The Corvette Convertible is the drop-top version of America's sports car. While not as nimble or refined as some newer competitors, the Corvette Convertible nonetheless represents an incredible performance bargain for those seeking addictive V8 power and open-air cruising.
The Corvette uses a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 with 430 -- or 436 with an available sports exhaust. Peak torque is 424 pound-feet on the basic model and 428-pound feet with the improved exhaust.
Channeling that power to the rear wheels is either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The manual was updated with improved shift effort for 2008, while the automatic was recalibrated for quicker shift times to go along with a 2.73 performance axle ratio. Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with the manual, while the auto drops efficiency slightly to 15/25 mpg.
On the road, the manual-equipped Corvette can rocket from zero-to-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds and sound great while doing it. Handling is responsive, although some newer rivals are more nimble.
The Corvette shows its age with a relatively low-rent cabin that was designed before GM's recent interior renaissance. The overall design is pleasant enough, but the material quality is surpassed by that of some of the automaker's compact cars.
A manually-operated convertible top comes standard, while a power-folding unit is available on higher trim levels. It takes 18 seconds to raise or lower the roof. Chevrolet claims that there's room for two golf bags with the roof down.
A custom Leather-Wrapped Interior Package is available to spruce things up somewhat. It includes a leather-wrapped upper and lower instrument panel in addition to leather-trimmed door pads.
The Corvette comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system with an AUX input jack and 18-inch alloy wheels. Options include a navigation system, a nine-speaker Bose stereo, Bluetooth connectivity and a head-up display.
The formerly available Z51 performance package has essentially been transformed into a model of its own, the Corvette Grand Sport.
60th Anniversary Design Package
New for the latest model year is a 60th Anniversary Design Package that includes an Arctic White exterior (with a blue convertible top) along with an Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. Upping the style quotient is a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers and a "60th" logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat head restraints. An optional graphics package adds full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the top.
All Corvette models come equipped with dual front and side airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems.
Open-air performance cars in the same price range as the Corvette Convertible include the iconic Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible, the muscular Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible and the fine-handling BMW M3 Convertible.