HomeThe MarketChevrolet unveils C8 Corvette convertible with retracting hardtop roof

Chevrolet unveils C8 Corvette convertible with retracting hardtop roof


The mid-engine 2020 C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will be the first Corvette with a two-piece hardtop convertible roof that retracts at the touch of a switch. The top can be maneuvered even while the car is traveling at speeds as fast as 30 mph, Chevrolet said Wednesday when it unveiled the convertible at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

It also noted that the convertible will provide the same storage capacity as the coupe, even with the top down. 

The power top will add $7,500 to the vehicle price, the company said.

“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 with the first-ever hardtop Corvette convertible,” Brian Sweeney, Chevrolet U.S. vice president, said as the convertible was revealed. “And the convertible will be priced only $7,500 more than entry 1LT Stingray coupe.”

Chevrolet revealed that the C8 “was engineered first and foremost as a convertible. The convertible maintains the tunnel-dominant structure and use of high-integrity die-cast parts found in the Stingray coupe.

C8 convertible, Chevrolet unveils C8 Corvette convertible with retracting hardtop roof, ClassicCars.com Journal
Top down

C8 convertible, Chevrolet unveils C8 Corvette convertible with retracting hardtop roof, ClassicCars.com Journal
Top up

“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. The convertible also keeps the coupe’s front storage compartment, which can fit an airline-spec carry-on and a laptop bag.”

Chevrolet said using a hardtop on the convertible “provides a quieter cabin, increased security and a cleaner look compared to the previous softtop designs.

“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.”

The two-piece top can be activated at speeds up to 30 mph and retract in as few as 16 seconds. It is powered by six electric motors — a Corvette first — and uses encoders for precise control, the company said, adding that switching from hydraulic power to electric motors increases reliability. 

C8 convertible, Chevrolet unveils C8 Corvette convertible with retracting hardtop roof, ClassicCars.com Journal

“Careful attention was paid to make sure the engine could breathe when stored underneath the tonneau cover,” Chevrolet said. “The sheet-molded composite top stows in a compartment made from lightweight composite panels and heat shields to manage heat from the engine.

“A divider glass window in the middle of the vehicle can be power adjusted with the top up or down. The glass has been optimized to reduce air recirculation and wind noise in the cabin for improved quietness. The roof system design, combined with the same rear spoiler used on the Stingray coupe’s Z51 Performance Package, results in identical drag between the coupe and convertible with the top up.”

Chevrolet said suspension was tuned for the convertible “to provide nearly the same performance as the coupe.”

The company said potential customers can use a price tool at the Chevrolet website to configure their cars.

The C8 goes into production at Bowling Green, Kentucky, in late 2019 with the convertible following in the first quarter of 2020. A right-hand drive version of the convertible will be available for international markets at a later date.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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