Surprise early unveiling for new Corvette C8.R

Andrew Cummings
October 4, 2019

Chevy's first mid-engine GTLM race vehicle - the Corvette C8.R - made its surprise debut alongside the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday evening.

"The new race vehicle follows the ".R" naming scheme of previous generations, thus it is called the C8.R.

It also noted that the convertible will provide the same storage capacity as the coupe, even with the top down.

"We put the world on notice when we introduced the first mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette a few months ago, and now we're raising the bar with the first-ever hardtop Corvette convertible", said Brian Sweeney, Chevrolet U.S. vice president, in the company's release. Chevy promises that this Stingray is the "most no-compromise Corvette convertible in history" and that specs support that statement.

To keep the Corvette's impressive trunk size, the hardtop stows into the body of the auto. But the C8's move to a hardtop does come with some good benefits, such as a quieter cabin when the roof is up, better security than a ragtop (no cut-and-grab here) and cleaner styling.

Meanwhile, the main attraction was still the 2020 Corvette convertible, which features a hardtop that stows into the car's body without affecting trunk space behind the engine and leaves the front storage compartment ("frunk") unchanged. The top can be activated at speeds up to 30 miles per hour and can retract in 16 seconds. 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. The glass has been optimized to reduce air recirculation and wind noise in the cabin for improved quietness.

Chevrolet claims that with the top up, drag will be about the same as in the coupe, with a similar top speed.

Chevrolet said suspension was tuned for the convertible "to provide almost the same performance as the coupe".

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