2020 Chevy Corvette Convertible: The Open-Air C8 Is Here!

The Vette ’vert promises big air.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is a mind-melting uppercut to the sports-car establishment, offering as much as 495 horsepower from its mid-mounted V-8, a slinky wrapper, and a price that starts at just $59,995. Now the targa-roofed version of the Stingray, which debuted in July, is joined by the 2020 Corvette convertible, and it's going to cost just $7,500 more than the base coupe. That means the new C8 convertible's price is $67,495—a smokin' deal for what is essentially a mid-engine exotic.

About the retractable hardtop. The new Corvette convertible's most distinguishing feature, obviously, is its power-retractable hardtop that can be dropped (or raised) at speeds of up to 30 mph and in as quickly as 16 seconds. It's the first-ever retractable hardtop offered on a Corvette. Perhaps even better, the weight difference between the two new Corvettes is less than 80 pounds, Chevrolet says, an entirely workable figure enabled by the fact that the C8 was engineered as a droptop first and leans heavily on its central tunnel to deliver maximum structural rigidity.

Also helping the cause: The two-piece top is made from lightweight composites, and it's actuated for the first time in a Corvette by electric motors rather than hydraulics, in this case six of them. A glass window/wind deflector can be electrically extended or lowered independent of the top's status, and it tucks between twin nacelles that extend from behind the seat headrests. The roof and nacelles are color-keyed and are available in body color or Carbon Flash metallic.

Cargo space is exactly the same. The rear-hinged tonneau incorporates heat shielding and additional inlets to help the engine breathe, and once it lifts out of the way, the roof stows directly over the mid-mounted LT2 small-block V-8. This means the C8's cargo-stowage areas are unaffected, and the car can accommodate the same two golf bags in the space behind the engine bay. Up front, the frunk compartment can hold a rollaboard bag and a laptop bag.

Powertrain. As mentioned, the C8 convertible packs the same naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 as the coupe, tuned for 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque as standard or 495 horses and 470 lb-ft when it exhales through the available performance exhaust. The eight-speed dual-clutch automatic carries over, too—there's no manual, at least for now—and offers a declutching function via the steering wheel paddles. (While a performance benefit could be gained on a track by aggressively reengaging the clutches to get the rear end to slide or re-vector, declutching is also an easy way to rev the engine at stoplights.) Performance is cited as being "nearly the same"; that means the 2020 Corvette Stingray convertible is likely to hit 60 mph from rest in roughly 3.0 seconds, achieve a top speed of 190-plus mph, and cover a quarter-mile in well under 12 seconds.

The Z51 spoiler enables a special trick. Chevrolet says when it has this spoiler, the convertible retains the exact same drag characteristics when the top is up as the coupe. In addition, the spring and damper rated were slightly recalibrated for duty here. In the coupe, the Z51 package includes the spoiler, as well as the sportier exhaust, an electric limited-slip diff, bigger brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, a more aggressive FE3 suspension tune, additional engine-cooling elements, and a front splitter, all for the tidy sum of $5,000. It's unknown as of yet if the price of the package will be the same on the droptop, but you'll need to spec Z51 in order to have the max-attackiest new Corvette convertible.

When does it go on sale? We're glad you asked. The 2020 C8 convertible will enter production in early 2020 at Chevrolet's Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant, a few months after the coupe. As with that model, a right-hand-drive version will eventually be brought online, too.

Related Articles