Designed to celebrate the Corvette's 60th year on the market, the 427 Collector Edition is the most powerful drop-top version of America's sports car ever to leave the factory. Although based off the standard Grand Sport convertible, it features a number of upgrades from the high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models that transform it into a machine that is equal parts boulevard cruiser and track-day weapon.
Borrowed from the Z06 is the car's namesake, a 427 cubic inch (7.0-liter) LS7 V8 engine that produces 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. This potent mill is mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission, while stopping power is provided by six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears that squeeze 14-inch front rotors and 13.4-inch rears (both vented and cross-drilled)
The 427 Collector Edition features standard Magnetic Selective ride control, which can adjust the dampers in the blink of an eye to prevent body roll during hard corners or keep the ride comfortable while cruising. Also part of the package are staggered 19/20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin PS2 tires from the ZR1. The wheels themselves are lightweight machine-face Cup designs introduced in 2012 and feature special gray-painted pockets.
Drawing from the Z06, the 427 features a carbon fiber raised hood, carbon fiber fenders, carbon fiber floor panels. A carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are also included. The carbon bits slice the 427 Collector Edition's curb weight to 3,355 lbs., which Chevrolet says gives it a class-leading power-to-weight ration of 6.64 lbs. per horsepower.
As a result, the 427 Collector Edition should hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and will run the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds.
Outside, the 427 features a unique Arctic White exterior that recalls the first 1953 Corvettes. Inside, however, it gets a Blue Diamond leather interior with suede accents. A blue convertible top completes the look.
Not all 427 Collector Editions will be identical; Chevrolet offers 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and each will have its own unique VIN sequence. The 427 is a one-model-year-only vehicle that will be discontinued when the next-generation C7 Corvette launches in 2013.
Due to its special, limited-edition nature, those buying the 427 will likely be hard-core Corvette fans who wouldn't consider buying from another brand. Still, the 427 could conceivably be cross-shopped against the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, the Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible and the Jaguar XKR.