Chevy unveiled the first-ever Corvette with a folding hardtop at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, and announced that it will be priced at $67,495. While the $59,955 Stingray coupe came first, GM says the new 'Vette was designed "first and foremost as a convertible."
Its roof can be stowed seamlessly underneath the engine bay cover in just 16 seconds at up to 30 mph. Additionally, the tonneau cover features aerodynamic nacelles that were "influenced by the housing used for jet engines."
Engineers made sure that folding the top into the compartment, which is made from lightweight composite panels and heat shields, doesn't sacrifice a cubic inch of storage space or interfere with the 6.2-liter V8's ability to aspirate.
“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.”
When combined with the same rear spoiler used on the Z51 Performance package, the convertible's deployed roof has a drag coefficient that's identical to that of the coupe. That said, the addition of six electric motors used to power the system definitely makes the drop-top Stingray heavier.
Chevy didn't elaborate on how the added weight affects performance, but we'd imagine that it accelerates one or two tenths of a second slower during a 60-mph sprint—even thought it runs the same performance-minded eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission. There's also no word on whether the 194-mph top speed has suffered.
With 495 horsepower, anyone who picks up the Corvette Stingray convertible is still getting the most powerful entry level 'Vette ever, as well as the first with a mid-engine platform.
Feel free to build your own on the Corvette visualizer before the first models hit the road in early 2020.