The Chevrolet Corvette was born as a convertible and the drop-top models were the most popular for the first 17 years of the Corvette’s formative years. It wasn’t until the third generation and specifically the 1969 model year that a Corvette Coupe would outsell the Convertible models, and they would do so until the Convertible’s demise in 1975.
The Convertible returned to the Corvette model line up in 1986 and the drop-top actually outsold the Targa-topped coupe model during the 50th Anniversary in 2003. In later generations though, the convertible has slipped in terms of sales percentages. Despite the convertible model being offered across all models from Stingray to ZR1, production of the convertibles accounted for only 16% of all Corvettes produced in 2019.
Corvette owners love that open-air driving experience, but the lack of storage space was always a consideration as buyers found the spacious cargo area in the C6 and C7 coupes much more practical as a daily driver.
That trend, however, may end with the 2020 Corvette Stingray.
Designers of the C8 Corvette made sure that the 2020 Corvette had plenty of storage space by offering owners the ability to place items both in the frunk (front trunk) and the rear storage area under the engine hatch. When the convertible is introduced this week, we’ll find that the storage areas for the coupe are exactly the same as the convertible model.
With a Convertible owner having the same storage space as a Coupe, that alleviates the traditional trade-off that has faced Corvette buyers since the C1 days when the Corvette offered a traditional trunk. Another feature that has potential convertible buyers excited is that the convertibles will also have a power hardtop. Not only will it be easy to drop the top at the push of a button, but the hardtop makes the car more secure when it’s parked, and the cabin should be quieter than those previously covered with the traditional canvas soft-top.
We are also hopeful that the nacelles (or buttresses) behind each of the headrests will incorporate a structural safety design that would protect the occupants in case of a rollover. This would allow the Convertibles the same access to tracks at the Coupes, and it removes another barrier to Convertible ownership.
With those roadblocks removed from consideration, the real choice confronting buyers of the 2020 Corvette Stingray is the choice on whether or not to display their engine via the Coupe’s rear glass window or go with the true open-air driving experience provided by the Convertible.
The 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible will be unveiled at Kennedy Space Center’s famous Rocket Garden on Wednesday evening. It’s expected to start production in early February 2020.
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