If you’ve got the need for speed—but need to feel the wind in your hair—Chevrolet’s Chris Perry has some news you’re going to want to hear: “The 2013 model year will be historic for Corvette, marking its 60th Anniversary and the final year for the current ‘C6’ generation,” said the brand’s vice president for Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet. “We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand’s history—the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine.”
And with that hand-built 7.0-liter V8 under the hood, mated solely to a short-throw six-speed manual transmission, the result will be the fastest, most powerful Corvette Convertible ever released for production; in fact, this dynamo will be one of the fastest convertibles in the world, with a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64 that bests rivals like the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder, Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible and Ferrari California Convertible.
The tale of the tape for the 427 Convertible:
505 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque
Top speed—190+ mph
0-60 time—3.8 seconds
Quarter-mile time—11.8 seconds
Lateral acceleration—1.04 g
But there’s plenty more to this car than just its powerplant. Chevy engineers also integrated other key components from the range-topping hard-top Corvettes to enable an incredible level of all-around performance. For example, the Corvette 427 Convertible leverages the driveline and rear-axle system from the Z06 and special lightweight, machine-faced cup-style wheels from the ZR1, as well as a rear-mounted battery for optimum weight distribution, the world-class Magnetic Selective Ride Control system, Michelin PS2 performance tires, anti-lock brakes with six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers and cross-drilled rotors, and a significant use of carbon fiber for further weight savings.
This includes relying on the lightweight material for the car’s raised hood, Z06-style fenders, floor panels, and optional front splitter and rocker panels.
The Corvette 427 Convertible takes a page from the playbook of the high-end ’Vettes in another way, too, by offering buyers the chance to visit GM’s Performance Build Center and assemble their cars’ LS7 engines themselves, with some assistance from the pros involved in the Corvette Build Experience.
Of course, the Corvette 60th anniversary celebration will invite all new owners to the party with a unique appearance package that will be available on all models. The 60th Anniversary Package adorns the Corvette with a gleaming Arctic White exterior that encapsulates a Blue Diamond cabin with leather and suede accents; convertible models with the package, including the 427 Convertible, get a complementary blue top. The anniversary cars also will wear a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging and gray-painted brake calipers, while an additional graphics package, highlighted by full-length Pearl Silver Blue racing stripes—including a stripe stitched into the top on convertibles—also will be available. Even drivers who don’t ante up for the Anniversary Package get in on the fun, since every 2013 Corvette will receive special badges and logos.
Both the Corvette 427 Convertible and the new 60th Anniversary Package will reach dealers this summer, although one devoted ’Vette fan will be able to make a purchase a bit earlier. That’s because the very first 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible will be offered at the Barrett-Jackson auction slated for Jan. 21, 2012, with proceeds going to the Drive to End Hunger food-relief program.