Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
It's that time of the product cycle again when every mention of the Chevy Corvette is focused on the new one. The 2014 Chevy Corvette — dubbed C7 in Corvette lingo — is right around the corner and the mystery is all-consuming.
But let's slow down a second. Sure, there's a new Corvette on the horizon (check out its new 6.2-liter LT1 pushrod V8 here) but there's a new hotness in the Chevy lineup available right now: the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible.
Forget that wussy new disappointment of a V8 in the '14 Corvette. The 427 Convertible comes with the real-deal 7.0-liter LS7 from the Corvette Z06. It makes 505 horsepower and revs like a racecar motor. The 427 Convertible also features Magnetic Selective Rode Control and the Z06's carbon-fiber fenders, hood and floor panels. The only transmission is a six-speed manual.
It's a Z06 convertible and for any fan of open-top motoring, it's outstanding.
But when you take a vital piece of structure out of a performance car and replace it with a ragtop, weight goes up and rigidity goes down. What effect does that have on all-out performance? We took the 2013 Chevy Corvette 427 Convertible to the track to find out.
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, port-injected V8, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 7,008/427
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 505 @ 6,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 470 @ 4,800
Brake Type (front): 14-inch cross-drilled and ventilated discs with 6-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.4-inch cross-drilled and ventilated discs with 4-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones, leaf springs, driver-adjustable two-mode magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent double wishbones, leaf springs, driver-adjustable two-mode magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P285/30ZR19 (87Y)
Tire Size (rear): P335/25ZR20 (94Y)
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot Sport PS2
Tire Type: Run-flat asymmetrical summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,406
0-30 (sec): 2.2 (2.4 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.1 (3.4 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.1 (4.7 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 3.9 ( 4.4 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 5.6 (6.1 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.0 @ 121.5 (12.4 @ 118.8 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 107
Slalom (mph): 72.0 (72.0 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 1.03 in dynamic mode (1.00 w/TC off)
Db @ Idle: 55.1
Db @ Full Throttle: 88.6
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 73.7
Db @ 70 Top Down: 73.7
RPM @ 70 mph: 1,500
Acceleration: As usual, there's no lack of power, but an overabundance of the stuff and a limited amount of tire grip to exploit it. Used a 3,250-rpm launch to extract what felt like the optimal amount of wheelspin. The 1-2 shift chirps the tires easily and snicking into 3rd (also chirping the tires) only requires a deliberate palm-push. Sixty arrives at the tippy-top of 1st gear and the rev limiter kicks in about a half-second after the quarter-mile in 3rd gear: obviously, these ratios have been carefully selected. Phenomenal exhaust note made even better with the top down.
Braking: Very little dive (in either Sport or Tour), firm pedal, zero fade or distance creep, but some variation in stopping distances from surface undulation and/or grit. First stop was 113 feet; shortest stop (107 feet) arrived on sixth of seven.
Skid pad: Mild steady-state understeer here, but an amazing amount of grip. Steering weight is appropriately heavy here for the speed. With Comp mode, the car noticeably snubbed understeer with selective brake application and it posted a slightly higher lateral g-load. This convertible chassis is very, very stiff.
Slalom: With so much grip and (finally) a chassis that remains predictable enough to use all of it, the trick is remembering just how wide the rear is and not to get greedy on the exit and whack the last gate with the sliding rear. It's very "pointy" and the steering is very precise, which is a good thing, since things are happening very fast (with an indicated 75-mph entry speed). Eventually, I had to resort to lift-stab to drive through the (very mild) understeer. Big fun, but not for the uninitiated. With ESC on Comp mode, it allowed the same amount of sliding that's required for a fast run, but there's a safety net outside that prescribed zone.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.