This is the first fully developed convertible version of the modern, hardcore-performance Corvette, but it isn’t the first soft-top Z06. In 1963, the Z06 package was first offered on the Corvette for endurance racing. 199 examples were thus fitted, but only one was a convertible. It’s taken more than 50 years for a follow up.
There is very little difference between the new Z06 coupé and convertible. The C7 Corvette’s aluminum chassis was already 20 per cent stiffer than the C6 Z06, so no structural changes were needed for the convertible. The weight is nearly identical and the chassis tuning is unchanged. Track-focused Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres as well as carbon-ceramic brakes are available, as are three different aerodynamic packages.
The supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine powering the convertible is said to have “at least” 625bhp and, just like the coupe, buyers can choose between a seven-speed manual or eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmissions.
The Z06’s powerered top can be lowered via the key fob at speeds up to 30mph. It continues the classic Corvette “waterfall” look, with a body-color insert behind the seats carrying the exterior color inside the cabin. Due to the lack of rear quarter panels, the differential and transmission cooler air intakes were moved to underneath the car.
As with the standard Corvette, the Z06 will only be offered in left-hand drive. The Z06 coupe will go on sale in the US in December, with the convertible following next June. Depending on demand, limited units of the convertible may also be sold in the UK, though it's likely to be some time before any models reach this country.