Corvette marks its 60th anniversary in 2013 â€“ and it is also the final year for the current generation of the sports car. To commemorate the production milestone and give the â€śC6â€ť a proper send-off, Chevrolet offers the Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition.
The 427 Convertible Collector Edition blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models to create the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvetteâ€™s history. Its heart is the 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06. Rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), it is the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible â€“ and, like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available with a six-speed manual transmission. It also features a dry-sump oiling system.
The LS7 was co-developed with the Corvette Le Mans-winning GT1 engine and features lightweight titanium connecting rods and intake valves, as well as racing-inspired high-flow cylinder heads and a dry-sump oiling system. It is assembled by hand at GMâ€™s Performance Build Centre, where customers who purchase the 427 Convertible Collector Edition can purchase the Corvette Build Experience option and assemble the engine that will power their new car.
Supporting performance elements in the Corvette 427 Convertible include the driveline and rear axle system from the Corvette Z06, a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires. Lightweight machine-face Cup wheels â€“ introduced on the 2012 Corvette Z06 with Z07 and Corvette ZR1 with PDE performance packages â€“ come standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black Cup wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.
The 427 Convertible also features several carbon-fibre components that help reduce weight, including:
The weight reduction brings the 427 Convertibleâ€™s curb weight to 3,355 pounds (1,522 kg). Combined with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, it gives the 427 Convertible a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64 â€“ or one horsepower for every 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass. Thatâ€™s a better power-to-weight ratio than the Audi R8 Spyder and Ferrari California.
The combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph (304 km/h).
The 427 Convertible is available in 1SB, 1SC and 1SD trim levels and carries a unique vehicle identification number sequence, similar to the Corvette ZR1.
Exterior and interior features
The Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition features wide-body styling, with carbon fibre Z06-style fenders and a carbon fibre raised hood, as well as a ZR1-style full-width rear spoiler. The carbon fibre front splitter is included with the 60th Anniversary package.
Additional exterior features include:
The interior is inspired by Corvetteâ€™s dual-cockpit heritage. Seats that were introduced in 2012 deliver improved appearance and larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas to provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving. Sueded-microfibre seat inserts are included with the leather-wrapped interior.
Additional features include:
A 427 Heritage Package is available and includes a modern rendition of the classic 427 hood stinger stripe and 427 logos sewn into the floor mats.
Corvette 427 performance
The Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition is propelled by the LS7 7.0L (427 cubic inches), which has been used exclusively in the Corvette Z06. It is rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW), with unique features that include a racing-style dry-sump oiling system, which helps ensure adequate oil pressure during high-load cornering. The engine also features a durable forged-steel crankshaft, titanium connecting rods, racing-derived high-flow cylinder heads with titanium intake valves and lightweight four-into-one headers.
The high-flow exhaust headers discharge into close-coupled catalytic converters and through two-mode mufflers. The mufflers each feature a vacuum-actuated outlet valve, which controls exhaust noise during low-load operation but opens for maximum power.
The LS7 is hand-assembled at GMâ€™s Performance Build Centre in Wixom, Mich., and incorporates special processes typically seen in racing engines to produce a highly refined and precise product. Customers can help build the engine that will be installed in their vehicle with the optional Corvette Engine Build Experience package.
At the rear of the LS7 engine, a single-mass flywheel and lightweight, high-capacity clutch channel torque to the rear transaxle. The six-speed manual transmission is strengthened to handle the LS7â€™s substantial torque load. It also incorporates a pump that sends transmission fluid to the front radiator for cooling. Upon its return, the fluid removes additional heat from the differential lube before returning to the transmission.
The six-speed transmission connects to a limited-slip differential, with enlarged ring and pinion gears. Stronger axle half-shafts with tougher universal joints transmit power to the rear wheels.
Corvette chassis and suspension
The Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition has a hydroformed steel rail backbone structure, which features cored composite floors, an enclosed centre tunnel, rear-mounted transmission and aluminum cockpit structure. Suspension cradles, control arms, knuckles, springs, dampers, bushings, stabilizer bars and steering gear deliver low mass, direct response and great driver feedback. The battery is mounted in the rear of the vehicle to help optimize the vehicleâ€™s weight balance.
The standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension features magneto-rheological dampers able to detect road surfaces, and adjust the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly for optimal ride control. Complementing the suspension system is an equally capable four-wheel disc brake system, consisting of 14-inch (355 mm) vented and cross-drilled front rotors and 13.4-inch (340 mm) vented and cross-drilled rear rotors.
Dark grey metallic brake rotors are standard, with red, silver or yellow callipers available.
Corvette safety and crash-avoidance features
The Corvette is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, while protecting the occupants in the event a crash occurs. A strong body structure is designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective â€śsafety cageâ€ť around occupants.
Additional safety features include:
Corvette and OnStar
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on all Corvette models. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStarâ€™s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Corvette also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.
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Source: GM Media