2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition is GM’s fastest convertible

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 12, 2012

The 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition unveiled today by GM is the fastest, most capable convertible in Corvette’s history. Still, this was not the only surprise that came from GM, as the American manufacturer also unveiled the 60th Anniversary Package that will be available on all 2013 Corvette models.

According to GM, the new Corvette 427 Convertible borrows elements from both the Z06 and ZR1 models.

Let’s begin with its heart: the car is powered by a 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06 delivering 505 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), making it the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible. This engine is available only with a six-speed manual transmission.

The 427 Convertible sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, runs the quarter-mile performance in 11.8 seconds and has a top speed of more than 190 mph.Moreover, we find a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control and standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires.

Lightweight machine-face Cup wheels are available as standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black Cup wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.

Regarding its design, the Corvette 427 Convertible comes with a carbon fiber raised hood (introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition), carbon fiber Z06-style fenders, carbon fiber floor panels, and a new optional “CFZ” carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels. The 427 Convertible is available in 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and will carry a unique vehicle identification number sequence, similar to the Corvette ZR1.

For the first time, the public will get a chance to own a Corvette 427 Convertible at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector auction to be held on Saturday, January 21. The car will be awarded to the highest bidder at this event, which is made possible by Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports. Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick will grace the auction, which is for the benefit of AARP's Drive to End Hunger initiative.

Drive to End Hunger is a program created in response to the increasing incidence of hunger among elderly Americans. It is one of Gordon’s sponsorship obligations as the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet.

The Heritage of 427-powered Corvettes

The first 427-powered Corvettes, especially the convertibles produced from 1966 to 1969, are among the most in-demand Corvettes among collectors.

Corvette’s 1966 model year featured the introduction of the 427-powered Corvette. There were two versions: the L30 and L72, which had 390hp and 425hp engines, respectively, both rated at 460 lb-ft. of torque.

The following year, in 1967, two options were added to the 427 engine range: the L71 and the L88. The L71’s engine featured a new triple-carburettor induction system which increased power to 435hp. Collectors refer to these models as "427/435" cars. They are highly coveted, particularly the convertibles.

The L88 had a single four-barrel carburettor and racing-tuned aluminium heads, helping produce 430hp. This engine was designed for Corvettes that customers wanted to customise for racing. Only 216 of the Corvettes produced between 1967 and 1969 were installed with the L88.

1969 saw the introduction of the L89 427 engine, which adapted the L71's induction system and the L88's aluminium heads. It resulted in maximum horsepower, but was roughly 100 pounds lighter compared to that of conventional iron heads. That same year, Chevrolet also produced two 427 Corvette coupes powered by another new engine, the ZL1. This was basically an L88 made with all-aluminium construction (including the cylinder block and heads), thereby ensuring an outstanding weight advantage for racing. These engines were also available to racers as crate engines.

Press Release

Corvette Marks 60 Years of Performance with 427 Convertible

Chevrolet today unveiled the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition – the fastest, most capable convertible in Corvette's history – as well as a 60th Anniversary Package that will be available on all 2013 Corvette models.

"The 2013 model year will be historic for Corvette, marking its 60th Anniversary and the final year for the current 'C6' generation," said Chris Perry, vice president, Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet. "We couldn't think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand's history – the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine."

The 60th Anniversary Package and 427 Convertible will make their public debut at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan 21, and will arrive at U.S. Chevrolet dealers early this summer.

Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition
The Corvette 427 Convertible blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models to create the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvette's history.

Its heart is the 427-cubic-inch (7.0L) LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06. Rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. of torque (637 Nm), it is the most powerful engine ever installed in a production Corvette convertible – and, like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.

The LS7 was co-developed with the Corvette Le Mans-winning GT1 engine and features lightweight titanium connecting rods and intake valves, as well as racing-inspired high-flow cylinder heads and a dry-sump oiling system. It is assembled by hand at GM's Performance Build Center, where customers who purchase the 427 Convertible Collector Edition can purchase the Corvette Build Experience option and assemble the engine that will power their new car.

Supporting performance elements in the Corvette 427 Convertible include the driveline and rear axle system from the Corvette Z06, a rear-mounted battery and standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires. Lightweight machine-face Cup wheels – introduced on the 2012 Corvette Z06 with Z07 and Corvette ZR1 with PDE performance packages – come standard and include unique gray-painted pockets. Black Cup wheels or chrome ZR1-style wheels are also available.

The 427 Convertible also features several carbon-fiber components that help reduce weight, including:
• Carbon fiber raised hood (introduced on the 2011 Z06 Carbon Edition)
• Carbon fiber Z06-style fenders
• Carbon fiber floor panels
• The "CFZ" carbon fiber front splitter and rocker panels are optional on the 427 Convertible, and included with the 60th Anniversary package

The weight reduction brings the 427 Convertible's curb weight to 3,355 pounds (1,522 kg). Combined with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, it gives the 427 Convertible a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64 – or one horsepower for every 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass. That's better than:
• Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet – 6.90
• Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder – 7.58
• Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible – 7.82
• Ferrari California Convertible – 8.31

The combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph.

The 427 Convertible is available in 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels and will carry a unique vehicle identification number sequence, similar to the Corvette ZR1.

Corvette 60th Anniversary Package
All 2013 Corvette models, including the 427 Convertible, will be available with a 60th Anniversary Package, featuring an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top.

Additional content includes a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers and the "60th" logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests. An optional graphics package adds full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the convertible top, extending the graphic theme over the roof.

For 2013, all Corvettes will feature 60th Anniversary badges on the fascias and the "waterfall" panel on convertible models, as well as 60th logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.

Charity Auction at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
The first Corvette 427 Convertible offered to the public will go to the highest bidder at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction, on Saturday, Jan. 21. Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports are teaming up for the auction, including four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick. Proceeds from the sale will benefit AARP's Drive to End Hunger initiative.

Drive to End Hunger is part of a multi-year sponsorship for Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet which aims to address the growing problem of hunger among older Americans.

A legacy of 427-powered Corvettes
Early 427-powered Corvettes, particularly convertibles, offered from 1966 to 1969 are some of the most-coveted and collectable Corvettes ever produced.

The first 427-powered Corvette rolled off the assembly line for the 1966 model year. Two performance levels of the 427 were initially offered – an "L30" version rated at 390 horsepower and the "L72," which cranked out 425 horsepower. Both were rated at 460 lb-ft. of torque.

The range of 427 engines grew in 1967, with the addition of the "L71" and "L88" options. The L71 added a unique triple-carburetor induction system that helped boost output to 435 horsepower. Known to collectors as "427/435" cars, these '67 models – especially the convertibles – are especially sought-after collector cars.

The "L88" delivered 430-horsepower (with a single four-barrel carburetor) thanks to racing-tuned aluminum heads. Intended for customers who would immediately transform their new Corvette into a race car, the L88 was installed in just 216 production Corvettes between 1967 and 1969.

In 1969, a special "L89" 427 engine combined the L71's induction system with the L88's aluminum heads, offering maximum horsepower with an approximately 100-pound weight advantage over the standard iron heads. Also in 1969, Chevrolet built two "ZL1" 427 Corvette coupes. The ZL1 engine was essentially an all-aluminum version of the L88, with the aluminum cylinder block and heads offering a tremendous weight advantage for racing. More of the engines were sold as crate engines to racers.

By 1970, the big-block engine grew to 454 cubic inches, just as the trend in high-compression, high-performance engines was beginning to wane. The four-year run of 427 Corvettes was already established as the golden era of performance

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