- The all-new, mid-engine Chevy Corvette was revealed a few months ago.
- It's Chevy's eighth generation of the car, and it will cost a mind-blowing $59,995.
- The convertible version will be the first Vette with a retractable hardtop.
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Chevy is racking up some firsts with the new eighth-generation Corvette: first mid-engine Vette, and now the first Corvette to offer a convertible version that uses a retractable hardtop.
"We put the world on notice when we introduced the first mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette a few months ago, and now we're raising the bar," Brian Sweeney, Chevy's US vice-president, said in a statement. "And the convertible will be priced only $7,500 more than the entry-level Stingray coupe."
If that sounds like a lot, remember that the Stingray is set to sticker at $59,995 — an eye-popping value for a supercar design powered by a naturally aspirated V8 engine. It's like a Ferrari 458, just $200,000 cheaper.
Convertibles, while fun, are usually compromises for high-performance vehicles and tend to present significant technical challenges for mid-engine cars; European "spiders" have to fit the engine and the retracted hardtop into a very modest amount of space.
Seamless stowing of the top — and trunk space!
"The team engineered the hardtop to stow seamlessly into the body, maintaining the Stingray's impressive ability to store two sets of golf clubs in the trunk even with the top down," Chevy said in a statement. "The convertible also keeps the coupe's front storage compartment, which can fit an airline-spec carry-on and a laptop bag."
Truck space and a drop-top! What more could an enthusiast want?
The two-piece top retracts in 16 seconds and can be dropped while driving as fast as 30 mph, Chevy said. It's powered by six electric motors and doesn't smother the engine when stowed.
"The sheet-molded composite top stows in a compartment made from lightweight composite panels and heat shields to manage heat from the engine," Chevy explained.
That engine makes 495 horsepower with 470 pound-feet of torque, and power is routed through another C8 Vette first: an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The new Corvette goes on sale for the 2020 model year, and if the convertible isn't available at the same time, it should be soon after. Chevy isn't wasting any time getting its new Vette to customers.