Chevrolet reveals Corvette C8 convertible and wild, winged GT C8.R racer
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In late August the world stood still, the birds stopped chirping, and the drone of every day life faded for a fleeting moment when the Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray was unveiled and, subsequently confirmed as a starter for the New Zealand market.
Now, that early Corvette has two new mates in the form of a convertible equivalent and a race car — both unveiled today by Chevrolet. Starting with the Stingray Convertible, the most crucial thing to note is that it will be priced in the US with a US$7500 premium over its 1LT coupe counterpart.
The transformation is subtle both visually and mechanically. Chevrolet says that the C8 was "engineered first and foremost as a convertible", which means that both the coupe and fold-top share many of the same parts. Naturally it also retains the same mid-mounted 6.2-litre LT2 V8 engine.
The dual buttresses out back lift to accommodate the convertible's folding top, swallowing it up with ease while taking nothing away from the C8's base design. The roof can be operated electronically at speeds up to 48km/h, and can be fully erected or stowed in as little as 16 seconds.
“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 Corvette program engineering manager Josh Holder.
“We managed to keep the same design theme as the coupe, as well as the exceptional storage capacity and track capability.”
It's yet to be seen whether the convertible will make its way to New Zealand. We contacted Holden New Zealand, and unsurprisingly they're adopting a 'wait and see' approach.
"We’re eagerly awaiting further details relating to the all-new Corvette programme and can’t wait for the factory-built right-hand drive model to arrive in New Zealand," a Holden New Zealand spokesperson told Driven.
"Unfortunately we’re not in a position at this point in time to advise whether the drop-top model will come Down Under, but as soon as we’re able to release this information will update the significant numbers of passionate enthusiasts who have expressed considerable interest in this exciting new vehicle."
The other big unveiling from today is the C8.R — Chevrolet's replacement for the very successful C7.R racer. This car will compete in GT-LM competition against the best from Aston Martin, Porsche, BMW, and many more. It's already been confirmed that it will take part in the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which kicks off with the Rolex 24 Hour next January.
“The C8.R is much more than just a race-tuned version of the 2020 Corvette Stingray. It’s a culmination of many years of testing and development between GM Design, Propulsion, Engineering and the Corvette Racing team,” said Chevrolet Performance and Motorsports vice president Jim Campbell.
“The collaboration between these teams has allowed us to take these vehicles’ performance to the next level, both on the street and the track.”
It's been speculated that the C8.R will rock a flat-plane crank 5.5-litre naturally aspirated V8. Should that be the case, it will go against the turbocharged units that most rivals have shifted to.