2020 Stingray convertible, first Corvette hardtop and mid-engine convertible
The convertible maintains the tunnel-dominant structure and use of high-integrity die-cast parts found in the Stingray coupe. The team made 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. The hardtop provides a quieter cabin, increased security and a cleaner look compared to the previous softtop designs.
Like the coupe, the Stingray convertible’s design was inspired by fighter jets. The tonneau cover features aerodynamically shaped nacelles influenced by the housing used for jet engines. The nacelles, which were also used as inspiration on the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle (CERV) I and II, as well as the Corvette SS and SR2 concepts, help reduce air recirculation into the cabin and provide a remarkably exotic profile with the top up or down. The tonneau also provides a rear power-adjustable window and a vent for mid-engine cooling.
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. Switching to electric motors from hydraulic systems helps increase reliability. A body-colored roof is standard, while Carbon Flash metallic-painted nacelles and roof are optional. Careful attention was paid to make sure the engine could breathe when stored underneath the tonneau cover. 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. Like the Stingray coupe, the convertible is powered by the next-generation 6.2L Small Block V-8 LT2 engine, the only naturally aspirated V-8 in the segment. It will produce 495 horsepower (369 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque when equipped with performance exhaust — the most horsepower and torque for any entry Corvette. ■