For many folks when it comes to the Chevrolet Corvette, it’s just got to be a convertible. Well, those fans have had to wait a while as Chevrolet struggled to keep up with demand for the reborn Stingray, while also handling the pandemic, shutdowns, and part shortages. Well, it’s finally here and for the first time, it’s a hardtop!
For most of us at MotorWeek, as soon as we finally got seat time in the reborn mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, we started thinking about this car, the 2021 Corvette Stingray Convertible.
Well, as luck would have it, it finally arrived to us at the same time as a February snow storm. But we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying it.
As is usually the case for Corvette, it was engineered to be a convertible right from the get go. But, what is new, is that for the first time, the Corvette Convertible features a full hardtop.
It can be raised or lowered while in motion, with a button located on the driver’s door, so it’s easy to find when the mood strikes.
The 2-piece top folds behind the driver, basically on top of the engine, underneath a large tonneau cover.
To better manage airflow, the rear spoiler that comes with the Coupe’s Z51 Performance Package is standard on the Convertible.
Since the Stingray Coupe’s roof panel is also removable, you’re not really gaining a whole lot here as far as the open air experience, but the jet- inspired twin-hump look is certainly unique. And there are 6-electric motors that store the top for you; that’s certainly another plus.
The roof is the same color as the rest of the body panels too, unless you opt for Carbon Flash metallic paint, which then is applied to the twin nacelles as well.
And the fact that it’s not all that different is a good thing, as Chevrolet managed to keep storage space exactly the same; 12.6cubic-ft., enough for the necessary 2 sets of golf clubs. That number includes the small amount of front storage space under the hood as well.
In our Stingray Coupe test, we probably didn’t do the interior justice as there were so many other topics to cover, something we’ll rectify here with this Convertible.
From the tall center console with slim rising control panel, to the squared-off steering wheel; there’s not much here that’s familiar with Corvettes past, yet somehow it manages to still look and feel like a Corvette.
Materials throughout have gotten a significant upgrade, ultra-thin air vents help to minimize the actual dash, and set it much lower than before, and everything is built around the driver.
There are 3 seating options, prioritizing comfort, track work, or something in between.
The 8-inch infotainment touchscreen may be small by number, but it seems just the right size here, and is very intuitive to operate. Navigation is standard with all but the base 1LT, and upgrades for ’21 include wireless integration for Apple CarPlay.
The 12-inch gauge display is beautiful to look at, and features unique readouts for each of the Stingray’s 6 driver modes.
A Z button on the steering wheel allows you to instantly recall either of 2 customizable drive modes.
No shifter in the traditional sense, just a button array on the console, or an Electronic Transmission Range Selector as Chevy calls it, for controlling the dual-clutch automatic with 8-speeds. Large paddles behind the wheel are ready to engage manual mode whenever you want.
Mounted mid-ship is the same LT2 6.2-liter V8; with performance exhaust, output is 495-horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque, both numbers 5 less without it. A snow covered track meant no 0-60 runs, but considering the Convertible is only 100-lbs. heavier than the Coupe, sub-3s shouldn’t be a problem.
Seat time here in the Convertible reconfirms what an absolutely fantastic car this new Stingray is to drive. The balance is perfection, both engine and exhaust sounds are glorious, and the amount of feedback the car provides makes for an exhilarating experience no matter the speed.
$7,500 is the price premium for the Convertible over the Coupe, with the same spread of 1, 2, and 3 LT trims. Not straying too far from the base 1LT’s $67,495 starting point, will ensure you get one of the best performance bargains money can buy.
It seemed an impossible task, but the mid-engine Corvette fully lived up to all of the hype that surrounded it. The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible just adds to the legend. And as we found out first hand, even if the weather is against you, it makes your drive sunny and bright.
Engine: 6.2L V8
Torque: 470 lb-ft
Starting Price: $67,495