The 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible takes open-air driving to new heights. In addition to the high-tech 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 engine, the 8-speed automatic or the 7-speed manual transmission and the aerodynamic innovations it shares with the Z06 coupe, the convertible expands the performance bandwidth of the Z06 to include the 360-degree, top-down driving experience that only a true convertible can offer.
The Z06 Coupe and Convertible: Equal Partners
The foundation for the performance capabilities of the Z06 lies in the high-tech, all aluminum frame that gives the convertible the same rigidity as the coupe, allowing them to share the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options, including the Z07 performance package. The only structural differences between the Z06 coupe and convertible are provisions for mounting the power-folding top, and repositioned seat belt mounts.
The convertible also shares the same quality interior components of the coupe, featuring a fully wrapped cabin with surfaces covered by premium, soft-touch materials. Depending on the trim level, the available materials include Napa leather, carbon fiber and micro-suede. The convertible, however, offers something that the coupe cannot—a thick fabric top in four colors that includes sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window.
Brief History of the Corvette Convertible
Back in ancient Corvette times, from 1953 through 1962, all Corvettes were convertibles. When a coupe joined the family in 1963, convertibles continued to outsell the coupes each year from 1964 until 1969, when sales fell into decline. Sales continued to fall and Chevrolet ceased production of Corvette convertibles after the 1975 model year.
Following its reintroduction in 1986, the convertible proved itself to be an essential part of the Corvette lineup, annually accounting for about 30% of Corvette sales. General Motors astutely recognized the significance of the convertible when it came time for the seventh generation Corvette and expanded its reach into the supercar marketplace with the Z06.
1963 Z06 Convertible
The Z06 name is synonymous with high performance. The designation refers to a special performance package initially available only on the ’63 Sting Ray coupe, but later extended to include the convertible. Chevrolet made 199 Z06s in 1963 and only one of them was a convertible.
The convertible’s original owner was a colorful character and, in the late 60s, when a traffic judge offered him the option of giving up driving the car or losing his license, he took the judge up on his offer and put the car away in his garage with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer—and there it sat until 2003 when the original owner’s estate sold the car. The world’s only documented 1963 Z06 convertible has been pampered by several owners since then and now resides, in its original unrestored condition, in a private Corvette collection in Maryland.
We’d like to thank Jim Gessner for providing us with the information about the ’63 Z06.
The new Z06 convertible is scheduled to be in your local Chevrolet dealer’s showroom by early 2015. Final performance data and pricing will be announced later this year closer to the start of production.
[VIDEO] The Corvette Z06 and C7.R Design Seminar from the 2014 NCM Bash
[VIDEO] 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible Start-Up and Exhaust
[GALLERY] The 2015 Corvette Z06s at the New York Auto Show (50 Corvette photos)