Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Chevrolet unveiled its first-ever hardtop convertible Corvette Thursday in the 66-year history of the iconic sports car, to go with a revolutionary mid-engine redesign for all 2020 models.
The automaker said the hardtop convertible is built of high-integrity die-cast parts and stows seamlessly into the body without interfering with the trunk or front storage space. Like the 1953 model, Chevrolet's first, the 2020 Corvette Stingray was designed primarily as a convertible. It will be available as a coupe or a convertible, though the drop-able hardtop will cost an additional $7,500.
The introduction of the hardtop convertible follows another significant change for the eighth-generation 'Vette -- a mid-body engine.
"We put the world on notice when we introduced the first mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette a few months ago, and now we're raising the bar with the first-ever hardtop Corvette convertible," Chevrolet Vice President Brian Sweeney said.
Chevrolet said the hardtop can be opened or closed at speeds up to 30 mph, and in about 16 seconds.
"It is powered by six electric motors -- a Corvette first -- and uses encoders for precise control," the automaker said. "Switching to electric motors from hydraulic systems helps increase reliability. A body colored roof is standard, while Carbon Flash metallic-painted nacelles and roof are optional."
The Corvette, sometimes called "America's Sports Car," is assembled at General Motors' Bowling Green, Ky., plant.