8. March 2013
No, it isn’t that the fully electronic top—and that top is a three-ply fabric and includes sound-absorbing padding—can be opened or closed at speeds up to 30 mph.
It isn’t that the only structural changes between the coupe and the convertible are the positioning of the safety belt mounts and the accommodations for the folding roof.
No, what we didn’t know is this:
“Because it was designed from the beginning as an open-top car,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer, “the Corvette Stingray delivers an exhilarating, connected driving experience—no matter what configuration you choose.”
At first that gave us pause. Was it that the car was originally conceived as a convertible and then had the roof, with carbon-fiber removable panels, added to create the coupe?
No, that’s not the case.
Ed Welburn, GM vice president of Global Design, explained, “The convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Corvette since the very beginning in 1953. With the all-new Corvette Stingray, we designed and developed the coupe and convertible simultaneously. As a result, the Corvette Stingray offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design.”
The simultaneity is key.
And even more fundamental is that new aluminum frame structure, which is 57% stiffer and 99 pounds lighter than the steel frame it replaces.
Rigidity is key when the top is below a tonneau cover.