Decades later, a Z06 Convertible hits the market

For Corvette aficionados, the term “Z06 Convertible” is a bit of an oxymoron. When Chevrolet began the Z06 option for the Corvette in 1963, a convertible was available, though records show that only one was ever purchased.

Since that time, the Z06 has always had a closed lid. Until now, that is.

Convinced that the Corvette is already winning the high-end sports car challenge, Chevy decided it was time to take the top off of the Z06, and created the highest-performance convertible on the automotive market.

The power in the vehicle is stunning, with at least 625 horsepower and 635 lb.-ft. of torque. Most impressive, however, is the structural design that allows a convertible to handle that much raw power. Chevy has gone with an aluminum structure that is 20% stronger than the previous iteration of the Z06 coupe, which helps keep the car on the road even with the top off. It’s essentially the same car as the current Z06 coupe (even sharing the same curb weight) which is a testament to Chevrolet’s recent innovations. Said chief engineer Tadge Juechter,

“Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette’s top performance models. The frame for the Z06 Convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago.”

Though people were unsure as to whether a Z06 Convertible would hit the market anytime soon, this has been in the works for a long time. Chevy has spent four years creating the all-aluminum structure for the seventh-gen vette, mainly so that a powerful convertible option would be feasible. Using computers, Chevrolet tested more than 17,000 different variations of the potential frame, until they found the ultimate blend of strength and stiffness.

As such, the only real difference between the Z06 coupe and convertible is the roof. And for Corvette lovers everywhere, this newest Z06 is a dream come true.

Photo Credit: Chevrolet

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