But the 427 Convertible is not merely a Grand Sport Convertible with an LS7 powerplant, as Chevy went to great lengths to reduce mass in an effort so offset the weight of the steel chassis, as well as the new model’s long list of standard features. In addition to fitting Z06-style carbon-fiber front fenders, the new model comes standard with an ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber hood—the same one that is optionally available on the Z06. To further shed pounds, carbon-fiber floor panels from the Z06 and ZR1 are used. As a result of all these lightweight parts, the 427 Convertible tips the scales at a reasonably svelte 3,355 pounds—about 44 pounds more than a Grand Sport convertible. While 156 pounds heavier than a Z06, the new model is just 22 pounds heavier than a ZR1. One of the reasons Chevy chose not to go with the 638-horsepower supercharged LS9 engine in creating a high-output convertible was weight; the car would simply have been too heavy—in addition to being far too expensive. As it is, the car won’t be cheap: Charles says he’s hoping the 427 Convertible’s MSRP will come in under $100K, but he could make no promises.
As one would expect, lots of power and low weight translates into high performance. Chevy estimates the 427 Convertible will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, charge through the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds and hit a top speed of over 190 mph. These figures are nearly identical to what the Z06 generates; it posts a 0-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds, runs through the quarter in 11.7 seconds and reaches a terminal velocity of 198 mph.
Because of its superior power-to-weight ratio, the 427 Convertible should outperform its aforementioned competitors. Each of its 505 horses is tasked with propelling only 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass, and while the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet’s 6.90 power-to-weight ratio comes close, the Audi R8 5.2 Spyder’s ratio is well off the mark at 7.58 and the portly Ferrari California’s figure is worse yet at 8.31.
But low mass doesn’t only translate into high performance, it also helps reduce fuel consumption. Chevy estimates that the 427 Convertible will receive a 15/24 mpg (city/hwy) rating from the EPA—exactly the same numbers the Z06 achieves. This means no gas-guzzler tax will be levied, something buyers of the European sports cars are going to have to cough up.
When it came to selecting the 427 Convertible’s running gear, Chevy cherry-picked some of the best items in the Corvette parts bin. Its 19- and 20-inch wheels, for example, are the special lightweight alloys found on the Z07-equipped Z06 and the ZR1 with the PDE performance package. However, the 427 Convertible wheels receive machine facing, giving them a unique luster. (These wheels can also be ordered with an all-black finish; polished ZR1-style wheels are available, as well.) Instead of the Z06’s standard Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires, the 427 Convertible is fitted with Michelin PS2 tires—standard-equipment rubber on the ZR1.