Chevrolet released two special additions for the final C6 production run. Nice, but a little tame.
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Sometimes Chevrolet sneaks a zinger on us when we’re not expecting it. I wasn’t anticipating an advanced look at the 60th Anniversary Corvette until the Spring. But here we are, into the second week of January, and BAM! Chevy unleashes not one, but two special edition Corvettes to wrap up the production run of the C6 Corvette.
The two special editions are the 60th Anniversary Package and the 427 Convertible Collector Edition. Although both cars are essentially parts bin and graphics combos, both are very nice. Details are listed below. The anniversary Package is consistent with every previous Anniversary Corvette package – paint, creature comforts (except for the ‘78 25th Anniversary option), and badges. If you look back at the 25th, 35th, 40th, and 50th Anniversary edition Corvettes, they’re all very handsome cars, but special paint, trim, and options packages.
While a nice enough package, I was expecting more, especially since the Corvette’s 60th anniversary uniquely coincides with the final year for the C6. The complete 60th Anniversary package gets you Arctic White paint, Blue Diamond interior with suede leather trim, a ZR1 rear spoiler, gray painted brake calipers, and badging on the front and rear, wheel caps, instrument panels, and door sills. The car Chevrolet showed us was the 427 Convertible Special Edition WITH the 60th Anniversary package. The 60th Anniversary Package is available on all model Corvettes – the 427 Convertible included.
Now this part will surely muddle things up a few years down the road. All production Corvettes will be badged with the 60th Anniversary logo (same as the 2003 Corvettes) on the front and rear, on the convertible’s waterfall, instrument panels, and door sills. All models and colors will wear the 60th Anniversary badging. ONLY the Arctic White exterior with the ZR1 rear spoiler, Diamond Blue and suede combo are the 60th Anniversary Package.
I’ve always liked white Corvettes, but I was hoping for at least some kind of special paint for the 60th Anniversary package. Perhaps, Pearl White, or Crystal Metallic White, or that interesting Satin White paint we saw on the 2010 Z06X Concept Corvette. And where applicable, all of the standard Corvette options can be added to the 60th Anniversary Package. So, with all options available (front splitter, Z06 rear spoiler, caliper colors, headlight bucket colors, wheel variations), plus the badging of all ‘13 Corvettes the 60th Anniversary logos, you’re going to need a spotters guide to sort out the line. With six unique Corvette models, plus all the different options, plus the 2LT, 3LT, and 4LT trim packages, there’ll be plenty of pretty Corvettes.
Now the 2013 427 Convertible is indeed juicy. Think ‘65 to ‘67 427 Corvette roadsters, minus the side pipes. (Bummer, man!) Since the Z06 arrived in ‘06, the basic line has been that the 505-HP LS7 engine needs the Z06’s advanced all-aluminum chassis. There’s been no convertible Z06 for “structural rigidity” concerns. While a stiffer frame structure is always best, perhaps Chevy took notice of the many base model C6 coupes and convertibles that have had their LS2 and LS3 engines supercharged with no structure issues at all. Keep in mind that these aren’t racing Corvettes designed to take a beating, just bad-ass street machines. Thus proving how good the basic C6 Corvette structure really is.
The 427 Convertible is no mere engine swap. Everything from the engine to the big wheels is from the Z06/ZR1, plus the Magnetic Selective Ride Control System, rear-mounted battery, raised carbon fiber hood, and carbon fiber Z06 fender and floor panel. In other words, it’s a convertible Z06, without the all-aluminum frame. Chevrolet claims that the 427 Convertible is the fastest convertible in the world, with a 0-to-60 time of just 3.8-seconds, 1/4-mile in 11.8-seconds and a top speed of 190-mph. Plus, weighing in at just 3,355-pounds, the 427 Convertible has a power-to-weight ratio of just 6.64:1, beating out the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, the Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder, the Aston Martin DB5 Volante Convertible, and the Ferrari California Convertible. (Take THAT, sacred cows of Europe!) Getting warm yet?
Now, here’s where this special edition gets muddy. The 427 Convertible will be available in all body/interior color combos, plus the customer’s choice of either all-black lightweight Cup Wheels, machine-faced Cup Wheels, or the chrome ZR1 20-spoke wheels. The carbon fiber front splitter and rockers are also available options, including the 2LT, 3LT, and 4LT trim packages. And, like all model Corvettes, the 427 Convertible will wear the 60th Anniversary badges. Confused yet?
Integrating special edition packages into a modern, mass produced automobile is no small deal. I can only guess that Chevrolet wants the 60th Anniversary and 427 Convertible packages to appeal to as many customers as possible. After all, the Corvette could use a boost in sales. These packages should achieve that objective. The official press release did now say that production would be limited for either of the two packages, but the 427 Convertibles will have unique VIN numbers. The press release also didn’t mention that little sticky issue of price. The ‘78 25th Anniversary paint option cost only $399, where as the 50th Anniversary option cost $5,000.
Now here’s one for the “Silly Me” department. Back in ‘05 when the first C6 Corvette came out and I covered it in my VETTE Magazine “Illustrated Corvette Series” column, as I was drawing the car, I quickly said, “I see mid-year Sting Ray in this design.” Corvette chief designer Tom Peters did a beautiful job of subtlety picking up and integrating the C2 fender humps into the C6 design. Since the C6 is coming to an end as a 2013 model, I was secretly hoping for a 50th Anniversary Sting Ray Edition. Hey, an artist/designer can dream a little, right?
Like I said at the outset, I wasn’t expecting to see the 60th Anniversary Corvette until the Spring. My very first impression was, “A little tame, but nice.” But I’m left with the following question. How “special” is a special edition when it’s available in every color, with every option, and even the regular cars are wearing the special anniversary badging? Chevy, you played it safe. Oh well. – Scott
2013 60th Anniversary Corvette
* Arctic White Exterior.
* Diamond Blue interior with suede leather trim
* ZR1 rear spoiler.
* Painted gray brake calipers.
* 60th Anniversary logos on wheel caps, steering wheel, headrests, instrument panel, and door sill (on waterfall for convertibles).
* Pearl Silver Blue full-length racing stripe OPTIONAL. Convertible models get the blue stripe stitched to the soft top.
2013 427 Convertible Collector Edition
* 427 LS7 Z06 engine, driveline, and 6-speed manual transaxle.
* Magnetic Selective Ride Control.
* Rear-mounted battery.
* 19” and 20” ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires on machine-face Cup Wheels, or all-black Cup Wheels, or chrome 20-spoke ZR1 wheels.
* Carbon fiber raised hood.
* Carbon fiber Z06 fenders and floor panel.
* Available in all production colors.
* Options available where applicable, including the LT2, LT3, and LT4 interior trim packages.
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