Will anyone will miss it?
Chevrolet went above and beyond with its completely redesigned 2020 Corvette Stingray Coupe and Convertible. Now with a mid-engine design, the naturally aspirated V8 remains (for now), but nearly all other design and engineering aspects of America's long-running sports car are totally different. One thing, in particular, is the convertible's folding hardtop. The previous soft top, used for all previous generations, is a goner, and there's a very good reason for that. GM Authority learned from Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter that although he and his team examined the possibility of sticking with the soft top, they ultimately decided to ditch it.
"We looked at a convertible soft top early on, but most of our competitors are doing retractable hardtops," he said. "In fact, one of the reasons that the C7 Convertible didn't sell as well is that it didn't look as cool."
As the C8 was already a dramatic departure from the C7, the plan was to continue that trend and go for a more premium (and technically complicated) folding hardtop. "The canvas tops are starting to look a little old-school," Juechter said. "You couldn't keep the same sort of racy upper and quarter vents, so pretty early on in the development of the C8 we said we gotta do a retracting hardtop."
Juechter also pointed out that canvas soft tops allow for greater cabin noise, a lack of refinement that had to go. While there are several upsides for the chosen retractable hardtop, there remains one key downside: pricing.
While the base 2020 Corvette Stingray Coupe begins at $59,995, its convertible counterpart is priced from $67,495 – a $7,500 difference. Despite its nifty folding mechanism, some buyers may ultimately decide the price increase simply isn't worth it since the Stingray Coupe already comes standard with a removable roof panel.