I hope these do not irk General Motors too much. They are all labeled as ‘speculative renderings’ — in case the dismal quality of these Photo”Chops” did not make that clear already to everyone. It is harder than it seems to achieve anything like photo-real results. To avoid any confusion among buyers is my goal in labeling everything as renders, but also to explore these ideas visually.
A separate (and amazing!) article coming in a few hours will be a thorough, real-life buyers guide to the 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible’s trims, wheels, colors and options later this afternoon.
If you work at General Motors and are furious with me, please send me a note and we will make it right by removing this article and apologizing profusely.
Photoshop renderings are a fun way to blow off steam sometimes.
That is definitely something the Corvette Museum team wants to do today after finding the last missing sinkhole victim: a Corvette ZR1 Spyder. This car was by far the hardest to find and extract from the sandy clay soil under Bowling Green, Kentucky.
ZR1 Spyder at 44-second mark.
So we took to the computer to attempt a modern-day Corvette Spyder, based on the Z51 3LT convertible for 2014. And shortly after that, one based on the Z06 we photographed in Amelia Island!
But there is a big catch to that Lamborghini-like windshield rake, as outlined below.
Along with obstacles to a ‘Speedster’ or ‘Spyder’ as displayed here, there are some new possibilities as well.
Why This Particular Rendering Is Not Likely To Preview Any Real Production Model
— Hard points like a windshield base point cannot be changed in real life as quickly or nonchalantly as they can be with digital photo editing.
— Why not just trim the windshield dramatically and keep its base “hard points”? The Corvette Convertible already wears quite a fast windshield angle, and any direct chop means zero forward visibility
— Unless… the top edge of the glass was unframed by black mounting material, but this opens a big can of safety worms
— A simple windshield height cut also looked pretty awkward in my drafts
Will There Ever Be a HOT Ragtop Corvette like the National Corvette Museum’s prototype ZR1 Spyder?
— Yes, we believe there will be for the Stingray generation. The newly-rigid platform means drop-tops will not need same level of watered-down suspension settings to avoid scuttle shake like a used LeBaron.
— Previous Corvette Convertibles have suffered significant handling problems without a roof — they became as rigid as cooked pasta when the roof, B and C-pillars all went missing.
— New Corvette Stingray is at least twice as rigid as the previous models, indicating that a Corvette Z06 Convertible is probably the most-likely scenario to big-power/drop-top Corvette bliss in 2016.
— This speaks to the Corvette origin story as well, with the C2 generation a hardtop after the C1 was exclusively a ragtop.
Would a Speedster with little windshield (at all) ever pass regulatory hurdles for safety — or find buyers?
— The biggest hurdle is roll-over safety. The twin rams that pop out the back of many cabrio’s could be added to the front of the Speedster as well, and fire when a roll-over is imminent
— Strategic airflow could create a mild experience for drivers even without a windshield by jetting a column of airflow ahead of the old windshield base, limiting the eye-watering wind effects of driving a windshield-less model
— But even considering the above, racing helmets and track-only stats would be most likely for the McLaren Mercedes SLR 722 Stirling Moss-style special