Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible bows ahead of New York Auto Show

Since it hit the market last year, GM has been pulling out all the stops to make the Chevrolet Corvette sharper than ever before. The “base” Stingray has already proven itself to be a capable sports car, while the 2015 Z06 is being billed as the most track-capable Corvette ever.

Now we have the 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible, revealed ahead of next week’s New York International Auto Show. Mechanically, it will be identical to the fixed-roof Z06, complete with the supercharged 6.2-litre LT4 V8 engine and expected to pump out “at least” 625 horsepower and 635 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission options are refreshingly simple; an eight-speed automatic is offered, but to the delight of ‘Vette enthusiasts across the globe, a seven-speed manual is standard.

This also marks the first time GM has revealed a droptop, high-performance ‘Vette. Tadge Juechter, the Z06′s chief engineer, says an open-roof structure was too weak to cope with the intense cornering, acceleration and braking brought on by a Corvette as extreme as the Z06. However, given the fixed-roof Corvette’s already improved chassis, the Z06 is actually 20 per cent stiffer than the previous Z06 coupe.

Usually, lopping off the roof also requires a handful of chassis reinforcements, but GM says the Z06 convertible doesn’t need any such modifications compared to the coupe. In fact, beneath the sheet metal, the chassis and other greasy bits are nearly identical. Although the Z06 convertible’s specific curb weight hasn’t been detailed, GM says it’s within a stone’s throw from the coupe’s estimated 3,298 lbs, or 1,495 kg.

The Corvette Z06 will be shown alongside a new small car and an updated Cruze in New York, but if you’re reading this, you probably care only about the Z06. We’ll bring you the latest when the show kicks off on April 16.

About Nick Tragianis