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The C7 Convertible - Top Down, Fun Up

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On: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 3:01PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


The C7 Convertible - Top Down, Fun Up

When it comes to having a bucket list, there aren't too many things that the vast majority of the population would probably have in common. Some people want to jump out of an airplane, some want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, some want to swim with dolphins, some want to drive cross-country, the list goes on and on. But if we were to subdivide those bucket lists into a category of 'Gearheads' and 'Non-Gearheads', we might find some similarities on the Gearhead list after all. No matter where your allegiance lies in terms of automotive nationality, there is just no denying that there are few things on Earth that have the ability to put a smile on your face more quickly than a ride in a Corvette with the wind in your hair on a sunny day. There is something about a throaty V8 climbing through the RPM band on an open onramp that is just short of intoxicating.  Anyone who has experienced it usually ends up jotting down 'Buy a Corvette' on their bucket list, so they have access to that emotional high at a moments notice, and anyone who hasn't yet gotten that ride, needs to, as soon as possible.

The Corvette has been inciting dreams of boys and men alike for just over six decades now, and the latest iteration is sure to continue the tradition in style. Following the C5 and C6, the C7 Stingray convertible was designed concurrently with the coupe, and does sport a few improvements over its predecessors. It starts life by being 57% stiffer and nearly 100 pounds lighter than the C6 'vert, thanks to an aluminum frame versus the outgoing steel version. The Stingray convertible has no added structures or braces like most other drop-tops. The only difference between the coupe and convertible is the space created to accommodate the top and the motors to raise and lower it. The top itself is a sound-insulated three-layer piece that keeps out noise better than the outgoing five-layer version. The C7 also sports a much brighter LCD Nav screen that will not wash out in direct sunlight as easily as it did in the C6. The C7 convertible also gets a remote controlled top that can be lowered when in range of the key fob in just about 21 seconds. There is also no manual latch that needs to be locked or unlocked before or after the top is put up or down.

Beyond that, there is not a whole lot of other differences between the coupe and convertible. But there is a ton of similarities—the topless version shares the coupe's wonderful powertrain. The direct-injected all-aluminum 6.2-liter LT1 V8 sporting a healthy 450-horsepower and 450-pound-feet of torque powers both cars, and potential buyers get the same choice between a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed paddle-shifted automatic or a seven- (yes, seven) speed manual Tremec TR6070 transmission. In terms of speed, the convertible can pretty much keep pace neck and neck with its fixed-roof brethren, thanks to the near-identical 3400 pound curb weight. In manual transmission guise 0-60 mph shows up in a scant 4.0 seconds flat, while 0-100 mph should take 9.1 seconds, while the quarter mile flies by in 12.3 seconds at 118 mph, and a top speed of 185 mph is not out of the question. The 'vert also shares the coupe's big Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The C7 also carries over some stylistic cues from the previous Vette drop-tops. The double humps behind the seats, as well as the Crossed Flags "waterfall" emblem between the seats that harks all the way back to the C5.

In terms of cost, the convertible will almost always run you more than the fixed-roof version of a car—the price of fun we suppose. While no official prices have been quoted for any C7 just yet, a safe bet for the C7 drop-top would be somewhere just shy of the 60-grand mark. While that may be a pretty penny for some, after one drive (or ride) in a 450-horsepower beast with the top down, the sun in your face, and a chance to scratch one more item off of your bucket list, we can't help but wonder: If 60k is all it takes to die happy, where do we sign up?


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