GM rewrote its own history book when it launched the 2020 Corvette Convertible. Never before had there been such a thing as a mid-engine Corvette, for the simple reason that all previous Corvette engines had been mounted in the front, nor had any Corvette previously used a folding solid roof rather than a fabric one.
The 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible is mechanically identical to the Stingray Coupe, which can claim its own place in Corvette history. Both cars are fitted with the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 LT2 engine. The fifth generation GM Small Block engine variant produces 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque when fitted with the optional performance exhaust. Those are the biggest numbers ever for an entry-level Corvette.
Seen from the front, there is nothing to separate the 2020 Corvette Convertible from the Coupe. The differences begin behind the windshield, where the Convertible’s two-piece roof can be operated by six electric motors at speeds of up to 30 mph, fully retracting in 16 seconds. Behind that are nacelles inspired by the design of jet engine housings.
The nacelles are there partly for styling reasons, but also to help reduce air recirculation in the cabin when the top is down. They also provide crucial structural elements to assist in roll-over situations. Both the roof and the nacelles behind are body colored as standard, but owners can choose the option of having them painted Carbon Flash Metallic.
That option was chosen for the Stingray convertible shown here, which is otherwise painted Blade Silver Metallic. So too was the Z51 Performance Package, which includes uprated suspension, exhaust, rear axle ratio and Brembo brakes, an electronic limited slip differential (eLSD), a heavy-duty cooling system, Z51-specific front splitter and rear spoiler, along with high performance, run flat, summer only Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires measuring 245/35ZR19 at the front and 305/30ZR20 at the rear.
The 2020 Corvette Convertible is inescapably heavier than the Coupe, but even without the Z51 Performance Package its suspension has been adjusted to suit. Slightly different springs and damper tuning allow the car to perform nearly as well as the coupe.
Meanwhile, the hardtop roof was designed to fit seamlessly into the body, so that it did not compromise the practicality of the Convertible.
“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,” said Josh Holder, Corvette program engineering manager. “We managed to keep the same design theme as the coupe, as well as the exceptional storage capacity and track capability.”
Like the Coupe, therefore, the 2020 Corvette Convertible can carry two sets of golf clubs in the trunk, whether the roof is down or up. Up front, the convertible shares the coupe’s front storage compartment (aka the frunk), which can hold an airline-spec carry-on and a laptop bag.
It’s worth noting that the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette differs only in detail from the 2020 model year version. In entry-level 1LT trim and with the optional Z51 Performance Package, the 2021 Corvette Convertible has an MSRP of $73,490, including a $1,095 destination freight charge.
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