I’ll be honest with you: I’ve never known how to feel about the current C6-generation Chevrolet Corvette.
On paper (yeah, I still use the stuff), it’s got everything an old muscle-car guy like me could want. Right out of the box, this thing gives you a tried-and-true 6.2-liter pushrod V8 with 400-plus horsepower.
But the motor I really want is the 505-horsepower, 7.0-liter V8 in the limited-production Z06 coupe. Seven liters is a newfangled way of saying 427 cubic inches, and that’s a special number in Corvette lore. Chevy put its first “big-block” 427 in the 1966 ‘Vette, see, and that ferocious V8 had already become a legend when the 454 replaced it a few years later. I’ve driven the Z06, and its 427 is as fierce as the original. Makes the standard 6.2-liter job feel a little too docile for its own good.
No problem, you’re thinking, just buy a Z06, right? Thankfully, I’m at a point in life where I could probably make that financial stretch, assuming the ol’ ball-and-chain didn’t find out till it was too late. But here’s the problem: I love the Corvette convertible’s lines. This is a car that was born to be topless. It just looks right as a roadster. And Chevy has never offered a Z06 Corvette convertible, no sirree Bob.
Never, that is, until model-year 2013.
One of a Kind
That’s right: for this year only, as the Corvette production team in Bowling Green, Kentucky prepares for the new C7 Corvette’s arrival, the C6 Z06 ragtop is a reality.
Oh, sure, the marketing types are calling it the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible, but blah blah blah. To a man, this is a Z06 roadster. Same big brakes. Same race-inspired V8. Same dragstrip-proven, slam-it-home Tremec six-speed. And you get even more of that exuberant NASCAR-style soundtrack, since there’s no roof between your ears and the 427’s Z06-spec quad exhaust tips.
Yeah, I got to drive one. And, you’re probably a little jealous, as well you should be. The 7.0-liter “LS7” is one of the greatest V8s ever to grace an engine bay, using every bit of its 7,000-rpm operating range to plaster a terrified grin on each lucky driver’s face. It’s less powerful than the exclusive ZR1 coupe’s “LS9” supercharged 6.2-liter V8, of course, but whereas the LS9 makes basically the same broad-shouldered torque from idle to redline, the LS7 just keeps piling it on as engine speed rises. From where I sit, it’s the most thrilling motor under $150,000.
And now it’s available with the Corvette convertible’s alluring bodywork and fun-in-the-sun freedom, all for barely half that cost. 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible pricing starts at a very reasonable-for-what-you-get $76,900.
Personally, I think the jury’s still out on the C6 Corvette. If you’re looking at the base 6.2-liter version, I’d suggest waiting to see what the redesigned C7 is all about.
But I know exactly how I feel about the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible. I’m a big believer in buying Christmas presents for myself, and as we close out 2012, next year’s wish list has a new number-one contender.
Attention ‘Vette Owners
If you’re already a member of the C6 Corvette club, I should add that the kind folks who allow me to write this column have a bunch of C6 Corvette accessories and C6 Corvette parts on offer right now. MagnaFlow exhausts, Covercraft car covers—you name it, they’ve got it. Check out the Advance Auto Parts site or just head to your local store for details.
Editor’s note: While I’ll leave the specs and such to our resident gearhead, I will add that you can get your order even faster when you select the “Store Availability” option as you shop at AdvanceAutoParts.com. You certainly don’t want to keep a beauty like this waiting. —JK