THE 2013 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427 CONVERTIBLE COLLECTOR EDITION REVIEW
Full Review by Andy: The Entrance to Heaven
According to Christian folklore, the entrance to heaven is a large, wrought iron gate embellished with gleaming pearls and guarded by St. Peter, the keeper of the keys to the kingdom. At the risk of spawning quasi-religious internet warfare, I must tell you that this is wrong. St. Peter does not stand sentry at heaven’s hearth defending harps and halos. Rather, heaven – at least, paradise as obtainable on this mortal coil – is guarded by Chevrolet, and behind the garage door is the greatest pearl of all: the 2013 Chevy Corvette 427 convertible.
(See 80+ images of the 2013 Corvette 427 convertible).
Rare as a Diamond
To celebrate its diamond anniversary, the all-new Corvette 427 combines a big, beefy engine and drivetrain from the Z06 with an open-air motoring experience. It is, bar none, the fastest topless Corvette ever made and the swan song for the C6 generation. As such, auto enthusiasts everywhere are lining up at Chevy’s altar ready to convert. The first vehicle off the assembly line was sold at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction and fetched $600,000 to support AARP’s Drive to End Hunger relief program. Thankfully, ensuing models only cost $76,900 including a destination fee, well within the grasp of the average speed fiend with an affinity for iconic beauty.
The main addition to the ‘Vette is the 427.6 cubic-inch small-block LS7 V8, pumping out 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of axle-snapping twist. The cubic inch designation is not-so-subtle homage to the original 1967 first-generation Corvette.
The 427 is not simply a Z06 with make-up. It borrows equipment from both its big brothers, the Z06 and the ZR1, along with undisclosed technology supposedly en route for the forthcoming C7 generation. Chief engineer Tadge Juechter notes that, despite the borrowed drivetrain, in no ways is the 427 a hot-rod Z06. The hardtop’s aluminum structure is unable to bear the brunt of open-air motoring, so the 427 uses stiff steel. Standard run-flat tires (19/20-inch front/back) are ZR1-sourced. Thanks to a carbon fiber hood, panels, fenders, and other bits of structural legerdemain, the 427 ‘Vette only weighs 3,355 pounds.
A Devilish Drive
As God and The General intended, muscle is routed to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. With a pop of the clutch, the V8 unleashes a cacophonous, unholy breath of power, rushing from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, covering the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds and pulling over 1.04g on the skid pad. Much of the roadster’s agility is due to Magnetic Ride Control, a GM product that constantly monitors road conditions and adjusts damping rates via the viscosity of magneto-rheological damping fluid. Top speed is approximately 190 mph (maximum exhilaration has yet to be recorded). At such speeds, a grasshopper slamming into the windshield might crack the glass. Caution is advised.
Sixty Years and Going Strong
The 2013 Corvette 427 is available with the collector edition 60th Anniversary package. The package splashes the roadster with available Arctic white paint, and dedicatory badges are strewn over the car like pictures of Hannah Montana over a teenage girl’s room. With the 60th Anniversary Stripe Package, emblazoned blue stripes are painted on the hood, emblazoned on the rear deck and stitched into the rag top. Thankfully, the commemorative paint job adds testosterone without the mortification of publicly admitting, “I and a 14-year old pubescent boy have the same automotive desires” (read: Nissan GT-R).
(See all available color options for the 2013 Corvette 427).
For those connoisseurs of all things automotive who complain that Chevy finds more ways to repackage normality than a presidential politician, here is a little more fuel for the fire. The ‘Vette 427 is not available in not one, not two, but three configurations: 2LT, 3LT and 4LT. All versions brim with gadgetry, including a nifty Heads-Up Display, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, OnStar, Bluetooth, and power seats. The 3LT swaps out the rag top for a power-retractable soft-top and adds gobs of ergonomic amenities. The 4LT adds relatively few features but is the only trim available with the 60th Anniversary Design Package and other custom aesthetics.
Here is the best news of all: In contrast to many other collector editions, the Corvette 427 is not being built in limited amounts. The General has promised to make as many as it can move. Take heed, C6 lovers. The latest generation of the Corvette is about to be put to pasture, and the all-new 427 is the sole opportunity to drive the most powerful, most seductive soft-top ‘Vette ever proffered by Detroit. So grab a pair of keys and drive into heaven.
7.0-liter V8: 505 horsepower @6,300 rpm/470 lb-ft of torque @4,800 rpm
six-speed manual transmission
15/24 mpg (RWD)
0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds
Top speed: ~190 mph
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