Motoring News

New Chevy Corvette drop-top to dock at LA Auto show

  • Chev Corvette: ‘It’s a supercar in all respects’
  • It’s still the Corvette Coupe – but roofless
  • Wings take top speed way beyond 300km/h
CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE RE-LAUNCHED: One of the icons of 1970's American performance cars is back! The hardtop Corvette has already been launched but now there's a convertible, too. Image Chevrolet / Newspress
CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE RE-LAUNCHED: One of the icons of 1970’s American performance cars is back! The hardtop Corvette has already been launched but now there’s a convertible, too. Image Chevrolet / Newspress

LOS ANGELES, California – Chevrolet has dropped the top on the 2019 Corvette ZR1 with the global introduction of the ZR1 convertible, the first ZR1 drop-top since the original 1970 ZR1.

The cars will be in showrooms from early 2018 alongside the existing Corvette ZR1 coupe at which time the prices will be announced.

“The ZR1 convertible,” Chev says, “emphasises the Corvette’s iconic proportions and functional sculpture, highlighting the seamless transition between exterior and interior.”

SAME ALUMINIUM CHASSIS

Mark Reuss, an executive vice-president wsith a title far to long to print, told Carman’s Corner in a media release: “The new Corvette ZR1 convertible is a supercar in all respects. Few others can challenge its power and speed while offering the exhilaration of top-down driving.”

The performance and tech introduced on the Corvette ZR1 coupe will be the same on the convertible: the aluminium chassis continues but with amendments to house the drop top and crash-restraint anchors.

WATCH VIDEO: 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

The electric top can be operated remotely or while moving at a maximum of 50km/h and the weight difference between units is less than 27kg.

Tadge Juechter, the Corvette’s executive chief engineer, also commented: “The ZR1 convertible is a no-compromise supercar. Thanks to the strong structure, the suspension tuning between coupe and convertible is identical, meaning the ZR1 convertible offers the same benchmark performance, including a top speed beyond 320km/h.”

TAKE IN A HISTORY of the Chev Corvette ZR1

An aero kit, however, can lift that to 340km/h. It involves a stanchion-mounted wing to add downforce and was tested at Germany’s Papenburg proving ground.

An adjustable higher wing is part of a ZTK Performance Package which includes a front splitter with carbon-fibre end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning.

This wing can add 430kg of downforce.

ENGINE SUPERCHARGED TO 563Kw

The cars will be powered by an LT5 6.2-litre, 563kW / 969Nm supercharged engine spinning a seven-speed manual transmission or a ZR1-first paddle-shift eight-speed auto, the latter capable of a sub-three second launch to 100km/h.

Four new radiators help another 13 to cool engine oil, transmission and differential.

The 2019 Corvette ZR1 coupe and convertible will be at the Los Angeles auto show from December 1-10, 2017.

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