Ready to roll into showrooms in the U.S. and other markets late this year, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible makes its world debut in Geneva. Save for a soft top, this al fresco variant shares all of the styling, engineering and powertrain elements introduced on the new Gen VII Corvette Coupe unveiled in Detroit last January. Given that purebred pedigree, Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design promises the car will offer an open-air driving experience with no compromise in performance.

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Developed simultaneously with the Coupe, the new Stingray Convertible also will be powered by GM's 6.2-liter LT1 V8 that makes 450 horsepower/450 lb-ft of torque and uses Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation to help improve overall economy. The ultra-rigid underlying structure on the new "C7" platform is strong enough to eliminate the need for any additional reinforcing in this transition to open status, so both Corvette models will have virtually identical power/weight ratios and acceleration numbers whether fitted with the new 7-speed manual transmission that features Active Rev Matching or the paddle-shifted 6-speed automatic.

Like the Stingray Coupe, the Corvette Convertible boasts a performance-tuned chassis that includes Magnetic Ride control, StabiliTrak and a 5-mode Performance Traction Management system. Hard-core drivers also will be able to order it with the Z51 Performance Package that includes an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake/differential/transmission cooling systems and a unique aero package that improves high-speed stability.

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Developed to the same exacting world-class standards as the rest of the package, the power-activated soft top on the new Corvette Stingray Convertible features a three-layer fabric design that incorporates additional sound deadener as well as a glass rear window. It can be lowered remotely using a button on the key fob or actuated in either direction at speeds of up to 30 mph. The only engineering revamps required to accommodate this flippable lid involved minor changes to the deck area to create space for the top stack and minor repositioning of the seatbelt mounts. When running in open mode, the top tucks neatly under a hard tonneau cover that features a black accent panel atop the nacelle behind each seat back and complements the wedge-shaped profile.

Like its hard-topped counterpart, pricing on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible will be announced closer to its on-sale date.


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