Gustaf Tests the Chevrolet Corvette convertible in California

Gustaf Tests the Chevrolet Corvette convertible in California

The latest generation of the Chevrolet Corvette goes under the chassis code C8, and at its introduction was a revolution for the model range.

After decades of rumours, the Corvette finally became a mid-engine car, with a supercar-inspired look to attract younger buyers.

Apart from the placement of the engine, however, the recipe is the same. The engine is a pushrod V8 from Chevrolet’s Small block series, there are two seats and the body is made of fiberglass reinforced plastic.

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An unusually sensible convertible

Our test car was a Corvette convertible, which means it’s equipped with a hardtop that folds away at the touch of a button in just 16 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h.

It is possible to drive without a roof even in the standard car, but then you have to remove the roof panel manually and put it in the rear luggage compartment, which then becomes completely full. If you like having the wind in your hair, the cab can thus be considered the more practical model version.

The lines are not the car’s main strength – Photo: Marcus Berggren

The disadvantage is that the cabriolet is around 50 kilos heavier than the coupé and that the price increases by around 7,000 dollars, corresponding to roughly 72,500 kroner. It can also be considered that the roof line of the cab is not quite as harmonious as on the coupe.

The first thing you realize when you look at the Corvette C8, however, is that the lines are still not the car’s main strength, as the design is full of strange creases that were particularly evident on our light gray test car. Above all, the rear appears strangely clumsy. During the week in California, however, we saw other examples of the Corvette C8 in darker colors, which worked much better visually.

Easy to drive and practical

It also cannot be denied that the Corvette looks like a genuine sports car, almost of supercar caliber, which is why one could imagine that the car is a fast, but difficult to drive and uncomfortable creation.

In fact, the Corvette C8 is a very accommodating machine. If you are under two meters tall, it is easy to find a comfortable driving position, while the low front and the large windows make the car extremely easy to place on the road. If you look over your shoulder, however, the blind spot is large.

The Corvette is a fantastic GT car – Photo: Marcus Berggren

The reward for the car’s bulky derrière is that the stowage space in the back is large and easy to pack. However, due to the fact that the exhaust system runs just under the floor, the space gets warm, and on our brand new test car, the smell of freshly plasticized polyester was also noticeable.

In the first place, therefore, it is better to pack the luggage compartment in the front, which is also large and can easily accommodate a larger soft weekender bag or a couple of grocery bags.

High and low interior

When you jump behind the wheel, you’re greeted by an interior inspired by the cockpit of a fighter jet, with all screens, controls and controls aimed at the driver. The color theme in our test car was an eye-catching combination of black and medium blue, and although the quality of detail is somewhat lacking in some places, the interior as a whole feels like a solid build.

The steering wheel is unusually square, with paddles on the back for the gears, and plenty of buttons and knobs to control functions such as the stereo and cruise control.

The interior of the test car was eye-catching to say the least – Photo: Marcus Berggren

The button ergonomics in general are a mixture of fantastic and utterly lousy. The best part is that all driving settings are located around a small hand rest, which allows you to easily change driving mode or raise the suspension for speed bumps without having to take your eyes off the road.

Worse is that all the buttons for ventilation and seat heating sit in a long row on a high edge, which stands like a wall between the driver and the passenger. It’s not entirely clear which controls control which side, and you often have to look for the right button. However, the MMI system is clear and easy to navigate.

A unique combination of properties

Out on the road, the Corvette C8 offers a somewhat unique combination of features, which do not always fit in with the car’s appearance.

The first thing that surprises is that the car is very compliant at normal speeds. In both city traffic and on faster roads, the comfort is really good with the suspension in its softest setting, and the big V8 is fantastically compliant in combination with the eight-speed dual clutch box.

Both engine and road noise are also at a completely acceptable level for everyday driving or long journeys.

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Light-footed car with muscle engine

Pressing harder on the gas pedal brings the big eight to life, exhibiting the character of the heart of a classic American muscle car rather than a modern sports car engine.

You don’t have to wait for any turbo to react, but there is constant power and a massive bottom turn – all the while accompanied by a classic dark rumble. Acceleration can’t compete with modern supercars, but is undoubtedly enough to be entertaining.

The car thrives on the curvy roads north of Malibu – Photo: Marcus Berggren

When it comes to handling, however, the Corvette C8 feels like anything but a classic American muscle car. On the winding roads in the mountains north of Malibu, the car instead felt nimble and light-footed, with the fine chassis balance that only a mid-engine car can deliver. The steering is light and precise, the gears are nimble and the brakes are easy to modulate.

A car with a wide palette

With all that said, the Chevrolet Corvette C8 can’t quite compete with lighter, more focused sports cars from Europe, which are simply a bit sharper when driven sporty. However, the Corvette C8 in return has a significantly wider palette of skills than most mid-engine cars.

The Chevrolet Corvette is a car with a wide palette – Photo: Marcus Berggren

It’s not only an entertaining sports car when you find a winding mountain road, but also a fantastically comfortable GT car on the way there, which also has room for plenty of luggage.

Using the car for everyday use or gliding around with the roof down during sunny summer days also works well.

Unfortunately for me, the car falls somewhat on its appearance, but for a week on the sunny American west coast it suited me perfectly.

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Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray Convertible (2024)
Engine: 6.2-liter, V8, 482 horsepower, 613 newton meters
Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission, rear wheel drive
Acceleration 0–100 km/h: 3.5 seconds
Top speed: 296 km/h
Weight: 1,775 kg
Dimensions (length/width/height): 4634/1934/1234 mm

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