The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible may have faced an uncertain 2020, but the second year of the C8-generation droptop has entered 2021 in full swing. This is the first time we've encountered a mid-engined convertible Vette, but it inherits a lot from the coupe, including a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 behind the driver's head that can produce up to 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft in Z51 guise and propel the Stingray Convertible to 60 mph in under three seconds.
In the C7, the convertible only accounted for around 20% of sales in the USA. In this new generation, that number has risen to around 40%. That's because this new droptop suffers almost no compromise compared to the coupe, aside from a $7,500 price premium. We were given the opportunity to spend a week with a C8 Corvette Stingray Convertible to review the new droptop in 2LT guise, equipped with the optional Z51 package, to see how it stacks up against the coupe. In a nutshell, this is the best convertible Corvette ever. It's so good in fact that it now has the capability of rivaling even the likes of the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 911 Cabriolet.
The C8 Corvette Stingray Convertible was a new model for 2020, so there are only minor tweaks for the 2021 model year in the US. Chevy has changed up a few package options, so Magnetic Ride Control is now available independent of the Z51 package. There are also a few new color and stripe options, plus wireless capability for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto inside.
See trim levels and configurations:
The first mid-engine 'Vette is a stunning thing to look at and is more exotic in appearance than anything in its price bracket. The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible sports car changes very little of the two-door coupe's allure, making it an exciting thing to behold with dramatic side air intakes and broad haunches. All models receive staggered 19/20-inch alloy wheels, carbon flash exterior accenting, LED headlights, and, of course, a power-retractable hardtop roof. The 2LT and 3LT feature power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors.
You don't make a vehicle with a mid-engine V8 without altering the proportions and making them rather substantial in the process. Measuring 182.3 inches long, the Corvette is 6.3 inches longer than the Jaguar F-Type R Convertible, while the 107.2-inch wheelbase is a full four inches longer than the Jag. The Chevy's width is 76.1 inches at the body's broadest point and it stands 48.6 inches tall giving it the impression of being very low and wide in true supercar style. Chevy has done a good job of keeping the convertible sports car's weight relatively low despite its substantial dimensions; a dry weight of 3,467 lbs is claimed, just 101 lbs heavier than the coupe.
This is one sexy 2-door convertible and deserves to be displayed in the most vivid colors available; it is a Corvette, after all. Chevrolet offers the 2021 convertible in 12 exterior hues, with nine of these being no-cost options. Standouts from the base palette include Torch Red, Ceramic Matrix Gray, and Elkhart Lake Blue, while the subtlety of the new-for-2021 Silver Flare suits the Corvette's styling cues. Three premium paints require extra expenditure, including the vibrant Accelerate Yellow and Rapid Blue for $500, while Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat debuts on the 2021 model for an extra $995. Unfortunately, last year's Sebring Orange (pictured) is no longer available.
The new color palette can be complemented by a list of ten striping packages including seven full-length dual racing stripes in colors like Carbon Flash, Midnight Gray, Edge Orange, and Sterling Silver for $995 or, for a more subtle alternative, $500 two-tone Stinger Stripes on the hood.
With a ton of naturally aspirated torque being sent to the rear wheels and a mid-engine layout giving the 'Vette an abundance of traction, you best believe that the 2021 Corvette Convertible is going to be an exceptionally quick car. Under the engine cover lies a 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. The new engine layout has done wonders for the Corvette's traction, and with the Z51 Performance Package selected adding an extra 5 hp and 5 lb-ft, this 'Vette will quickly complete the 0-60 run in 2.9 seconds before scampering on to a top speed of 194 mph. To put that into perspective, competitors such as the Jaguar F-Type R Convertible will make the same sprint in 3.5 seconds with 80 hp more, while the Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible will get there in 4.2 seconds, despite costing 40% more than the Chevy.
Many believe that convertibles sacrifice performance for drop-top thrills, but the C8 Convertible loses little to no performance thanks to some small chassis adjustments that give it the same tight feel of the coupe and a convertible mechanism that weighs less than 80 pounds. The takeaway here is that the Corvette C8 Convertible offers staggering performance for almost half the money of its closest rivals. Now that's impressive.
Powering the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible is a 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine producing 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, or 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque when fitted with the optional performance exhaust as part of the Z51 performance package as it was on our test car. This setup features a dry-sump oil system, variable valve timing, and Chevrolet's Active Fuel Management system. The old-school pushrod engine develops peak power at 6,450 rpm, which is much lower than most mid-engined exotics. This ensures that the Corvette keeps its classic American V8 flavor, though we wish the exhaust note was more exotic. Power is available in nearly any gear, and the V8 is more than capable of getting the rear wheels loose.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. No manual transmission is offered here. In normal operation, the DCT shifts smoothly without much interruption, though some of the downshifts are less than perfect when creeping along in traffic. When the throttle is pinned, it quickly responds to the driver's request with more readiness than a conventional automatic. There is some slight jerkiness when driving in stop-and-go traffic, but it's not noticeable enough to be annoying. In Track Mode, the transmission completely changes personalities, eliminating smooth gear changes for razor-sharp ones. Chevy even includes a neutral mode that is engaged by pulling both paddle shifters, enabling drivers to kick the tail out or rev the engine at car shows.
The Corvette Convertible went on a diet for the C8 generation, meaning it weighs just 101 pounds more than the coupe. From the driver's seat, we could barely tell the difference between the two, which is a testament to Chevy's excellent engineering. Our convertible tester did have one major option missing though, the Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension. Aside from offering different suspension stiffness settings, GM's flagship technology also helps the 'Vette feel more planted in corners. This car is still a weapon around a corner, but we felt less confident in the abilities of the standard suspension when pushed hard. Around town, the magnetic ride control also helps eliminate harsh impacts. The Corvette is still livable with the base suspension, but spending some time in this car helped us confirm that the Mag Ride is worth every penny of its $1,895 price on the C8 Chevy Corvette Stingray Convertible.
As for the rest of the car, it still lives up to the hype as the best Corvette ever made. The switch to a mid-engine layout has drastically elevated the performance, which now encroaches on supercars. Putting power down from the V8 engine is now much easier with weight over the back tires, and the overall balance is sublime. The driver feels as though they are sitting right over the front axle with the ability to control the change of direction at will. Though the steering lacks the feedback of a Porsche 911, it feels direct enough to inspire confidence. If the standard Corvette Stingray is this impressive, we can't wait for the Z06 and ZR1 variants.
The EPA estimates indicate what everyone expects: the Corvette Convertible is rather thirsty, with gas mileage figures of 15/27/19 mpg city/highway/combined. We averaged around 18 mpg during the week, but with the standard cylinder deactivation technology shutting the engine down to a four-cylinder, it's possible to do better with a lighter foot. With a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons, the Corvette Convertible should theoretically have a range of 351 miles.
The C7-generation Corvette in its final year impressed with good interior quality and features. It felt downright luxurious in certain trims, but the C8 has stepped up the game even further, with rich materials, solid built quality, and impressive ergonomics. The mid-engine C8 Corvette can be daily driven with easy in part thanks to its comfortable interior, which in the base form includes creature comforts like 4G LTE Wi-Fi, an eight-way power driver seat, cruise control,
GT1 bucket seats and a heated steering wheel. The 2LT adds a long list of standard features such as a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, and wireless charging. The 3LT adds a sense of luxury with the extensive use of Nappa leather and suede microfiber. The infotainment system is also easy to use and features premium audio by Bose.
As with all previous Corvette generations, the 2021 Convertible only offers seating for two passengers. Ingress and egress is better than most mid-engine cars due to the Corvette's shallow door sills. The standard GT1 seats offer the most comfort, but we prefer the tight bolstering of the GT2 seats, which will offer heating and ventilation. For owners who like to live life on the edge, the optional Competition Sport bucket seats offer the most aggressive support for high-performance driving. It is worth noting that the C8 is a tighter place to sit than previous 'Vettes, with less leg, shoulder, and hip room than the outgoing model.
If you are tired of the typical black and beige interior options, the 2021 Corvette Convertible is the right car for you. Chevy offers the widest selection of interior colors that we've seen on any model, aside from a few six-figure exotics. That's provided you don't look at the basic palette on the LT1, which is, as you may have guessed, comprised of four options that are Jet Black, Sky Cool Gray, and Adrenaline Red, all available in leather but with the base seats in fabric. From the LT2, 12 available options include the aforementioned selection in Mulan leather, but also brown hues, and various combination colors that upgrade to Napa leather, which is automatically included on the GT2 seats. If you go all out for the LT3, Chevy will even sell you vivid combinations of Sky Cool Gray/Strike Yellow or Tension and Twilight Blue.
Even if you opt for a solid neutral color, Chevy allows owners to spice up the interior with multiple seatbelt color options, and you can spec carbon fiber inlays in place of the standard aluminum. Even in its base trim level, the materials feel nicer than any previous Corvette, on par with many luxury products.
'Trunk space' and 'mid-engined supercar' are two terms you're unlikely to find stuck in the same sentence, but as it turns out, the Corvette Convertible is one remarkably practical machine, despite technical factors such as engine placement and that retractable power top. As with any mid-engine sports car, you'll find a frunk up front. In the case of the drop-top 'Vette, there are four cubic feet of space up front, and in the rear, there's also a trunk compartment measuring 8.6 cubic feet. That means a total of 12.6 cubic feet of space, which is significantly more than you get in the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (4.6 cubic feet), or the Jaguar F-Type R Convertible (5.7 cubic feet). It's also the same amount you get in the coupe, meaning the convertible doesn't sacrifice any trunk space. In fact, the coupe requires drivers to store the removable roof in the rear trunk, while the convertible has a separate space for it.
Small items are stored in the small glove box, rear cargo nets, twin cupholders, and covered floor console storage space.
From the base model, all the way through to the 3LT, the 2021 Corvette Convertible comes with a bountiful amount of standard features, especially when compared to its more expensive competitors. The base model features 4G LTE Wi-Fi, comfortable GT1 bucket seats with eight-way power adjustability for both the driver and passenger, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an HD rearview camera. The base model also gets keyless access, a leather steering wheel, and rear park assist. The mid-range 2LT packs a punch with standard front and rear cameras, heated and ventilated seats, driver's seat lumbar control, a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, and driver assistance systems such as rear cross-traffic alert and side blind zone alert. The top of the range 3LT includes a custom leather-wrapped interior package covering the instrument panel, door trim panels and console, hardcore GT2 bucket seats covered in Napa leather, and a suede microfiber upper interior trim package. The Corvette Convertible also includes a two-piece power-retractable roof with six electric motors. The roof takes only 16 seconds to lower and it can be deployed at speeds of up to 30 mph.
All Corvette models come standard with a MyLink Infotainment 3 Plus system, displayed on an eight-inch touchscreen. While many sports cars boast larger screens, this one is highly intuitive and will be second nature to anyone who's driven another GM vehicle. As standard, it includes Bluetooth, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, HD Radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility for 2021. This means drivers can take better advantage of the Corvette's optional wireless charger position between the seats. Built-in navigation is available on the 2LT trim and up, as is a Bose Premium 14-Speaker audio system in place of the standard Bose 10-speaker setup.
Being an all-new model with a newly developed platform not shared by any other vehicle under the GM brand umbrella, it's to be expected that there'd be a few teething issues, and boy has the Corvette had its fair share. In addition to four recalls in 2020, there were also numerous issues of poor stitch quality on the dashboard and on several occasions, the frunk lid opening while driving. Chevrolet claims to have fixed these issues and at the time of this writing, the 2021 Corvette Convertible is free of recalls.
The Corvette Convertible is covered by a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty, and a one-year/one-visit maintenance plan.
There is no safety review yet for the all-American Corvette, and it remains unlikely that we'll see a safety rating anytime soon as the NHTSA and IIHS generally don't evaluate sports cars. is yet to be tested by either the NHTSA or IIHS.
The C8 Corvette Convertible won't be winning any safety awards, but the basics are in place. There are four airbags in play, including seat-mounted side-impact head/thorax airbags, an HD rearview camera - upgraded to front and rear from the LT2 - and the obligatory traction and stability control. Driver assistance features on the base model include rear park assist, while 2LT and 3LT cars add rear cross-traffic alert and side blind-zone alert.
In previous generations, we would never recommend a Corvette Convertible because of the performance, styling, and practicality drawbacks compared to the coupe. With the 2021 Corvette Convertible, all of those downsides have disappeared. The switch to a hardtop roof makes this the quietest Corvette yet, and with the roof up, it looks almost identical to the coupe. Trunk space is identical in the convertible and since the whole power top mechanism weighs less so little, there are no performance losses either. If there is a single strike against the convertible, it's the inability to see the 6.2L V8 engine through a piece of glass. Some owners will gladly make the trade-off for the convenience of a power-operated roof.
Just like its coupe counterpart, the 2021 Corvette Convertible is a performance bargain that is impossible to match right now. No car offers a better combination of supercar styling and performance anywhere near the Corvette's starting price, making this one of the best cars on sale today. There are faster sports cars out there, but many of them carry six-digit sticker prices. Should you be in the market for a new toy, the Corvette deserves to be on your shopping list.
The only real question is why you need the convertible when the standard coupe also features a removable roof. Is the convenience of a power-operated roof really worth an extra $7,500?
You'll struggle to find a better deal than this for a car with a sub-three-second 60-mph sprint time. The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible starts from only $67,400 for the entry-level 1LT, excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,095. The mid-range 2LT will set you back $74,200, and the top-of-the-line 3LT starts at an MSRP of $78,850. Fully loaded, the C8 Corvette Convertible will cost over $107,000, but that's still less than the starting MSRP of the 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
Chevrolet offers the 2021 Corvette Convertible in three trim levels: 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. All models share a 6.2-liter V8 engine and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.
The 1LT gets standard dual-zone climate control, eight-way power-adjustable seats, cruise control, keyless access, and rear park assist. The infotainment system on the 1LT includes an eight-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a Bose 10-speaker audio system.
The 2LT gets a whole lot of premium features, including front and rear cameras, wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated driver and passenger seats, driver's seat lumbar control, a heated steering wheel, navigation, a 14-speaker Bose sound system, and added driver assistance systems such as rear cross-traffic alert, and side blind zone alert.
At the top, the 3LT brings some class to the party with GT2 bucket seats, standard Napa leather upholstery, a leather interior package, and a suede microfiber upper interior trim package.
There's only one main package available to all trims of the Corvette Convertible, but it's one almost all buyers will want. From the base model up, the Z51 Performance Package adds performance suspension, an electronic limited-slip differential, a performance ratio rear axle, Brembo performance brakes, a high-flow exhaust, a Z51 front splitter, and rear spoiler, a heavy-duty cooling system, and a set of sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires. This $5,995 package also increases outputs by 5 hp and 5 lb-ft. As far as individual options go, it's worth perusing the catalog for specific items. The Magnetic Selective Ride Control is now a standalone option for $1,895, and a front lift system with memory function will set you back a little more at $1,995. The performance exhaust from the Z51 package can be equipped as a $1,195 standalone option. You can also go mad with accessory wheels, stripe packages, carbon fiber aero accessories, and various heritage sticker packs to customize your Corvette endlessly.
The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible comes in three trim levels, and we think the mid-level 2LT trim offers the best combination of features starting at $74,295. From there, the Z51 Performance Package is a must-add for $5,995, rolling in special suspension, a limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, a performance exhaust, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Magnetic Selective Ride Control is a great option for $1,895, as are the front end nose lift for $1,995 and the GT2 seats for $1,495. As-described, a Corvette Convertible will run $86,670.
But if it were our money, we'd save $7,500 and opt for the Corvette Coupe. It still features a removable targa-style roof, but it requires the driver to get in and out to unlatch or install it.
|Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible||490 hp||15/27 mpg||$67,400|
|Ferrari F8 Spider||710 hp||15/19 mpg||$274,280|
The C7 Corvette was the last generation to have a front-engined RWD layout. Under the hood, you'll find the same 6.2-liter V8 engine, but in this guise, it only produces up to 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Still, the C7 was a fast car and could sprint to sixty in only 3.7 seconds and go on to a top speed of 175 mph. On performance alone, the C8 is a sharper tool, and the mid-engine balance makes it more capable through the corners and around a track. The C7 had a pretty usable trunk, but the C8 is somehow more practical. Ultimately, it boils down to this, do you want a sports car or a supercar? If you want the latter, the C8 Corvette is a supercar for sports car money - it's that good. Finding a secondhand C7 Convertible should be easy enough, but we would jump for the C8.
When Ferrari builds a convertible, you'd best believe that it's going to be a stunning work of art and will most likely be fiendishly fast. Enter the Ferrari F8 Spider, an open-top beast with enough power to melt faces. Under this machine's rear decklid is a 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 with 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. The F8 is significantly more potent than the Corvette, but with a zero to sixty sprint time of only 2.9 seconds, the Ferrari and Corvette are closely matched. Once you're past that sprint, however, the Ferrari has a higher top speed of 212 mph and will get there quicker. On the road, the Ferrari feels like a thoroughbred but displays more chassis flex than the Corvette. Both can be driven on a daily basis in comfort. It must be said that the interior of the F8 Spider is a more special place to sit in, as is to be expected at four times the price. The Corvette does, however, provide a superior amount of features and trunk space. The Ferrari is in a different league to the Corvette, from both a prestige and performance perspective, but the fact that a Corvette with a base price of $67,400 could even be considered in the same breath is high praise. Can anyone say "performance bargain"?
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