March 1, 2004
GM unveils 2005 Corvette convertible
Geneva, Switzerland – GM released details of the sixth-generation Corvette convertible which will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Production of the 2005 Corvette Convertible begins in fall 2004, slightly after the Coupe begins production in late summer. The 2005 Corvette will be available for sale in the U.S. and Canada in late summer, with sales in Europe scheduled to begin in October.
“We designed the Corvette from the outset as an open car, so there’s no compromise in ride, handling and performance for the Convertible compared to the Coupe,” said Dave Hill, chief engineer for the Corvette and vehicle line executive for GM Performance Cars. “This sixth-generation Convertible is a large step forward, featuring greatly improved function, appearance and quietness.”
The sixth-generation Corvette Convertible features an optional power-operated soft top, a feature that last appeared on the car in 1962. The power top features a single-button control and completes its cycle in 18 seconds. The top is designed and manufactured in partnership between GM and Car Top Systems, Gmbh, experts who’ve contributed to some of the world’s most celebrated open cars. An easy-to-operate manual top remains standard.
In both its manual and power versions, the canvas soft top is available in three colours: Black, Beige and Grey. In its closed position, the canvas top has a smoother, more contoured appearance that conceals the underlying structure better than traditional soft tops. In addition to being more pleasing to the eye, this also helps preserve the outstanding aerodynamic characteristics designed into the sixth-generation Corvette.
“We sweated the details to ensure that the Convertible driver has all the performance of the Coupe, with surprising quietness and excellent storage capability for a roadster, top-up or top-down,” Hill said.
Indexing side glass, a feature normally reserved for higher-priced luxury cars, helps better seal the cabin from wind noise. The Corvette’s new structure, including a new aluminum windshield frame, was designed using extensive computer airflow models to improve top-down quietness – especially for noise frequencies in the range of passenger conversations. The top material itself is made of a thick fabric called Twillfast, constructed in five layers for strong durability and insulation.
In addition to the new power top, several more details combine to make the convertible more pleasing to drive, especially for long trips. A bulkhead has been added to better contain small items in the trunk and enable the addition of a new storage area behind each seat. The power top occupies no more space than the manual version, preserving maximum trunk space in both versions. Rear visibility is improved with a glass backlight that is 18.5 percent larger than the 2004 version. Like its predecessor, the backlight has a standard rear defogger.
In an era in which most vehicles seem to grow ever more bulky, the sixth-generation Corvette achieves lower vehicle weight, even with the addition of numerous features new to the marque. The Convertible is no exception, with a base curb weight of 3,199 pounds (1,451 kg), 49 pounds (22 kg) less than the 2004 model. The manual top mechanism utilizes thin-wall castings for a weight savings of 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg.) The optional power top mechanism adds just 14 pounds (6.4 kg.) to the car’s weight.
Every option available on the Coupe can be had on the Convertible, including features new to the Corvette such as OnStar, and DVD-Navigation. Likewise, all three suspension choices – Corvette Standard Suspension, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, and the new Z51 Performance Package – are available on the Convertible.