Here's why buyers love the new convertible Vette.
Switching to a mid-engine layout with a dual-clutch transmission hasn't hurt Corvette sales. Far from it, in fact. The new eighth-generation 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray helped General Motors sell more Vettes in 2020 than all of 2019, even in a year stricken by pandemic-related shutdowns. Chevy has already begun deliveries of 2021 model Corvettes, but we wanted to look back on 2020 sales before those get too far underway.
GM moved 21,626 Corvettes in 2020 while improving sales by 20.2% compared to 2019. Not only did sales increase overall, but sales of the new Corvette Stingray Convertible model have risen dramatically.
Throughout the C7 generation, a period lasting from 2014 to 2019, only 20% of sales came from convertibles while 80% were coupes. Harlan Charles, Product Marketing Manager for Corvette, confirmed to CarBuzz that since the C8 generation began last year, between 35-40% of C8 sales have been convertibles. That means the take rate has essentially doubled.
So why are more people than ever opting for the Corvette with the retractable roof? Well, this new model has many benefits and fewer compromises over previous generations. For example, the convertible now features a two-piece hardtop roof with six electric motors rather than a cloth soft-top, so it looks more like the coupe when the roof is up. The top can be lowered in just 16 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph and the whole mechanism adds less than 80 pounds to the overall curb weight. The convertible essentially loses nothing in performance compared to the coupe.
"We expected the new retractable hardtop convertible design offering no compromises in performance and functionality would be a larger percentage of sales than previous years, which is exactly what we're seeing," Charles told CarBuzz.
"Both the revolutionary mid-engine Stingray Coupe and Convertible are attracting new, younger customers to Corvette and engaging our loyal base of existing Corvette owners. People love the retractable hardtop design and how quickly the top operates. Our customers who road trip their Corvettes also appreciate the full capacity of both trunks no matter what position the roof is in," he added.
The 2021 Corvette Stingray Convertible starts at $66,400, making it $7,500 more expensive than the Stingray Coupe. For the increased cost, the convertible doesn't require owners to physically get out of the vehicle and take up the entire rear trunk to remove the roof. Some buyers may not wish to make this trade-off, but 35-40% of buyers are happy to pay for the convenience. There's just one downside to opting for the convertible; you can't see the mid-mounted 6.2-liter V8 engine.