2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Convertible: folding roof means more fun

Chevrolet is ticking the right boxes in the new C8 Corvette. And now, we have a glorious convertible version with a power folding hardtop roof. The Corvette convertible has the same mid-mounted V8 engine and eight-speed Tremec automatic like the coupe. And while the coupe features a removable roof, the convertible version serves up some added dose of supercar styling.

It’s the first roofless Corvette to have a folding hardtop

When Chevy unveiled the new C8 Corvette coupe last July, we knew a convertible version wasn’t too far away. And we’re actually glad it came with a proper folding hardtop instead of a flimsy canvass top. Having a hard roof not only gives the car a cleaner look, but it also offers better aerodynamics and security.

In fact, when equipped with the rear spoiler in the Z51 Package, Chevy claims both the coupe and convertible have the same drag coefficient, which is awesome.

Chevrolet even said the new MR Corvette platform was originally intended to work as a convertible, so we’re expecting the same level of performance and handling as the fixed roof version. While the Corvette convertible is heavier than the coupe, no additional reinforcements were added to the vehicle, which means most of the additional weight is courtesy of the top and the various lowering mechanisms of the roof.

The convertible is only 80 pounds heavier than a Corvette C8 coupe

In an effort to make the retractable hardtop as light as possible, Chevy chose composites instead of steel. The folding mechanism also involves a total of six electric motors to open or close the roof in as little as 16 seconds, and you can do it at speeds of up to 30 mph (48 kph). All in, the folding roof only adds 80 pounds of weight to the car.

The roof itself comes standard in body color, but you can choose the optional Carbon Flash metallic roof to achieve a two-toned vibe in your Corvette convertible. You’ll also find a power-operated rear window to reduce wind buffeting at speed, and you can raise or lower the window whether the roof is up or down.

The Corvette convertible is as practical as the coupe

This is huge praise for a two-seat, mid-engine supercar baiter. In most cars, choosing a folding hardtop roof will eat up a lot of room in the back, leaving you with virtually no space to store your stuff. But it’s a different story in the Corvette convertible.

With the roof folded down, the trunk still has enough room to accommodate two golf bags. Of course, the front storage is unaffected whether you choose a coupe or convertible. It’s not the roomiest ‘frunk’ in the world, but it’s large enough to carry a laptop bag and a medium-sized knapsack.

Like the coupe, the Corvette convertible is quite a looker

With the roof up, the Corvette convertible looks eerily identical to the coupe, most especially in the front. But if you gaze your eyes towards the rear, that’s where most of the differences take shape. The convertible is identical from the front bumper to the A-pillar, but it also has a flattened rear decklid.

This means the convertible makes do without the see-through engine panel like what you’ll find in the coupe. Despite this, the convertible has some styling elements that the coupe can only dream about, and I’m talking about those luscious buttresses that gracefully arcs upwards to create the roofline.

The decklid also comes with purposeful heat vents to keep the mighty LT2 engine cool even when the roof is stowed neatly in the back.

The new Corvette convertible has the same powerful V8 engine

Choosing the convertible version of the Corvette means you still get a naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 motor producing 495-horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. No, you still don’t get a manual, but you do get a slick-shifting Tremec eight-speed automatic.

Chevy was also kind enough to retune the suspension by tinkering with the springs and dampers. This enables the convertible to have a similar driving feel to the coupe.

Chevy also unveiled the Corvette C8.R

If you want to go racing in the new Corvette, the new C8.R is the perfect choice. It also made a surprise debut along with the Corvette Stingray convertible and will make its racing debut at Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2020.

“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 Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “The collaboration between these teams has allowed us to take these vehicles’ performance to the next level, both on the street and the track.”

Unfortunately, Chevy didn’t reveal a ton of info about the Corvette C8.R. All we know is it grew some crucial aerodynamic panels along with a deafening exhaust note.

The new Corvette convertible starts at below $70k

But what really makes the new Corvette convertible is the lower base price. Chevy said the convertible is only $7,500 dearer than the coupe, which means base prices will hover around $67,000. Production is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2020. Want a right-hand drive version? Chevy will make that too, but it won’t arrive until later next year.