Corvette marks its 60th anniversary in 2013 – and it is also the final year for the current generation of the sports car. To commemorate the production milestone and give the “C6” 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 Corvette’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 – 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 GM’s Performance Build Center, 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 – introduced on the 2012 Corvette Z06 with Z07 and Corvette ZR1 with PDE performance packages – 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-fiber components that help reduce weight, including:
- Carbon fiber raised hood (introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition)
- Carbon fiber Z06-style fenders
- Carbon fiber floor panels
- Carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are optional on the 427 Convertible, and included with the 60th Anniversary package.
The weight reduction brings the 427 Convertible’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 – or one horsepower for every 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass. That’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 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.
The 427 Convertible is available in 1SA, 1SB and 1SC 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 fiber Z06-style fenders and a carbon fiber raised hood, as well as a ZR1-style full-width rear spoiler. The carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are optional on the 427 Convertible, and included with the 60th Anniversary package .
Additional exterior features include:
- Dual projector-beam high-intensity discharged headlamps are standard
- Contrasting-color headlamp housings are available in Blade Silver Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black
- Heated outside mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming feature are standard
- Machined-face Cup-style aluminum wheels are standard, measuring 19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear
- Black Cup-style wheels and ZR1-style 20-spoke chrome wheels are available
- ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires are standard
- Exterior colors include: Arctic White, Blade Silver Metallic, Inferno Orange Metallic, Velocity Yellow Tintcoat, Torch Red, Supersonic Blue Metallic, Cyber Gray, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Black and Night Race Blue Metallic.
The interior is inspired by Corvette’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-microfiber seat inserts are included with the leather-wrapped interior.
Additional features include:
- Sport steering wheel with leather-wrapped spokes and audio controls is standard
- Head-up display, including Track Mode with g-meter is standard
- An audio system with onboard navigation system with voice recognition is standard. It features a 6.5-inch (165 mm) color touch-screen display
- A Bose Premium audio system with nine speakers, with tweeters located in the instrument panel, and Bose Nd next-generation bass performance is standard
- Keyless access with push-button starting is standard
- Heated seats are standard on 1SB and 1SC trims
- Custom stitching in blue, red or yellow is available on 1SC.
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 GM’s Performance Build Center 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 six-speed is strengthened to handle the LS7’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 center 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 vehicle’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 gray metallic brake rotors are standard, with red, silver or yellow calipers 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 “safety cage” around occupants.
Additional safety features include:
- Four standard air bags include side-impact air bags, which provide head protection for outboard passengers in the event of a side-impact or rollover crash
- Active Handling electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
- Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with anti-lock
- Pretensioners are standard. They minimize forward movement during a collision, while load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
- Tire pressure monitoring syst em and run-flat tires are standard
- Standard keyless access with push-button starting.
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.
OnStar’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.