If you are one of the faithful who believe it's not really a Corvette unless the top goes down, the next generation Stingray convertible is on its way in the fourth quarter of 2013. Introduced today at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, the 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible is the most advanced ragtop in the model's history. The old timers in the congregation will remember a time in the early 1950s when just putting the top down was an arduous undertaking. Keeping the elements out with the top up was no joy either, as water and air leaks were common all the way through the end of convertible production in 1975. Well, the C7 promises to be best sealing, easiest to use and most technologically advanced Corvette convertible ever. It's coolest features have been seen before, but usually on much more expensive foreign luxury cars. For the first time on a Corvette, the top can be raised or lowered using the key fob, and the top can be opened or closed on the go, at speeds up to 30 mph.
"The convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Corvette since the very beginning in 1953," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. "With the all-new Corvette Stingray, we designed and developed the coupe and convertible simultaneously. As a result, the Corvette Stingray offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design."
All of the performance technology and capabilities introduced on the Corvette Stingray coupe carry over to the convertible. The only structural changes are limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts, which means acceleration and handling should be nearly identical. Central to the Corvette Stingray's driving experience is an all-new, more rigid aluminum frame structure, which is 57-percent stiffer and 99 pounds lighter than the current C6 steel frame. All models are powered by the new LT1 6.2L V-8, with an estimated 450-hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. As no structural reinforcements are required for the convertible, both models share almost identical power-to-weight ratios. Even the Z51 performance package is carried over.
To ensure a refined driving experience, Chevy uses a thick, three-ply fabric top, along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window. Appearance-wise, it's instantly recognizable as a Corvette top, sharing the basic shape that's been used on all Vette convertibles since '68.
Furthering the top-down experience, dual black accent panels enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray's signature "waterfall" design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior.
"We wanted the driving experience of the Corvette to live up to the performance expectations that come with the 'Stingray' name," said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. "Because it was designed from the beginning as an open-top car, the Corvette Stingray delivers an exhilarating, connected driving experience-no matter what configuration you choose."
There's no word yet on whether an optional hardtop will be offered.
|2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Preliminary Specifications|
|Body Style / Driveline:||2-door hatchback coupe with removable roof panel or 2-door convertible; rear-wheel drive|
|Construction:||Composite and carbon-fiber body panels, hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components|
|Engine:||LT1 6.2L V-8, 376 CID|
|Displacement (cu in / cc):||376 / 6162|
|Bore x stroke (in / mm):||4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92|
|Block Material:||cast aluminum|
|Cylinder head material:||cast aluminum|
|Valvetrainl:||overhead valve, two valves per cylinder|
|Fuel delivery:||direct injection|
|Horsepower / kW:||450 / 335 (est.)|
|Torque (lb-ft / Nm):||450 / 610 (est.)|
|Transmissions:||Tremec TR6070 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match or Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed paddle shift automatic|
|Front:||short/long arm double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorbers|
|Rear:||short/long arm double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, monotube shock absorbers|
|Active Handling:||Magnetic Selective Ride Control (avail. with Z51-only)|
|Traction Control:||StabiliTrak, electronic stability control|
|Front and rear:||power-assisted discs with four-piston fixed front and rear calipers (slotted rotors with Z51)|
|Rotor Diameter (in / mm):||front: 12.6 / 320 (13.6 / 345 with Z51); rear: 13.3 / 338|
|Front:||18x8.5 (19x8.5 with Z51)|
|Rear:||19x10 (20x10 with Z51)|
|Front:||Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat P245/40R18 (P245/35R19 with Z51)|
|Rear:||Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat P245/35R19 (P285/30R20 with Z51)|
|Wheelbase (in / mm):||106.7 / 2710|
|Overall length (in / mm):||177 / 4495|
|Overall width (in / mm):||73.9 / 1877|