Corvette Buyers Grab Twice as Many C8 Convertibles as They Did C7s
Offering a mid-engine V8 with a retractable hardtop makes all the difference.
Sales of the new mid-engine Corvette are going well so far. Despite the pandemic, 21,626 C8 Corvettes left Bowling Green in 2020, representing a 20.2-percent increase over 2019. What's more, while only 20 percent of C7 sales were convertibles, it seems the roofless C8 is a much, much stronger seller.
During the C7's run from 2014 to 2019, only 20 percent of sales came from convertibles, Harlan Charles, Product Marketing Manager for the Corvette, confirmed to CarBuzz. But he said that since the C8 generation began last year, C8 convertible sales have essentially doubled, reaching a take rate of 35-40 percent over the standard Stingray.
Meanwhile, 2021 Corvettes launched with standard wireless Apple CarPlay, and MagneRide as the single option, so it's getting even better with age.
The C8 Convertible currently represents a $7,500 premium over the coupe, and for that, Chevy is giving its customers a lot more than it did with the C7. Instead of a soft top, the midship convertible features a two-piece folding hardtop powered by six electric motors, making it look much more like the coupe when the roof is up, while also disappearing in just 16 seconds and at speeds of up to 30 mph.
Consider that the weight penalty of the system is only 77 pounds, and the C8 Convertible promises pretty much the same dynamic characteristics as its fixed-roof sibling. GM goes as far as calling it "the most track-capable Corvette convertible in history," and that's pretty much what all convertibles dream of. The C8 Convertible goes even further by retaining a fairly generous luggage compartment even with its hardtop retracted. Clearly, this is a combination well worth at least $66,400 to many.
More precisely, twice as many as with the previous generation, as it turns out.
Let's see what 2021 holds for those so-far happy Corvette dealers. But one thing is for sure: after five years of pushing the front-engine platform as far as it could go with the C7, the new mid-engine C8 is everything we hoped it would be. And the Z06, an all-wheel drive hybrid, and more are on the way.
In case you already forgot, this is what the C7 Convertible of 2019 looks like.
Still tempting, sure, yet it's easy to see why a mid-engine sports car with a folding hardtop and 470 pound-feet of torque as standard is a bigger deal.
Source: Matt Petrany for Drive