Testing for the new Corvette Z06 Convertible has begun.
We're just over a month away from the world debut of the new high-performance Chevrolet Corvette Z06, easily one of the most anticipated new cars of 2021. As the official reveal gets closer, Chevrolet has been applying the finishing touches to pre-production Z06 prototypes. Unfortunately for Chevrolet, there are some passionate Corvette enthusiasts out there on a mission to catch these prototypes out in the wild.
When Rick Conti, who works at Chevrolet's Ohio dealership, received a tip-off that Chevrolet was testing the Z06 Corvette in a nearby location, he jumped into his Rapid Blue C8 Corvette Stingray, drove to the location, and camped out overnight for several hours to get a look at the new Z06 Corvette in action.
Rick caught Chevrolet testing two Z06 Corvette prototypes, one of which was a convertible with the roof up. This confirms the Corvette Z06 will be offered as a convertible, though this isn't surprising since the last-generation Z06 was also sold in both styles. Rick managed to capture several minutes of footage of the Z06 using his own Corvette's Performance Data Recorder and front camera before the test driver evaded him on a highway exit.
Wrapped in camouflage, the Corvette Z06 Convertible prototype has a central exhaust system with four tailpipes and an electric retractable roof, which takes 16 seconds to lower at speeds of up to 30 mph. Driving in front of the convertible was a camouflaged Corvette Z06 Coupe.
While previous prototypes caught in the wild were fitted with a large fixed wing, this latest prototype is wingless. The Z06 Convertible prototype, on the other hand, appears to have a redesigned version of the Stingray's Z51 wing. Powering the Z06 Convertible will be a naturally aspirated flat-plane crank 5.5-liter V8 reportedly producing over 600 horsepower, paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Chevrolet has confirmed the Corvette Z06 will debut on October 26th, but we expect the convertible version will arrive a few months later. While convertible car sales are declining, the C8 Corvette Stingray Convertible has been more popular than the C7 model. Earlier this year, Chevrolet confirmed that convertibles make up around 35-40 percent of C8 Corvette sales, so it will be interesting to see how the Z06 convertible's sales compare.