Spring is finally here, and nothing says spring like a convertible.
Instead of making us wait for next week's New York Auto Show, Chevy has gone ahead and released details about the upcoming convertible version of their 2015 Corvette Z06. This is the first time since 1963 that the Z06 has been offered with a drop top.
"Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models," Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter said. "The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy and manufacturing techniques -- many of which were not available just five years ago."
The 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible is being called the Stingray, for owners who want it all. Along with a power folding roof that can open at speeds of up to 30 mph, the car comes with racing suspension & brakes and of course, the Z06 engine.
Both the coupe and the convertible models of the Z06 will be offered in three variations. The standard package comes with the front splitter, a unique carbon fibre hood, rear spoilers and spats around the front wheel openings. A carbon fibre aero package adds a large rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill, carbon fibre rocker panels and a carbon fibre front splitter with winglets. The top tier Z07 package includes everything previously mentioned plus offers an adjustable centre section on the rear spoiler, Brembo carbon-ceramic matrix brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and larger winglets.
The thick fabric roof on the convertible is available in four colours and the car still has a glass rear window. While the trans and differential coolers needed to be moved to the underbody to make way for the power top mechanism, no structural reinforcements needed to be added or changed. Chevy only had to reposition the seatbelt mounts and add the provisions to mount the power folding roof. The car's aluminum chassis is 20 percent stiffer than the previous model, but this is across all new models, not specifically the convertible. The convertible's weight is about the same as that of the coupe.
All models of the 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06, including the convertible, will come with either an eight-speed automatic or a seven-speed manual transmission. Each has a LT4 6.2-litre supercharged V8 under the hood, good for a minimum of 625 horsepower and 635 lb-ft of torque.
"The Z06 Convertible is a world-class supercar in every sense," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, General Motors global product development. "Only a handful of convertibles in the world bring more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even fewer can match the advanced technologies, aerodynamic design, and visceral driving experience of the Z06 Convertible."
No pricing has been announced yet, but it's safe to assume that it will start at a minimum of $80,000.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca