Filed under: New York Auto Show, Convertible, Performance, Chevrolet

Supercharged, 6.2-liter V8? Check. Seven-speed manual? Check. Obsession with weight? Check.
What did you expect when Chevrolet said it was bringing a new Corvette variant to the 2014 New York Auto Show? Maybe a sticker and trim package, like the C6 Corvette Grand Sport or a tie-in deal like the Black Widow car from Chicago? On the opposite end, maybe there was an even more hardcore Z06 waiting in the wings. Who knew?

In the end, the answer shouldn't be surprising. This is the 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible. Designed to make mincemeat of cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, everything that's good about the Z06 Coupe can be found on the droptop. Supercharged, 6.2-liter V8? Check. Seven-speed manual? Check. Same obsession with weight? Check.

It's that last one that's most impressive. Traditionally, convertibles weigh a good bit more than their hardtopped brethren, thanks to the top mechanism itself, as well as extra bracing and structural enhancements to maintain rigidity. For example, a Camaro SS Coupe is 264 pounds lighter than an equivalent convertible. It's one of the big reasons we've never had a Z06 Convertible before (the C6 427 Convertible was the closest we came in the last generation). With the C7 Z06 Convertible, though, there is no need for extra bracing thanks to an ultra-stiff aluminum frame. The result is a convertible that is very nearly as light as a coupe.

"Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models," said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. "The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques - many of which were not available just five years ago."

Based on Juecter's comments, it sounds like the only real difference between this car and the Z06 hardtop will be the amount of sunlight let in. The blown V8 still produces 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque, which is transmitted to ultra-fat, ultra-sticky Michelin tires on the rear axle through the owner's choice of a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. Steel or carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes are available, as are all the aerodynamic enhancements that allow the Z06 Coupe to slice through the air. And naturally, the suspension is just as track-ready as the hardtop, complete with a specially tuned version of Magnetic Ride Control.

On paper alone, there is a whole lot to like about the new Z06 Convertible. We'll be eagerly awaiting the chance to drive one. Take a look below for the full press release, direct from Chevy.Continue reading 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible is the track car for sun worshippers
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible is the track car for sun worshippers originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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