A Week Aboard the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Extremely balanced chassis.
Gives the driver confidence.
Excellent price-value ratio.
Inconvenient use drive mode selector.
It does not offer a manual transmission.
It attracts too many onlookers.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray eighth generation, also known as C8, is already an old friend. I got a chance to drive it at the inaugural event at Valley of Fire National Park northeast of Las Vegas, and then a couple more times in Miami. But I’ve never had a chance to spend time with the versatile convertible version, something Chevrolet fixed a few weeks ago.
If one thing has become clear from my previous encounters with the C8, it is that it is a very easy car to drive, with driving dynamics that its predecessors could not even dream of, which are a direct consequence of the new placement of its engine. V8, and that will always be a topic of conversation with friends and strangers. The new Corvette is not a car for people who enjoy anonymity.
My seven days with the key to a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible in my pocket did nothing to change that perception, instead reaffirming how easy and tempting the mid-engine Corvette can be to live with.
At the wheel
Sitting behind the Corvette’s iconoclastic but effective boxy steering wheel for the first time can be an intimidating experience. It’s not every day that we have a 6.2-liter V8 with 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque at the command of our right foot, let alone perched on our back. But the C8’s civilized and undramatic overall demeanor, coupled with its 8-speed automatic transmission’s timely and quick shifts, provide a large dose of confidence that quickly dispels any insecurities this singular vehicle inspires.
The convertible version reaffirmed this perception by adding the pleasure of driving in the open air, which is not denied to the regular version, but in it the process of removing the roof must be done manually and not at the touch of a button as in the convertible. With a $69,695 starting price, the buyer of the Corvette Stingray convertible will pay an extra $7,500 for that privilege, which will also allow them to use the front trunk when driving without a roof, something that drivers of the regular model cannot do since this is the space where the panel is stored. detachable from the roof. Apart from this peculiarity, both versions are practically indistinguishable.
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Maneuverability and handling
The C8 is without a doubt the best Corvette ever made, a statement we can make categorically without leaving any room for ambiguity. While not the perfect car (what car is?) the new engine configuration allows the chassis to manage power much better with more weight on the rear tires, achieving an unprecedented (in a Corvette) overall sense of balance .
The driving position at a very short distance from the front axle and a steering system that, although it does not communicate every pothole and imperfection of the asphalt like the German supercars, inspire a feeling of total control over the vehicle, which is reaffirmed every time you drive. tires are put on a highway.
One of the most distinctive features of the Corvette C8 is a design philosophy in which discretion is the enemy. This can be intimidating to some people, but just as the vehicle’s handling wins over with its assertive handling, the interior wins us over with its comfort and how intuitive and easy it is to use.
The sports seats, despite their ultra-futuristic looks, were always a delight to use, while the long row of buttons on the driver’s right side, perhaps the most intimidating of the interior design features, is easy to figure out and master after a while. Very short time of use. The same can be said of the gear selector, but in that section we must confess that we miss the action of a conventional lever. Perhaps an element that could be revised is the driving mode selector that is covered by a leather hood whose purpose we do not understand and that makes it difficult to operate.
2022, the third year of Corvette C8 sales, will see the arrival of the long-awaited variant Corvette Z06 with 607 horsepower, a vehicle that many fans are looking forward to and that will put the C8 on par with cars triple its value. But for the vast majority of people who think they can live with a two-seat sports car, after spending a week in the convertible version of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray I can tell you that you won’t need a car other than this.