In July we finally got a good look at the first mid-engine Corvette from Chevrolet, and now the company has followed up that unveiling with two variations on the the theme: a hardtop convertible and a race car. There aren't many details about the racing version, but the C8.R is visibly wider than the roadgoing 2020 Stingray, with added splitters, vents and wings attached to every surface. They should do a lot to keep the car planted on the track when it makes its debut at Daytona in January at the Rolex 24.
The convertible edition we know a lot more about, and that's probably by design -- lead engineer Tadge Juechter tells our friends at Autoblog that the company is prepared to build "at least" 50 percent of Corvettes as convertibles.
This is the first Corvette with a hardtop, replacing the soft cover we loved so much last year on its 65th Anniversary Z06. It's a sheet-molded composite roof that can be raised and lowered at speeds of up to 30 MPH, thanks to electric motors that replace the previous hydraulic system. It also stores above the engine, where the panels and heat shields have been placed to protect the roof from rising temperatures, and continue to keep the car's naturally aspirated V8 cool at the same time.
Chevrolet claims that with the top up, drag will be about the same as in the coupe, with a similar top speed. Juechter told Autoblog that making the top optional only adds about 80 pounds to the car's weight, with no additional reinforcements needed.
Naturally, we expect all the tech toys will still be in place: upgraded 1080p Personal Data Recorder, wireless charging, Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and a "digital vehicle platform" that's ready to receive OTA updates. Still, choosing a convertible 2020 Corvette over the coupe adds $7,500 to the price, and will mean waiting for production to start in Q1 of next year.