KUALA LUMPUR: Chevrolet made headlines when they revealed the C8 Corvette a couple of months ago with its controversial layout revision.
The sports car broke its convention by going from front-engined rear-wheel drive to mid-ship layout, similar to the Ferrari 488 GTB and the McLaren 720S.
But while one tradition was broken, the GM-owned company remained faithful to another, subsequently introducing the C8 Stingray Corvette in convertible form.
Chevrolet said that the C8 Corvette was intentionally developed to have a convertible version, which totally makes sense as the bodystyle has been offered throughout the Corvette’s 65-year history.
For the C8 however, the company has fitted the car with a folding hard-top roof, something that is more effective with the packaging constraints of the mid-engined layout.
The roof is a two-piece unit which stows in under the rear tonneau cover and is electrically-operated as opposed to the hydraulic system in the previous Corvette.
There is also a rear glass piece that is separated from the roof mechanism; can be dropped to allow more engine music into the cabin, or raised to act as a wind deflector.
Mechanically, the convertible uses an identical arrangement as the coupe version, with an LT2 6.2-litre V8 pushrod engine that is connected to a new Tremec eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Peak power is rated at the same 495hp and despite the lack of turbocharger, the utmost cubic capacity helps the engine generates 637Nm of torque.
The convertible’s performance figure will take a small hit over the coupe’s 3.0 second time to 100kph, but it will still be a quick one.
Chevrolet has not revealed any official weight figures for the new model. But it is learnt that the convertible has not undergone any significant structural reinforcement, so expect a very slight rise on the coupe’s 1,527kg dry weight.
The engineers has also developed a unique tune for the springs and dampers to deliver a driving dynamics as close to the coupe as possible.
Pricing in the United States has been confirmed, starting at USD67,495 (RM282,939) which is a USD7,500 (RM31,440) extra than the coupe.
Unlike the previous versions, the C8 Corvette has also been confirmed for right-hand drive.
So, with this development - the Corvette now in mid-engined layout, convertible and is available in right-hand drive - will the car be more desirable and stir the market that is largely occupied by the European exotics?