertible is a mule for the Cadillac version.