By Chris Haak
I love the Corvette. There’s just something awesome about the classic shape, front engine/rear drive layout, V8 power, and an awesome soundtrack that gives me goosebumps when I drive one. The car is getting old, though – not to the point that it is approaching 13 model years like the C4 did, but competitors have offered better interiors, more refinement, and in a few cases, better performance.
There is a new Corvette, the C7, just around the corner. We’ll probably see it in a year in Detroit, unless it’s captured earlier in spy shots or leaked photos. As much as I want to see the C7, I hope against hope that nobody will see it until it is rolled onto the stage at the Cobo Center in January 2013. That element of surprise would just make it that much more special.
But this takes us back to the present, and to send the C6 Corvette off with a bang, Chevy today announced a special new collector edition of the 2013 Corvette, called the 427 Convertible Collector Edition. Despite the long name, it’s pretty simple to describe: they took a Convertible Grand Sport (which has wider fenders than the standard Corvette), added the 505-horsepower LS7 V8 from the Z06 coupe, added other go-fast goodies like the Z06 Carbon’s carbon-fiber hood and the ZR1′s magnetic ride control suspension, and threw on Arctic White paint with a blue convertible top, blue interior with suede accents, and blue stripes.
The result is not exactly a Z06 convertible – the biggest omission from this special-edition model is the Z06′s and ZR1′s aluminum frame; this car has a hydroformed steel frame – but it will be the fastest, most capable Corvette convertible that Chevrolet has ever sold.
With an expected zero to sixty time of just 3.8 seconds (and a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64 pounds per horsepwer that bests nearly any convertible you can think of:
- Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet – 6.90
- Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder – 7.58
- Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible – 7.82
- Ferrari California Convertible – 8.31
- It goes without saying that the Corvette is considerably cheaper than any of those “competitors,” and in areas like refinement and interior materials and design, the Corvette will never be on par with an Aston Martin.
No word on pricing yet, but we expect it to fall somewhere between the starting prices of a Z06 ($75,600) and a ZR1 ($111,600), with it likely falling closer to the Z06 end of the spectrum. Checking all of the option boxes on a “regular” Grand Sport Convertible, it’s possible to get well into the $80,000s without the LS7 engine (which, as you may know, actually displaces 428 cubic inches, not 427). The first example will be sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction on Saturday, January 21 with proceeds to benefit the Drive to End Hunger campaign.
I’m more of a fixed-roof guy, but this is certainly going to be a special Corvette. It’s the 60th anniversary of America’s sports car, and also the end of a generation – the first time that a milestone anniversary and generation have ended on the same model year. It should be fun to drive, but take a word of advice – don’t expect to buy one as an “investment.” You’re better with a mutual fund 99 out of 100 times. If you’re buying one of these, buy it to drive the hell out of it and enjoy it!