You've already had a chance to drool over Chevrolet’s new Corvette C6 coupé, now we continue the salivation with a drive of the new C6 Convertible. Same 6.0-litre 400bhp V8 power as the coupe, same pounding 400lb ft torque, too. But instead of a six-on-the-floor manual, here we’re letting the new four-speed auto do the shifting.
This new Vette has evolved nicely. Fifty more horsepower than the last generation, standstill to 62mph in 4.3sec and a 186mph top speed. There’s also a stiffer, lighter platform and a body that’s 140mm shorter than before.
GM’s designers did a fine job of slicing the top off the coupe, and the reduced length and shorter rear overhang make the convertible look better balanced and proportioned than before.
Lessons learned in developing the Cadillac XLR roadster, which is built alongside the Vette, helped to ensure the new Chevy’s structural rigidity. Front to rear hydroformed chassis-frame rails, a structural backbone tunnel and a balsa wood and composite sandwich floor keep the roadster’s structure stiff, and more or less banishes scuttle shake.
Unlike the Caddy, however, the Corvette sticks with its traditional folding cloth roof instead of the XLR’s metal folding top. The reason? Less weight, more boot space and lower cost.