2021-05-21 | New Roads Magazine

Sun Seeker

On country lanes and oceanfront roads on the South Carolina coast, the Corvette Convertible is the perfect tool for the thrilling business of catching some rays.

The symphonic thrum of a 6.2-liter V8, piling up revs as one digs deeper into the throttle, will quicken your pulse as you cover ground.

Snapping off a flawless, near-instant downshift as you brake to enter the next corner of your favorite driving road triggers a dopamine hit that makes this kind of precision driving utterly addictive. The overall experience of driving the mid-engine Corvette Stingray rewards a driver in ways that few sports cars can. 

Yet somehow, one little button can make even that experience fully immersive, especially in a place as lovely as coastal South Carolina. By lowering the power-retractable top on the Corvette Convertible, the sights, lights, sounds, and emotions of driving America’s supercar hit stratospheric new levels. 

The Details Matter

CORVETTE

6.2L V8

ENGINE

495

HORSEPOWER

2.9 SECONDS

0–60 TIME

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Charleston’s French Quarter dates back to the early 18th century and is looked after by the venerable Preservation Society of Charleston. The French quarter is a riot of hidden, charming spaces, perfect backdrops for a supercar stopover.

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CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Charleston’s French Quarter dates back to the early 18th century and is looked after by the venerable Preservation Society of Charleston. The French quarter is a riot of hidden, charming spaces, perfect backdrops for a supercar stopover.

On a run from sleepy Charleston to Folly Beach or just a meandering drive through the Lowcountry, the top-down sensation is, well, sensational. Shift up to quiet the car’s commanding exhaust note and you’ll be inundated with the sounds of lapping waves, chattering gulls, and maybe even a rasping brown pelican if you’re lucky. 

Coast or inland, highway or country lane, coupe or convertible, this eighth-generation Corvette is as flexible as you need it to be. The available Magnetic Ride Control™ 4.0 magically adapts to suit any road or driving style and thrives in any environment. While the Corvette has been engineered to be unflappably stiff at track speeds, MRC allows it to be quite forgiving if you’re just out for a cruise or stopping off to pick up dinner. In fact, no matter what the surface, the system reads the road every millisecond, and adapts in as little as 10 to 15 milliseconds. Tech-laden and feature-rich, the car is remarkably easy to drive just about anywhere.

But there’s nothing quite so special as the Corvette Convertible on a cool morning or warm late afternoon on the coast. Bodies of water, from oceans to rivers, tend to bend nearby roads into curvy playgrounds for machines like this. Feeling the car’s balance from corner to corner, point to point, is satisfying at any speed, and doing so while soaked in sun rays and sea air is just about perfect. 

In changeable Southeast spring weather — when driving enthusiasts are trying to sneak in some thrills while the sun is out and roads are dry — this is one convertible that has you covered. The Stingray’s hardtop can activate at speeds up to 30 mph, letting the driver take advantage of any break in the weather or button up quickly if the skies turn menacing. Better still, the trick top adds just 77 pounds to the weight of the vehicle and flows seamlessly into the bodywork, all while maintaining the Corvette’s impressive storage capabilities. Beauty is important, but so is a bit of room for two sets of golf clubs or a few bags of groceries. 

In this part of the country, from rural lanes to irregular cobblestone curbs in the iconic Charleston French Quarter, the first-ever available Corvette Front Lift feature is another way technology makes life a little easier. 

The two-stage hydraulic system raises the car’s front end by 40 millimeters in just seconds, allowing you to navigate uneven surfaces without bottoming out. But the real game-changer is the ability to program the system to operate automatically based on up to 1,000 programmable locations. If your favorite oyster shack has a rough parking lot, punch it into the system and you’re free to focus on dinner. 

Every detail of the Corvette cabin is designed to provide an immersive driving experience that’s tailored to you, especially with the top stowed. With inspiration drawn from fighter jets, everything from the layout of the controls to the flat-bottom steering wheel speaks to the all-around performance of the car. But you don’t need speed to enjoy driving around Charleston — just roof open to the sky, a sunny day, and a thirst for nonstop adventure.

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Every detail of the Corvette cabin is designed to provide an immersive driving experience that’s tailored to you, especially with the top stowed. With inspiration drawn from fighter jets, everything from the layout of the controls to the flat-bottom steering wheel speaks to the all-around performance of the car. But you don’t need speed to enjoy driving around Charleston — just roof open to the sky, a sunny day, and a thirst for nonstop adventure.

Critically, the handling on offer from the Corvette Convertible meets or exceeds what you might expect from a supercar, to say nothing of your average open-top car. The aluminum-intensive structure of the car is incredibly stiff, which in turn lets that trick suspension do its job in keeping wheels in contact with pavement at all times. The results for a driver are downright delightful, even at speeds appropriate for public roads. The Stingray is accurate and precise, and combined with its excellent all-around visibility, allows its pilot to string together perfect corners with ease. In other words, you don’t have to hit up your local racetrack to enjoy the mid-engine advantage (although track time is also encouraged). 

Settle into the convertible’s well-executed cabin and you’ll quickly find that thoughtful design and engineering extend to the interior. These available GT2 seats split the difference between the more casual GT1 chair and the aggressive Competition Sport option, offering plenty of support in critical areas, plus carbon fiber trim and sumptuous Napa leather. In grand Corvette tradition, it’s easy for folks of all sizes to find an ideal seating position, and even the big and tall set will appreciate how well protected from wind the driver is with the top down. Add in available heated and vented seats and an available heated steering wheel, and you’re set for open-air driving all year long.

Put the top down and let Atlantic breezes inspire your next destination: The Corvette Convertible is the perfect playmate for driving adventures big and small. Of course, the same holds true for drivers of long stretches of Midwest back roads or mountain highways out in the high West. Wherever you’re headed, there are few better ways than the Corvette Convertible to seek out the sun. 

STORY: SEYTH MIERSMA / PHOTOGRAPHY: CLINT DAVIS

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*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.